Many women suffer from premenstrual symptoms or menstrual cramps every month. Faced with an array of medications and home remedies to try to alleviate these symptoms, some women are now finding that they can control their bodies better by ensuring they get the right mix of the vitamin blend and minerals their body needs.
What Vitamins and Minerals Help?
Doctors have recommended for year that menstruating women take extra iron to prevent anemia. With the loss of blood over several days, many women find that their iron levels plunge. The recommended 15 mg per day is easiest to consume as a dietary supplement, either on its own or as part of a multivitamin.
Women who find they crave red meat during their periods should think twice about giving into these cravings. Beef, lamb and pork may actually aggravate menstrual cramping. Our bodies use the saturated fats from these meats to create chemicals that cause the uterus to contract, creating cramps. So while you may be solving one problem, the need for extra iron, you could be making a cramping problem worse.
Studies have shown that a diet high in calcium can provide relief from menstrual cramps. Recommended doses vary from 1,000 mg to 1,500 mg per day. Since a diet high in calcium is important for strong bones anyway, making sure you take enough to help control cramps is a great idea.
The other nutrient combination that has been shown to help with cramping is the vitamin B 6 and niacin. It's important to keep an eye on the level of B 6 in any supplement you're taking, since excessive levels can be toxic. The dose should be in the 200-300 mg range.
Niacin works best if you start taking it between seven and ten days before your period is due to begin. Then you should stop taking it the day your period starts. The minimum effective dose is 25 mg, but if that doesn't work for you, try increasing the amount.
Some women need as much as 200 mg of niacin per day to ward off cramps. There is a need for caution in women with liver problems, who should only take niacin after checking with their doctors for possible problems.
Another supplement recommended to keep women feeling great during their periods is the vitamin C. Getting as much as 1,000 mg every day may keep you feeling better and prevent some of the normal discomfort.
Not Just the Vitamin - Nutritional Tips
Don't stop with just the vitamin. For women who tend to retain water during their periods, it's important to limit sodium. Salty snacks like chips and cheeses can make you feel bloated. Some of the worst offenders are processed foods like canned soups and microwave dinners. Be sure to read labels and keep your salt intake down until your period ends.
The other common complaint with monthly cycles is a tendency to become constipated. By adding extra fiber to your diet during your period, you should be able to keep your digestive system functioning normally.
There will always be a certain amount of inconvenience women face during their periods, but it doesn't have to include debilitating pain. Following these suggestions for using the vitamin and mineral suggestions here to reduce symptoms may offer some women a chance to feel a little more normal throughout their menstrual cycles.
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