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Menstrual Cramps: Eliminate them. Period.

c-pkoAlmost every woman I speak with thinks that fatigue, cramps, and misery is a normal part of the month.  Well, I got great news: It’s not.   Many of the issues with the world today is the fact that we are simply surrounded by a bubble of endocrine dysruptors, aka toxins in our environment.  From touching our phone, to inhaling fumes, to bringing home furniture  (house plants take care of this!),  microplastics in clothes, hormones and synthetic chemicals in our drinking water, to pesticides in our food… OMG… it’s really overwhelming.  This is one of the reasons I could not dedicate my life to environmental medicine.  Yet, I do feel as if I am in an environmental warfare on all the levels.

What is the solution other than moving off grid and eating off of the land?  Well, I have one that can reset your hormones in about 3 months and you can say so long suckers to those days of extra inflammatory pain that creeps its head into your life (hopefully every month).

What are Cramps & Why are They Here?

Great Question!  Well cramps are simply inflammation from excess prostaglandins that get released during that time of the month due to hormonal fluctuations when you begin to bleed.  Though they are common, one thing is for certain, they are not a sign of health.   The long and non-complete list above is partly to blame for these endocrine “dysruptors”.   Estrogen-dominance, weight gain, autoimmune thyroiditis and eventually age-related diseases are all being linked to these toxicities that we are exposed to on the reg.

Often these chemicals cause a hormone imbalance that leads to heavier periods (due to a thicker uterine lining), and difficult clots to pass, which causes cramping.

When to go see a Doctor?

Also a great consideration.  General cramps and fatigue that can be quelled with NSAIDs are safe.  There are other considerations such as Endometriosis & PCOS to consider, especially if you experience Nausea, Vomiting, and other accompanying symptoms or signs that warrant imaging (Ultrasounds are standard)

 

Treatment Consideration

  • Speaking of NSAIDS…. Did you know NSAIDs are linked to fertility issues if you use them consecutively within a week to 2 weeks?!  They also are known to cause gastric bleeding and may increase the risk of Heart Attacks in Females!
  • OCPs or Birth Control is another common answer by the allopathic medical system for Dysmenorrhea (painful periods).  Depending on which form of the pill or IUD you chose, there are numerous risky side effects including increased risks of clots (MI, strokes, etc).  Plus I have rarely seen the Pill totally address these issues.  In fact, I often see what many of us Natural Medicine Doctors call Post Birth Control Syndrome.
    • Personal Story! I even got this from having a Copper IUD.   I went and got this as the best form of Natural Birth Control before I knew about the Basal Body Temperature Method.   when I had a live-in boyfriend.  We both thought great idea & holy hell.  My first 2 periods were ridiculous.  After that, I had heavier bleeding and cramps every month.  Then, my Uterus was just simply pissed I had a copper T shoved into my cervix and was literally trying to squeeze it out every Moon (menses / bleeding time).  At this time, Cramp Bark, Castor Oil c Geranium & Kava were my besties
    • See Below for Fertility Tracking Methods including the non-patriarchal free app for a healthy conception!

Natural Methods: Diet & Lifestyle

  • Eat Well! A Rainbow a day makes everyone Gay! (happy, not homosexual 😉 )  Sound overwhelming?  Great… you are probably the person that will benefit the quickest from this!  It is pure logic and science that what we eat daily can increase or decrease inflammation bringing us closer and further away from dis-ease.
    • Including a Green Smoothie /day (1 Banana, 2 Hanfuls of Spinach + Blueberries gets you 3 servings of fruit / veg)
    • + 1 salad a day gets you to about 4-5.
    • Now let’s try to get you to more after making that baby step! I personally use greens powders to get me there.
  • Sleep plenty & Stress Less… Easy Right?! hah, kind of, if you prioritize it.  Meditation, Herbs, Yoga, and less screen time gets me there.  The More Sleep, the more repair for our body, the less inflammation.  The less stress, the less inflammatory mediators.  What really gets me there, is thinking is this really worth my time if I died tomorrow?! Nah, I’d rather be happy here and now.
    • Herbs such as Tulsi & Motherwort are some of my besties for chillin’ out.  Kava & Wild Lettuce are my big guns for anxiety.  I dose them at about 6-9 dropperfuls / day tincture or in a tea at 4 c/ day.  I generally prefer tincture for my on-the-go lifestyle.
      • *Do not take motherwort if you are potentially preggers.*
    • Yogi Sleepy Time tea is my jam!
  • Get rid of toxins in your home: Switch to GlassLock Tupperware.  You can get this pack on Amazon for the least expensive I’ve seen in an 18 pack.  Plastics are full of Endocrine Disruptors and BPA is not the only offender.
  • Switch to green clean products.  TJMax & Marshall’s have amazing discounts on these products all the time.  I LOVE Alaffia Shampoo.  And I generally make my own lotions or go to Evan Healy when I am feeling extra spoiled n special.
  • Go Organic!  No extra funds? Hit the Farmer’s Market, stay plant based.  If you can only go organic on one thing and are an Omnivore, go local and organic with your meats.  This is crucial, as they load up our farmed animals with hormones that disrupt our own hormones!
  • Exercise: Does it every time.  For moods, for inflammation, for freeing up stagnation in the Lympathic system that may cause hormone imbalances.

Natural Medicines: Addressing Inflammation & Pain

  • Cramp Bark, Valerian, Black Haw, Kava are my go-tos.  Dong Quai tastes delicious in teas and is a beautiful Aromatic herb that has an affinity for the Pelvis.
  • Topical: Castor Oil with a tad bit of Geranium Essential Oil rubbed over your belly at night.  Beware, castor stains everything.  This can also help shrink cysts on your ovaries if that is an issue.
  • Magnesium deficiency may be a factor.  Many people love the CalMag Powder.  I love Cocoa (not sugary fake chocolate, but the REAL DEAL such making a cocoa smoothie or the Human Chocolate Bars), Epsom Salt baths, & eating well for my Magnesium.
  • I LOVE professional Formulations Cox2Calm for quickly addressing inflammatory-related pain also.  Otherwise, I eat Hemp Seeds on the regular basis, turmeric in my coffee or smoothies, Golden Mylk & eat CLEAN!
  • Switching from chemical filled tampons to the Cup, Natural Pads or Sea Sponges reduce cramps over 25%

 

→Fertility Tracking Methods:

https://www.fitpregnancy.com/pregnancy/getting-pregnant/best-fertility-apps

  • Ovia is really great because it’s free! And because you can check in with the foods you are eating to check and see which foods are affecting your fertility.
  • Natural Cycles claims 99% accurate and is less expensive than the Daysy Method
  • If you are looking to Conceive, Glow may be your best bet.  More often than not, the men’s sperm may be deformed so you and your partner are tracked by Glow which is the non Patriarchal method to look at things anyway!  Funny enough, it’s made by the owner of Payaol

 

 

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