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Experiencing menstrual cramps for a few days every month is quite common for every woman. These cramps are commonly accompanied with pain. Menstrual cramps are referred to as dysmenorrhea. This is not a very serious health condition, but still the cramps can cause you pain and distress. You can manage the pain caused by menstrual cramps by making some simple changes and starting some practices. They are as follows:
Dietary Changes: You have to make several dietary modifications to manage menstrual cramps. Reduce fat from your daily diet and consume more vegetables. A low-fat diet helps in reducing the levels of inflammation in your body. These changes will successfully help you to reduce the severity of menstrual cramps. You have to adopt a well-balanced diet.
Medicines: Several painkillers which fall under the non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory groups are prescribed to relieve pain caused by the cramps. These medicines lower the production of prostaglandin that causes menstrual cramps. Inflammation and pain are relieved.
Consume Green Tea: There are certain green teas, which relieve menstrual cramps. Herbal tea has been used since medieval ages for this purpose. Cramp bark is an effective tea used for this reason. Peppermint oil tea is also considered good.
Fish Oil Supplements and Vitamin B1: Fish oil supplements and vitamin B1 help in naturally treating menstrual cramps. You will get quick and long-lasting relief by consuming these.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture can be utilised to treat menstrual cramps. The nervous system gets relaxed, which increases the flow of blood to the internal body organs. Acupuncture assures effective pain relief.
Massage Therapy: You can undergo massage therapy using certain essential oils. This provides great pain relief and is beneficial for menstrual cramps.
Heating Pads: Heating pads provide efficient relief to menstrual cramps. Topically applied heat is also considered to be effective and pain relief is obtained in a short period of time.
Boosting Endorphins: A boost in the endorphins improves your mood and gives relief from menstrual cramps. Endorphins are released when you work out or have an orgasm. Aerobic exercises and stretching techniques should be carried out regularly.
Boosting Magnesium: Boosting the amount of magnesium in your diet helps in relieving pain from menstrual cramps. You can consume food items rich in magnesium or magnesium supplements.
Menstrual cramps usually do not require hospitalisation and you can self-treat it using simple remedies. However, if the pain experienced due to cramps is very severe and does not go away, you must consult a doctor.
Folic acid is an important form of vitamin B which women must take during pregnancy. It is a form of man-made vitamin B known as folate. Folate plays a significant role in producing red blood cells and helps in the development of your baby’s neural tube into the brain and spinal cord, preventing any kind of birth defects in babies. Birth defects of the brain or spinal cord may occur in early stages of pregnancy. Therefore, by the time a woman discovers her pregnancy, it may become too late to prevent the defects.
How much folic acid should be taken?
A woman should start taking folic acid within the first three to four weeks of pregnancy, as birth defects may occur during this time. Women who start taking folic acid a year before getting pregnant produce healthy babies without birth defects.
400 mcg of folic acid is the recommended dose for all women who are of childbearing age and also in the first trimester of pregnancy. Multivitamins with the recommended amount of folate and folic acid supplements are generally prescribed as they help the mother deliver a healthy child. From the fourth to ninth month of pregnancy, the dose must be increased to 600 mcg.
Benefits of Folic Acid
Without sufficient folic acid in your body, the neural tube of your developing baby may not close properly. This may lead to neural tube defects, which include:
Spina bifida, a condition where the spinal cord or vertebrae develop incompletely. A baby with spina bifida may be disabled permanently.
Anencephaly, a condition that features incomplete development of the brain. Babies affected with anencephaly do not live long.
Having a sufficient supply of folic acid prevents these neural defects from developing in your baby.
Taking folic acid before and during pregnancy protects your baby against many other conditions. They include:
Cleft lip and palate.
Low weight during birth.
Chances of miscarriage.
Folic acid also reduces the risk of developing pregnancy complications in the mother such as heart diseases, stroke, several cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.
Folic acid is naturally found in dark-green vegetables, which you must consume in abundance. Other sources of folic acid include fortified breakfast cereals, beef liver, lentils, egg noodles and great northern beans.