Many girls and women deal with uncomfortable bloating, abdominal pain and cramps during their period every month for many years, if not for the entirety of their fertile life.
With that being said, learning ways to deal with cramps every month is a must if you don’t want the pain and discomfort to affect your productivity, mood and quality of life.
One new study suggests that one overlooked but quite efficient way to combat pain while menstruating involves the food you consume!
The director of the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Women’s Health, Dr. Stephanie Faubion, who did not take part in the study, mentioned that “Since menstrual pain is one of the leading causes of school absenteeism for teenage girls, it is important to explore options that can minimize this pain. Diet modification might be a relatively simple solution that can provide substantial relief for them.”
The study’s abstract was presented at the yearly meeting of NAMS earlier this week and explored the link between period cramps and diet.
Serah Sannoh, the lead author, shared via CNN that she became interested in exploring the topic due to her own struggle with painful periods ever since her teenage years.
“I found diets that are high in inflammatory foods such as meats, oil, salts, sugars, and coffee contribute to a higher risk of pain during periods.”
Dr. Monica Christmas, a NAMS board member, also said that “A lot of the things young people like to eat are are inflammatory … lunch meats, foods that are full of sugars and of trans fats. But if you go on an anti-inflammatory diet — fruit, vegetables and olive oil, like the Mediterranean diet — you will get less cramping.”
Christmas went on to point out that there is scientific evidence that getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating a healthy diet contribute to the severity and duration of period cramps.
Regardless, she made it a clear point that while lifestyle changes can be efficient, women should still seek medical help if they experience pain in order to “Make sure that there is no other medical condition that may also be contributing to the symptoms.”