HomeHealthCareCan certain foods make period pain worse?

Can certain foods make period pain worse?

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Can certain foods make period pain worse?

While junk food may satisfy your cravings immediately before or during your period, it is unlikely to help you relieve period discomfort.

An examination of data presented at the annual conference of the North American Menopause Society reveals that there may be a relationship between particular meals and period discomfort.

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 The study was limited to teens and did not address period discomfort caused by an underlying medical disease such as endometriosis.

What is menstrual or period pain?

Menstrual pain is the most frequent menstrual symptom in teenage girls and young women, with up to 50% suffering painful periods.

While endometriosis can cause period pain, most teens have period pain in the absence of other pelvic medical issues, which is known as primary dysmenorrhea.

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The Role of Fats in Period Pain

Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that can be beneficial to one’s diet. However, the study found that diets rich in omega-6 fatty acids induce inflammation, whereas eating diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids

Examples of omega-3 foods include

(Fish and other types of seafood (especially cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines)

Seeds and nuts (such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts)

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Oils derived from plants (such as flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and canola oil)

These foods help minimize inflammation. According to the presentation, inflammation may be a major cause of period discomfort.

Inflammation can stimulate the synthesis of prostaglandins, a hormone-like molecule. While these substances are necessary for causing the uterus to contract and shed the lining during a monthly cycle (leading to bleeding), having too much of them can induce painful contractions.

A prostaglandin imbalance has also been related to lower uterine blood flow and increased sensitivity, two more characteristics that might influence the severity of period pain. 

Many vegetable oils, certain meats, and a range of baked products include omega-6 fatty acids, which may increase inflammation if not balanced with enough omega-3 fatty acids (like many cakes). Sugar and salt consumption are also associated with inflammation.

Oily salmon, avocados, and chia seeds are all high in omega-3 fatty acids.

What to Eat to Get Rid of Period Cramps

While many menstrual women suffer period pain every month, acute discomfort that interferes with normal functioning should not become the norm.

Experiencing excruciating pelvic discomfort during a period cycle may be an indication of “underlying disorders like endometriosis, fibroids, or ovarian cysts,” Melissa Azzaro, RDN, LD, a registered dietitian and podcast presenter at Hormonally Yours, told Verywell.

“This should be checked by an OB-GYN to rule out anything.” “If you don’t have any underlying issues, adopting dietary changes may or may not assist.”

While additional study is needed, there is some evidence that consuming the following foods may boost your odds of having less discomfort during your period.

Fish

Fish, particularly oily fish like salmon, is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Because omega-3 fatty acids can inhibit the synthesis of inflammatory prostaglandins, eating meals high in these healthy fats may help minimize severe pain sensations.

Previous research has linked the high consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources, such as fish, to pain reduction.

And individuals who have period discomfort tend to eat less fish than those who do not.

If you don’t eat fish, alternative sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as chia seeds, walnuts, and avocados, can help you ingest this beneficial fat and balance your body’s omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

Dairy

Dairy meals are rich in essential micronutrients such as calcium. Calcium modulates muscle cells’ capacity to react to nerve stimulation. As a result, low calcium levels can cause muscle spasms and contractions.

Calcium levels have been demonstrated in studies to influence pain severity, particularly period discomfort.

Dairy intake has been demonstrated in studies to have a substantial inverse relationship with period discomfort. 

Milk, yogurt, and kefir may help with period pain relief, but avoid cheese as a dairy source. According to older statistics, people who have unpleasant periods prefer to eat more cheese.

Fruit

Many fruits, which are naturally high in vitamins, fiber, and carbs, maybe a healthy element of a balanced diet. According to several studies, people who consume more fruit have fewer uncomfortable periods than those who eat less fruit.

Strawberry eating is especially connected to decreased period pain, despite the fact that any fruit appears to be favorable for menstrual discomfort. A smaller-scale investigation found that consuming dried figs throughout the menstrual cycle had the same effect. 

Water

A simple glass of water can help relieve period discomfort, especially if the person is dehydrated.

Period pain can be exacerbated not just by prostaglandins but also by the release of a substance that constricts blood vessels (a vasoconstrictor).

Even a minor deficiency of water in the body might activate a vasoconstrictor. One tiny piece of research found that women who drank more water needed less pain medication throughout their menstrual periods than those who drank less water.

Water can also help reduce uterine contractions, which are connected to cramping.

Avoid caffeinated beverages.

If you have unpleasant periods, you might want to reconsider your regular cup of coffee or tea. Caffeine, as a vasoconstrictor, has been linked to increased period discomfort.

While little amounts of caffeine may not have a significant impact on period discomfort, cutting back may provide some advantages. According to research, reducing your consumption to less than 300 milligrams per day may help you avoid period pain.

Consider mixing it up with herbal tea, decaffeinated coffee, and plain old water. Another alternative is 100% fruit juice, which may provide key vitamins and minerals while also helping you achieve your daily fruit requirement.

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