Cramps are common, yes, but they are also a sign that there’s some kind of imbalance in the body and you can take steps to improve them and reduce them (maybe even eliminate them!).
Cause of cramps
The main cause of cramps is inflammation and smooth muscle contraction of the uterus and lower abdominal area. Hormone-like substances called prostaglandins are what cause this muscle contraction. This muscle contraction is part of the normal process of expelling your endometrium (the lining of the uterus and tissue that is expelled during your period).
And while some discomfort and sensation is normal, we really shouldn’t be in pain so much that we can’t function without pain medication.
Nutrition and cramps
If you want to reduce your cramps, the best thing you could do is to look at your diet and nutrition. Part of the problem with our modern world is that we eat too many things that are just not good for our hormone balance, or we don’t get enough of what is good for our hormone balance.
A full half of what we eat should be vegetables, with about a quarter protein and a quarter grains. We also need to think about reducing additives and processed foods like sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and all that weird stuff that gets added to processed food.
Essentially, eating your food as close to the ground where it was grown is best (that’s called a whole foods diet). You also need to eliminate any allergic foods unique to you, and experiment with cutting down or out some common sources of inflammation (like dairy, for example).
Supplements and cramps
There’s been a lot of research on this, and some supplements have been proven to help reduce cramps. Some of these need to be taken every day, and others just the few days before and during your period. Every body is different, so you will have to experiment to see what is right for you.
Eating healthy fats, like omega-3, fish oils, evening primrose oil, etc. are definitely helpful! There’s been a lot of research on this and it definitely shows a positive effect. See some studies here if you’re interested.
Magnesium is another one that can have a great benefit for reducing cramps. Taking it daily and then increasing the dose in the few days before and during your period has been shown to help.
Lots of others!
You definitely have options! Every person is different, and what works for one person may not work for another, so you will have to experiment and see where things make a difference. A lifetime of cramps won’t go away overnight, but if you are persistent you will get there! Most definitely, looking at your diet is the best place to start.