Some women are lucky enough to go through each and every month without any disruption to their health, yet a huge percentage of us experience headaches, cramps, hot flushes, irritability, nausea and upset stomachs at the hands of our hormones. While the contraceptive pill and various prescription medications can help, it's often more desirable to seek natural methods and having a happy period doesn't necessarily have to mean pumping yourself with chemicals.
Light exercise, baths and hot water bottles are all obvious solutions that we've all heard of, but they do work. Hot water and heated things against your uterus encourages blood flow to the area and also oxygen which eases the pain of the muscle contractions. Obviously exercise gets oxygenated blood flowing through your body too, but you don't want to overdo it or you might start to feel dizzy or nauseated. If at any point during your menstrual cycle you do feel nauseous then try eating pumpkin seeds as they contain nutrients which settle your stomach. Drinking ginger beer and sucking boiled sweets can help too. If you find yourself feeling bloated and full after a meal then suck on some ice or an ice lolly to stimulate your digestive system to work faster. For an upset stomach and diarrhea caused by period cramps, take calcium tablets.
In addition to pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds work very well to get the body to release energy effectively. For those of us suffering from anemia or dizziness during our periods then a spinach and sunflower seed salad is the perfect light meal to get our energy up. Throw in some chicken and dressing to make it a proper meal, or some grilled salmon for a hit of omega 3 and 6; oils which help to regulate the hormones. Other hormone regulating vitamins and minerals include ginseng, evening primrose oil and flaxseed, although you should bear in mind that some of these need to be taken for a couple of weeks before your period is due to start so that you get the full effects.
Sleeping often becomes an issue when you're menstruating, especially in the summer when it's especially hot. It's harder for your body to regulate its own internal temperature due to the hormones racing through your system, so sleep in light or no pajamas, but with a warm duvet that you can easily throw off you. Avoid drinking caffeine during your period as this will also disturb your sleep. It's always tempting to eat tons of chocolate during your period but bear in mind plain chocolate contains the most caffeine, so you're better off with milk chocolate or ice cream to satisfy your sweet tooth. Alternatively, try munching on banana chips which contain tryptophan to help you stay calm and sleep much better.
Our final tips for having a pain free and comfortable period are to take a painkiller as soon as or even in anticipation of the cramps starting and to invest in magnet therapy. Ladycare sell discreet and effective magnets which are aimed at menopausal women, but which work very well for symptoms of menstruation too.