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Dysmenorrhea: What It Is, Causes, Treatments

Dysmenorrhea: What It Is, Causes, Treatments
Dysmenorrhea: What It Is, Causes, Treatments

Monika Kozub via Unsplash

Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for painful menstrual flow or periods.

There are two main kinds of dysmenorrhea: primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea.

Primary dysmenorrhea has to do with recurrent pain. Secondary dysmenorrhea, however, is as a result of reproductive system disorders. Both conditions are treatable.

What is Menstrual Cramps

Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for what is commonly known as menstrual cramps.

Under dysmenorrhea, there is primary and secondary.

Primary dysmenorrhea occurs repeatedly and they are not usually as a result of other underlying diseases or disorders.

With primary dysmenorrhea, pain usually starts one or two days before your period or when the bleeding starts.

The sort of pain you feel may range from  mild to severe in the lower abdomen, back or thighs.

Typically the pain can last 12 to 72 hours. Also, there are other symptoms you may experience such as nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and even diarrhea.

Common menstrual cramps may become less painful as you get older and may stop entirely if you have a baby.

Secondary dysmenorrhea means menstrual cramps that arise from other underlying conditions. Pain from secondary dysmenorrhea typically starts earlier in the menstrual cycle and lasts longer than common menstrual cramps. Usually, it does not come with nausea, vomiting, fatigue or diarrhea.

What Causes Painful Menstrual Cramps

Menstrual cramps occur when a chemical called prostaglandin makes the uterus contract (tighten up). The uterus, the muscular organ where a baby grows, contracts throughout your menstrual cycle. During menstruation, the uterus contracts more strongly.

If the uterus contracts too strongly, it can press against nearby blood vessels, cutting off the supply of oxygen to muscle tissue. You feel pain when part of the muscle briefly loses its supply of oxygen.

How does secondary dysmenorrhea cause menstrual cramps?

Menstrual pain from secondary dysmenorrhea is due to problems with the reproductive organs. Conditions that can cause cramping include:

Endometriosis: This is a condition in which the tissue lining the uterus (the endometrium) is found outside of the uterus. Because these pieces of tissue bleed during your period, they can cause swelling, scarring and intense pain.

Adenomyosis: This is a condition where the lining of the uterus grows into the muscle of the uterus. This condition can cause the uterus to get much bigger than it should be, along with abnormal bleeding and pain.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): This is an infection caused by bacteria that starts in the uterus and can spread to other reproductive organs. PID can cause pain in the stomach or pain during sex.

Cervical stenosis: Narrowing of the cervix, or the opening to the uterus.

Fibroids (benign tumors): Growths on the inside, outside or in the walls of the uterus.

Typical symptoms of dysmenorrhea 

These are the typical symptoms of dysmenorrhea:

  •  Pain (may be severe sometimes) in the abdomen
  • Feeling of pressure in the abdomen
  • Pain in the hips, lower back and inner thighs.

How to relieve mild menstrual cramps

To relieve the symptoms of mild menstrual cramps, you can do the following:

  • For the best relief, take ibuprofen as soon as bleeding or cramping starts. Ibuprofen belongs to a class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They reduce the output of prostaglandins. If you can’t take NSAIDs, you can take another pain reliever like acetaminophen.
  • Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower back or abdomen.
  • You should also try to rest when needed.
  • Avoid foods that contain caffeine.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Massage your lower back and abdomen.

Women who exercise regularly often have less menstrual pain. To help prevent cramps, make exercise a part of your weekly routine.

 

 

 

 

 

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Food and Health

Health Benefits Of Mackerel Fish

Eating fish is important for a balanced diet and mackerel fish are some of the most widely available and healthiest fish around.

However, before you add mackerel to your diet, it is important to know where they come from and what health benefits and possible side effects they hold.

Mackerel fish is actually a general term that encompasses more than 30 species of fish, most of which belong to the Scombridae.

In many parts of the world, mackerel fish are known as bangada.

These fish are typically found near coastal areas, where they breed and feed, and their range includes both tropical and temperate regions.

Mackerel fish are usually found in large schools, which makes them an easy target for commercial fishermen.

This makes mackerel one of the most common fish on the menu, particularly in North America.

Ranging from 20 cm to 200 cm, these fish have varying physical characteristics, but they offer similar flavor and a relatively aligned nutrient profile.

Mackerel Fish Nutrition Facts

Mackerel species are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as possible high levels of vitamin B12 (nearly 700% of your daily requirement).

They may contain minerals like selenium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron.

There can be smaller amounts of vitamin A, potassium, zinc, and sodium in it.

Along with 230 calories per filet – an average of 100 grams – there are also 21 grams of protein, representing roughly 40% of your daily required intake.

Due to this impressive nutrient profile and the different ways to prepare mackerel, it remains one of the most popular and readily consumed fish in the world.

Health Benefits of Mackerel Fish

The health benefits of mackerel fish may include improving hair health, protecting the skin, preventing age-related macular degeneration, strengthening the immune system, lowering cholesterol levels, preventing chronic disease, and boosting bone health, among others.

Skin Care

With ample amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and selenium, mackerel fish can possibly take care of all your skincare needs.

These substances may act as antioxidants within the body and possibly helping reduce oxidative stress and the effects of free radicals, which are the natural byproducts of cellular metabolism.

They can also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots and relieve certain inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

Hair Care

There are many nutrients that are critical to hair care such as protein, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which might be found in mackerel fish.

A regular dose of these nutrients in your diet will help improve the luster and look of your hair, while also strengthening the hair strands and reducing the effects of scalp conditions, such as dandruff.

May Boost Immunity

Despite having a low level of vitamin C, mackerel fish are still praised for their effects on the immune system.

Coenzyme Q10 is one of the unique elements in mackerel fish that is closely associated with preventing infections and strengthening the body’s defense against oxidative stress.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also known to possibly reduce inflammation, which can put unnecessary strain on the immune system.

May Lower Cholesterol Levels

With an impressive level of omega-3 fatty acids, mackerel fish might improve cholesterol balance in the body by lowering LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL cholesterol levels.

This might reduce the amount of cholesterol that is oxidized and deposited in the arteries as plaque, so this fish is known to possibly lower your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, and coronary heart diseases.

 

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Food and Health

Benefits Of Eating Cocoyam

Colocasia esculenta popularly known as cocoyam is a tropical, perenial crop.

It is a starchy tuber crop with three parts namely; corn, stem and leaves, which is grown basically for edible root.

It is the thick, tuber stalk of the Cocoyam plant is an extremely important part of global cuisines and diets, as it has been for thousands of years.

It can also be grown as an ornamental plant for the beautification of the environment as well as a medicinal plant.

Cocoyam has its origin from Asia or Southeast Asia as some researchers have found out and it is a known staple crop in most developing countries of Africa.

It can also be found in India, USA, Japan as well as Singapore.

The health benefits of eating cocoyam  includes providing strength for good aerobic exercise, improving heart and bone health, improving enzyme function and fighting anemia.

Cocoyam contains a wealth of organic compounds, minerals, and vitamins that can benefit our overall health in a number of ways.

One cup (132 grams) of cooked cocoyam has 187 calories — mostly from carbs — and fewer than one gram each of protein and fat.

It has a very significant amount of dietary fiber and carbohydrates, as well as high levels of vitamin A, C, E, vitamin B6, and folate, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database.

There is magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, and copper in it.

The plant also provides some protein in your diet, but the amount is almost negligible.

Health Benefits Of Eating Cocoyam

Keeps Hunger At Bay

The Cocoyam is rather calorie-sparse at 142 calories per 100g – around 13% of the possible calorie content.

The low-calorie and high “bulk” of tubers such as cocoyam has made them a staple in diets across the world as they will reduce hunger and make you feel “full” without too many calories.

For this reason, Cocoyam can be an excellent food addition for those who are dieting, as one of the hardest parts of losing weight is getting past the feelings of hunger.

Helps Control Blood Sugar

Although Cocoyam is a starchy vegetable, it contains two types of carbohydrates that are beneficial for blood sugar management: fiber and resistant starch.

Fiber is a carbohydrate that humans can’t digest. Since it’s not absorbed, it has no impact on blood sugar levels.

It also helps slow down the digestion and absorption of other carbs, preventing large blood sugar spikes after meals.

Cancer Prevention 

The health benefits of eating cocoyam plays an important part in the antioxidant activity in our bodies.

High level of vitamin A, vitamin C, and various other phenolic antioxidants found in Cocoyam help to boost immune system and help eliminate dangerous free radicals from our system.

By eliminating these free radicals, our general health is almost guaranteed.

Cryptoxanthin, which is found in Cocoyam, is directly related to a lowered chance of developing both lung and oral cancers.

Reduces Muscle Cramps 

Consuming high-potassium foods is directly related to decreased muscle cramping and improved muscle strength.

Muscle cramps are one of the common side effects of low potassium levels.

This happens when an athlete becomes dehydrated and don’t consume enough potassium-rich foods before and after exercise.

Boosts Immune System

Cocoyam plays an important role in the immune system.

Vitamin C is found in Cocoyams, which helps to encourage immune system to create more white blood cells, which help to defend the body from foreign pathogens and agents.

Additionally, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, which moderately prevents the development of conditions such as heart disease and cancer.

Generally, the health benefits of eating cocoyam includes improving the chances of dietary success, supporting digestive health, a good source of carbohydrate, improving metabolic efficiency and nutrient absorption, strengthening immune function and supporting blood health.

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Food and Health

Healthy Benefits Of Tiger Nuts For Women

Tiger nut (Cyperus esculentus) is not actually a nut.

They are classified as tubers that start growth under the dirt and are classed under the sedge family, also known as tiger nutsedge, yellow nutsedge, or earth almond.

Scientists have come to understand that tiger nuts were a source of nutrition for the earliest humans and before.

This article looks at six healthy benefits of tiger nuts for women.

It is rich in high insoluble fiber

The US National Library of Medicine has documented that 100g of tiger nut flour contains around 59.71g of dietary fibre.

The most significant finding was that it’s high in insoluble fibre which makes our fiber friendly friends list that also includes foods such as carrots, cabbage, chia seeds, oats and apples.

This insoluble fiber helps to bulk up stool so it’s easier to pass and can be very helpful with constipation.

A diet high in fibre during pregnancy has been observed to reduce preeclampsia and cardiovascular risks.

The University of California San Francisco recommends that pregnant women eat between 20-35 grams per day.

Ideal for anyone with lactose intolerance

For those who are lactose intolerant and unable to consume cow’s milk, this is an ideal substitute and a healthy option.

If you compare all non-dairy milk alternatives, this one has the highest nutritional, healthy fat and fiber content.

It’s also a good source of calcium, and can be one nutritious food to help achieve the 1,000 to 1,300 mg dairy recommended calcium intake.

Cardiovascular disease protection

According to the National Health Institute, vitamin E is an antioxidant-rich fat-soluble compound important for repairing free radical damage, a healthy immune system and important in blood vessel and heart health.

Food is preferred to supplements when it comes to vitamin E, and tiger nuts have vitamin E in abundance in both milk and flour form.

It also boosts good cholesterol

The word cholesterol makes most of us panic, but we all need cholesterol to survive and the right types of cholesterol are important for our health.

For example, oleic acid a type of monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) found in tiger nuts (the same one that’s also in avocados and olive oil) assists in increasing the “happy” HDL cholesterol, essential for mother and baby during the nine months.

Excellent source of magnesium

Magnesium can carry out over 300 vital biochemical tasks in the body according to the Office of Dietary Supplements.

A 100 grams of tiger nuts provide up to 17 percent magnesium , helping promote the standard function of nerves, maintain blood pressure levels, control sugars and strengthen bones.

Aids digestion and health gut

As we have learned the health benefits of tiger nuts are many, making them a fantastic food for anyone.

In Asia and Africa where tiger nuts are most prevalent, they have been used to treat ailments for the stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, and cover a wide range of digestive complaints.

Outside the medical system and in medication passed down through generations, tiger nuts have been known to aid in the treatment of flatulence and diarrhoea.

This could be due to the fact that those little tubers are rich in resistance starch that acts as a prebiotic to help feed our gut flora and maintain a healthy digestive system.

We all understand that during pregnancy digestive problems can occur, so a regular intake of tiger nuts will be of immense benefit.

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