A recent study has shown the benefits of zinc for period pains. Taking zinc supplements just before the onset of menstruation has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of period pains, also known as dysmenorrhoea.
The way zinc works is by slowing down the production of prostaglandins – the biochemical compounds involved with inflammation and cramping, and thereby reducing the severity of the pain produced.
In addition to it’s role with prostaglandins, zinc is an essential cofactor for over 200 enzymes in the body with a very important role in a healthy immune system, proper synthesis of DNA, promoting healthy growth during childhood, and healing wounds.
Diet and lifestyle considerations for the improvement of period pain:
- Eating a healthy diet is important for general health and may also help relieve PMS symptoms such as bloating, breast tenderness, weight gain, irritability, and headaches
- A healthy diet includes eating foods high in complex carbohydrates, like whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoiding saturated fats (chocolate, cakes, biscuits, fatty foods and deep fried foods). It may also help to avoid salt, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, red meat, and dairy products
- Excessive consumption of dietary arachidonic acid (AA), found in red meat contribute to dysmenorrhea (due to AA increasing the production of prostaglandins (hormone-like substances that play a role in activation of the onset of bleeding)
- Pain relief methods such as massage or acupuncture may help reduce menstrual pain severity, pain medication use, and anxiety associated with menstruation
- Exercise is an important factor for reproductive health. Exercise helps to increase endorphins – potent anti-inflammatories – to reduce the pain associated with PMT
Supplements – nutrients and herbs:
|Zinc: helps with inflammatory response and cramping||B vitamins: help with hormonal modulation|
|Magnesium: helps with muscle relaxation and cramping||Fish oil: specifically DHA, acts on the inflammatory pathways, reducing their impact in pain and cramping|
|Flaxseed oil: rich source of fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid – a precursor Omega 3 acid which is involved in inflammatory actions||Panax noto ginseng: has an anti-haemorrhagic and anti-inflammatory action especially in the pelvic region, and promotes healing|
|Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus): a great hormone balancing herb – better balanced hormones lead to less cramping and heavy bleeding||Liver herbs: dandelion, bupleurum, St Mary’s Thistle: supporting the liver and reducing any congestion in this organ improves hormone balance and improves overall health of the pelvic area and reproductive organs|
Hormonal imbalances are very common in women of all ages. The great news, with the right input, support and nutrients, they can be greatly improved, leading to a better quality of life.
Call us at the Natural Chemist to book in for a consult to help you with any hormonal imbalances you suspect you may have. T: 1300 882 303