The things you crave to relieve pre-menstrual cramps can actually make you feel worse. ‘During your period, your body releases the hormone prostaglandin, which causes pain,’ says Abubaker Elmardi, a consultant* at Staffordshire General Hospital. ‘But there are ways to cope with cramps without compromising the rest of your life.’
|1. Chilling out with a bottle of wine. And six mojitos.
||Alcohol might relax you, but it’s dehydrating and contains toxins. Also, mixing alcohol with painkillers can damage your liver.
||One draught of Guinness has enough alcohol to dull pain and it also helps replace any lost iron.
|2. Tucking into a whole tub of Gino Ginelli.
||Eating the equivalent of 1¼ cups of sugar floods acid into your stomach, causing indigestion, which makes PMS more painful.
||Custard is filling, not too sweet and its heat distracts your pain receptors from the cramps.
|3. Ditching your gym session to slouch on the sofa.
||Lying around thinking about the pain you’re in is guaranteed to make you feel worse.
||Light exercise, like power walking, will trigger anaesthetising endorphins.
|4. Sex. Well, it usually perks you up.
||The hormonal high you normally get will only happen if you stop worrying about getting your period during sex.
||Doctor’s orders: foot rubs and massages help you forget PMS. Share the good news with your boyfriend.
* Consultant Abubaker Elmardi runs a clinic for women with heavy periods at Staffordshire General Hospital.