7 Surprising Signs You're Way Too Stressed
Women under high stress are more than twice as likely to experience severe menstrual pain during their period as those with generally low stress, according to a study at the Harvard School of Public Health. "Stress intensifies the discomfort that already exists," explains Diana Dell, MD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and obstetrics-gynecology at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Chemicals called prostaglandins cause uterine contractions and cramps; and when you're anxious, these "normal" cramps will feel much worse.
Nix It: To block the production of prostaglandins, take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen or naproxen at the first twinge of pain or one or two days before you get your period, recommends Dr. Dell. If this doesn't help, talk to your doctor about taking a prescription muscle relaxant. Research suggests that monthly acupuncture and acupressure may alleviate intense menstrual pain. Applying a heating pad to your lower abdomen can also ease discomfort.
What do you think of this story? Leave a Comment.
SAVE EVEN MORE! Say "Yes" to Fitness® Magazine today and get a second year for HALF PRICE – 2 full years (20 issues) for just $15. You also get our new Fitness Band and Total Body Express Band Workout ABSOLUTELY FREE! (U.S. orders only)