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What are your menstrual cramps like and what do you do for them?

  • I don't get menstrual cramps.

    Votes: 6 8.6%
  • My menstrual cramps are mild.

    Votes: 11 15.7%
  • My menstrual cramps are moderate.

    Votes: 29 41.4%
  • My menstrual cramps are severe.

    Votes: 23 32.9%
  • The pain is so bad that I sometimes vomit.

    Votes: 12 17.1%
  • The pain is so bad that I sometimes pass out.

    Votes: 4 5.7%
  • I take painkillers during my period for the cramps.

    Votes: 40 57.1%
  • I take "the pill" or other medication to control the pain.

    Votes: 6 8.6%
  • I use heat to ease the cramps.

    Votes: 35 50.0%
  • I take dietary supplements to help prevent menstrual cramps (please specify).

    Votes: 9 12.9%
  • I take herbs to ease the pain (please specify).

    Votes: 7 10.0%
  • I have modified my diet to prevent menstrual cramps (please specify).

    Votes: 5 7.1%
  • Other (please specify).

    Votes: 10 14.3%
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm especially interested in holistic or alternative healing ideas for coping with severe menstrual cramps, but everybody should vote in the poll!
 

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I have a sock filled with rice that I heat in the microwave and put on my stomach when it's cramping. It works really well. Also, laying on the floor with my legs stretched out and my arms stretched above my head seems to help. It kind of stretches that area.
 

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I take ibruprophen and use heat to help the pain.I'm subbing to see what others have to say.
 

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I used to get very bad cramps, nausea, etc. I had to do major clean up in my life and diet after dd's birth so I don't know what helped to what extent. I am now gluten, dairy, soy, and egg free, and take a whole pile of vitamins. I know FOR SURE though that if I run out of magnesium than I will have bad cramps. I take 200-400 mg of magnesium/day.
 

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My cramps are mild to moderate and I use a couple tactics. First line of defense is a cal/mag supp and heated rice sock. I use prescription strength ibuprofen (600 mg. tab) if that doesn't help enough or if I have to go somewhere and can't use heat. I do take the cal/mag supp twice a day anyway but have definitely seen the extra help with the cramps.
 

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800 mg of Ibuprofen and a rice sock for me.<br><br>
My cramps aren't that bad now compared to how they were as a teen, but I still sometimes have enough pain to warrant doing something about it.<br><br>
I don't feel bad or whatever about taking an anti-inflammatory over the counter med like advil/ibuprofen for cramps b/c I take it regularly for headaches and other discomforts. Everyone is different, though, but I don't see any reason to continue to be in pain if there is a way to alleviate it (and heat, herbs, etc., aren't cutting it).<br><br>
I take magnesium daily - but it's not for menstrual cramps, and I have no idea if it makes a difference for me.
 

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I don't know if there's science to back it up but since I started taking b6 my cramps have been sooo much lighter. They used to be debilitating.
 

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My doctor suggested that I try taking 5 grams of high omega 3 fish oil a day for easing menstrual cramps. He said to take it consistently for two whole cycles, and then see how I felt on the third. Darned if my breast tenderness and cramps didn't almost completely go away after 2-3 months of fish oil!<br><br>
In the past I have always used heat: hot water bottle, sock filled with hot rice, or a hot bath. And my favorite herbal remedy is crampbark infuson. It tastes rather awful but is quite effective.
 

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I answered:<br><br>
My menstrual cramps are severe<br>
I take painkillers during my period for the cramps (formerly true. I am now allergic to NSAIDS, most certainly from taking 3 advil every 4 hours for two days, every month, for 8 or so years).<br>
I use heat to ease the cramps.<br>
I take dietary supplements to help prevent menstrual cramps (please specify) ( this isn't accurate. I misread it. I eat foods with specific nutrients but don't take supplements).<br>
I have modified my diet to prevent menstrual cramps (please specify).<br>
other<br><br><br>
I get cramps so bad I can't really move around much, I can't drive, I can't function. If I were the type to throw up from pain, I'm sure I would. I always took advil, and it got me to functioning, but not comfortable. Now that I'm allergic, I've been dealing with how to deal.<br><br>
The first month was truely hellish.<br><br>
The second (most recent) was not THAT bad. In fact, it was possibly the mildest cramps of my life! I *think* it was that I started drinking a banana/raw milk/egg yolk smoothie every morning (not just on my period, all month). There are a lot of nutrients in that combo that are reputed to help cramps (potassium, calcium, other things?) It might have been my body detoxing from the advil, as I've heard some women who claim their cramps were much lighter after advil detoxing (and not using any advil for any reason). I also started exercising 1x a week. Who really knows what was the biggest preventative factor.<br><br>
to help with the moderate cramps I still had, I use heat, and caffine (I never drink it outside of my period, so it is quite powerful a stimulant, and helps with the cramps and foggy headedness).
 

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I've found castor oil packs with heat work well. I've always had really bad cramps and used to use bcp and NSAIDS. I don't take that sort of stuff anymore. The cramps got a lot better after acupuncture and pregnancy, but I also changed all the supplements I was taking, stopped using tampons and improved my diet, so who knows what of all those things has helped. But the castor oil did help a lot at the time. Apply castor oil to a flannel and then use one of those heat packs that you can stick onto your underwear. Ahh, I can feel everything relaxing just writing about it. I think epsom baths help me as well.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kiwiva</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15398378"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've found castor oil packs with heat work well. I've always had really bad cramps and used to use bcp and NSAIDS. I don't take that sort of stuff anymore. The cramps got a lot better after acupuncture and pregnancy, but I also changed all the supplements I was taking, stopped using tampons and improved my diet, so who knows what of all those things has helped. But the castor oil did help a lot at the time. Apply castor oil to a flannel and then use one of those heat packs that you can stick onto your underwear. Ahh, I can feel everything relaxing just writing about it. I think epsom baths help me as well.</div>
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Can you do the castor oil packs without the heat? How many layers of flannel? Doing it without heat would mean I could leave the house with it (in the right pants, lol). Because I'm too cheap to buy those heat things that stick to your undies.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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I got my period before ibuprofen was available OTC in any form.<br><br>
I missed school, spent several days a month feeling like I was being torn apart.<br><br>
(Heck, when I first got my period, books and medical texts still were claiming that cramps were psychological and caused by girls and women rejecting their womanhood.)<br><br>
The first time I took ibuprofen on CD1, I called it a miracle drug. The difference was astounding.<br><br>
After that, it was 4-5 ibuprofen at the first sign of a cramp and I didn't have to miss school or work.<br><br>
My cramps totall changed and became much more manageable after having baby #1. They came back after awhile, but not nearly as all-encompassing and overwhelming. They went away completely again after #2 but again came back, milder afterwards.
 

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I would call mine moderate. They hurt like early labor, to me, only more constant. Sometimes I'm dizzy enough to warrant putting my head between my knees awhile.<br><br>
Anyway, I'm not really supposed to have ibuprofen because of my ulcerative colitis, but I've never found anything else that gives me any real relief. I only need the ibuprofen for about 36 hours a month. I do get a lot of relief from heat and from napping, but I have three little children and a part-time job and am active in the church, and sometimes I just can't spend a day and a half lying around in bed with a heating pad.
 

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Hi Mama,<br>
I used to have severe menstrual cramps (fever over 101, baaaaddd cramps, vomiting, etc.). I switched over to the Diva cup and cloth moon pads/mama pads and it is 100% better. I now have a much lighter flow overall, minimal cramping, etc. I haven't had to use any pain meds since switching.... it's fantastic.<br>
I swear by these two products!<br>
~maddymama
 

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I have made so many changes in my diet and lifestyle, it is impossible to tell what was the "answer".<br><br>
As a teen and young adult, I had the type of cramps that left me in bed moaning for two days and nothing helped. I fainted a lot, too. My diet was junk food and soda and fast food with a few homemade meals thrown in every once in awhile.<br><br>
Over time, I have completely changed my diet and drink mostly water. Had a baby in there, too.<br><br>
When I get cramps nowadays, I do gentle yoga and drink extra water and take a slow and easy walk. Viola!
 

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Ditch the tampons and invest in some cloth pads. As Maddymama said, 100% better. Cramps are almost non-existent now and lighter flow/less days overall.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all these fabulous ideas! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><br><br>
I'm intrigued with this cloth vs. disposable pads idea. What's the theory behind how the disposable pads cause more cramping and bleeding? (I don't use tampons.)
 

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I discovered by accident that Red Raspberry Leaf seems to ease mine. I was taking Rubus Idaeus while trying to get pregnant, as prescribed by my ND. Was having cramps one day, before I took my daily dose, and the cramps were soon gone. Have been using it for quite a while now, and it always seems to work!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rayo de sol</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15402537"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks for all these fabulous ideas! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><br><br>
I'm intrigued with this cloth vs. disposable pads idea. What's the theory behind how the disposable pads cause more cramping and bleeding? (I don't use tampons.)</div>
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My understanding is that it could have something to do with the dioxins in the disposable pads but don't quote me on that. Cloth pads are much more comfy that paper though!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Trac</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15402568"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I discovered by accident that Red Raspberry Leaf seems to ease mine. I was taking Rubus Idaeus while trying to get pregnant, as prescribed by my ND. Was having cramps one day, before I took my daily dose, and the cramps were soon gone. Have been using it for quite a while now, and it always seems to work!</div>
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Thanks for this! Are you taking capsules or making a tea/infusion? It's been ages since I've had the tea but it would be a nice addition to my anti-cramp arsenal.
 
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