Reduce Inflammatory Foods to Help Menstrual Pain

Female adolescents and those suffering from severe cramps could want to reconsider their lifestyle.

This is the conclusion of a literature review that was presented at the NAMS annual meeting in Atlanta on October 12, 2022.

For college-aged and teenage girls, severe periods are the main reason they miss school. Changes in the diet of these women can dramatically improve their quality of living," Serah Sanah, who has presented her research before obtaining her bachelor's at Rutgers University. She is currently a Temple University first-year medical student at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine.

Period Pain can make it difficult for girls and women to have a normal life.

NAMS estimates that around 90 percent of teenage girls have menstrual discomfort. Sometimes, pain can be so severe that it affects daily life.

Sannoh did just that, and she was able to identify natural treatments to aid herself.

Sannoh had long experienced regular periods until the senior year in high school. Then, her cramps became unbearable. It was so painful that I could not get up from my bed. "It felt as if my stomach was inverted, and I'd throw up," she said.

Pain relief with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen were often recommended for cramps. However, they did not adequately ease the pain . The discomfort began as soon as there was any blood in the area and could last up to four hours.

It is important to avoid inflammatory foods in order to reduce the severity of cramps

Sannoh analyzed the literature extensively and found 20 articles. These included questionnaires and random trials as well as nested control cases studies.

Conclusion: The diet can have an impact on cramps. Particularly problematic foods high in omega-6 fat acids (which promote inflammation within the body) are

Sannoh states that this is a particular problem for teenagers. The American diet that girls eat at this stage of life is high in saturated fats. These fats can be found in both processed oil and meats. These foods are often found in fast-food restaurants and colleges food halls, she said.

Other inflammatory foods that can worsen cramps include sugar , salt and coffee. Basic biology is the reason why all of these foods can cause menstrual cramps.

According to Monica Christmas (MD), director of Center for Women's Integrated Health at University of Chicago, and a board trustee for NAMS who wasn't part of this study, "Inflammatory food increases the release of prostaglandins which cause vasoconstriction, leading to pain." According to her, prostaglandins cause constriction of blood vessels and cramping in the walls the uterus.

Sannoh says that girls and women with higher levels of prostaglandins are more likely to suffer from severe menstrual cramping.

Some foods can help prevent Cramps

Sannoh found out that certain foods can have an opposite effect and prevent cramps. These foods include those high in omega-3 fat acids which are known to lower inflammation .

Omega-3s are abundant in seafood like tuna, salmon, anchovies and sardines. Omega-3s are found in flax, flax, walnuts and chia seeds. They also can be found in oils, such as olive oil, coconut oil, or other vegetable oils, like canola. Many foods, such as eggs, yogurt and milk, are fortified with omega-3s.

According to her abstract, "Menstrual pain is caused inflammation."

Plant-Based Diets Can Be Anti-Inflammatory

Sannoh concluded that long-term cramp relief can be achieved by eating a plant based diet which does not include or restrict meat. Sannoh's research refers to a Nutrition Research study in which participants were randomly assigned to follow a variety of diets from vegetarian to vegan. While menstrual cramps could not be directly measured, participants who were vegan, vegetarian or pescovegetarian (plants & fish) eating plan had significantly lower bodily inflammation.

The Study's Lead was Helped by This Method of Eating

Sannoh hopes young women will be inspired to improve their lives by better understanding how foods and cramps work.

This has worked for her. "I am West African, and the cow meat in my culture is very high. I have reduced my consumption. She also said that she reduced sugary foods, such as my favourite chocolate bars and coffee.

These foods are still available to her occasionally, although not nearly as often and not at the same time.

It has really made a difference.

She said, "The pain is lower, the cramping less frequent, and I can now take an ibuprofen to go about my daily life,"

Dr. Christmas suggests that the greater your diet changes are, the better they will be,

According to her, "Eating less inflammatory food during the month will help you see some results." You can't reverse the effect of poor nutrition in as little time as a few days.

These diet changes can do more than just improve cramps. Christmas suggests. This study is a great example of how to choose healthy eating habits early in life. Healthy eating habits at an early stage of life are highly recommended for longevity and good overall health .