How To Effectively Use Cranberry for Period Pain Relief
So many women suffer every month from painful menstrual cycles and are searching for ways to cure this. There is some recent evidence that cranberry for period pain is effective.
Here you will find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to Cranberry for PMS Treatment:
Does cranberry juice help with period pain?
If it does what is the best way to take it and what is the best dosage?
What does it do for your period and menstrual cramps?
If cranberry is an effective treatment why is cranberry good for your period?
Cranberries and cranberry juice have been used as a supplement for a long time by many women for treating menstrual symptoms. These women believe that cranberry is good for pms and it has worked for them. It seems that many women are really sold on this remedy for things like bloat, fluid retention and cramping.
So why is it good to drink cranberry juice on your period?
Let’s start by looking at the menstrual cycle itself and why it causes so many problems for so many women.
Stages of the Menstrual Cycle
Premenstrual stage: This stage is about one to two weeks before the start of the period. In this stage all the hormonal activities and imbalances begin in this stage but some of them culminate in other stages. There is definitely an increase in estrogen in this stage. This is also the stage in which bloating, fluid retention and cramping begins. There are also possibilities for headaches, migraines, and sore breasts in this stage as well. Many women also experience mood swings or depression in this stage. The body is preparing for the stages that include ovulation and preparing the ovaries and eggs for fertilization. This is why so many women begin to have pms symptoms in this stage.
Follicular stage: In this stage the body is preparing for ovulation and readying the unfertilized egg for its trip to the fallopian tubes and preparing the ovaries for embedding the eggs. The lining of the uterus is in the process of building itself up in this stage and the body is flooded with estrogen. This flood of estrogen causes major hormonal imbalances that cause all of the pms problems.
There is also a major increase in bloating and cramps in this stage. The increase in estrogen activates and increases in prostaglandins that are also a major cause of pms pain. Many women also continue to experience depression or mood swings in this stage. This stage ends when ovulation begins.
Luteal stage: Ovulation occurs in this stage. Because an overabundance of estrogen is no longer needed, the body begins to flood the system with progesterone. This only adds to the hormonal imbalance that causes so many problems for so many women. In this stage there is a slight decrease in the bloating and some decrease in the retention of fluids, but most of that happens in the next stage. The flood of progesterone in this stage pushes out the estrogen and the egg moves into place for fertilization. If a woman is going to become pregnant this is when it will happen. Symptoms in this stage include continued headaches, mood changes, and cramping. Vomiting, nausea and diarrhea might happen here as well.
Period/bleeding stage: This is the bleeding stage or what is commonly called the period. It is the ‘period’ of menses or bleeding. In this stage the body flushes out the unfertilized eggs, the excess uterine lining, the excess fluid and blood that has built up. Many of the pms symptoms are relieved in this stage by this flushing out process. Bloating, water retention, cramping, depression, panic or mood swings are all lessened and dissipated in this stage.
Post menstrual stage: For the majority of women, this stage means the end of all the symptoms that pms can cause. However there are a group of women who continue to have some symptoms after their period ends.
Given these stages and the presence of pms in at least the first three stages and for some women in all of them, we need ways to treat this pms. Once again how can cranberry juice help with pms?
Let’s review these possible symptoms:
Cramps, headaches, bloating, fluid retention, mood swings, acne, back pain, depression, panic attacks, fatigue, insomnia, joint pain, sore breasts, and pelvic pain are among the many types of issues women with pms have to deal with.
What is in cranberries to help with any of this?
Let’s look at cranberries on their own and as part of an herbal medicine treatment that might include over the counter (OTC) pills or drinks. We will look at the effects and benefits of these cranberry containing remedies. Let’s look at the benefits of cranberries and cranberry juice for pms.
1. Potassium: Cranberries are a good source of potassium and potassium can prevent retention of fluid and bloating during pms. Potassium is also very important in preventing muscles from cramping. This is a major benefit to women who suffer from cramps during their menstrual cycle.
2. Fights bacteria and keeps bacteria, especially ecoli from attaching itself to the bladders wall or artery walls or other parts of the body. This prevents infections, especially urinary tract infections. Even though this is not specifically an issue in pms, women are very prone to UTIs and this only complicates the effects of pms for many women.
3. Mood swings, depression, anxiety attacks and stress occur many times and in many stages of the menstrual cycle. Cranberries and Cranberry Juice contain Vitamin C which helps to alleviate this stress.
4. Cranberries and cranberry juice contain antioxidants that not only stave off aging but can help prevent some of the stress and pain of pms.
5. Tannins help prevent acne and skin issues that many women experience during pms.
7. Manganese is very important in preventing pms symptoms and cranberries have a lot of this mineral. Chocolate also has a good amount of Manganese and we all know how we feel about chocolate during our menstrual cycles! Manganese will also help with the fatigue and lethargy that often accompanies your period.
8. Cranberries have a large amount of Quercetins which suppress the making of histamine and it is natural anti-histamine to prevent any allergic symptoms a woman might experience with her menstrual cycle or due to treatments taking to fight pms.
10. “The most recent study, published in January of 2007, concludes that regular consumption of cranberry products may offer an alternative to the frequent use of prescription antibiotics”
11. Anti-inflammatory properties found in cranberries and cranberry juice help to reduce the prostaglandins that can cause joint pain and back pain during pms.
Cranberries have been used for generations by Native American Indians and early American settlers. They understood that the Vitamin C and potassium in the cranberries was healthy even without knowing why. Recent studies have confirmed this. www.cranberries.org
“Previous research has shown that cranberries are rich in antioxidants, which can protect cells from free radicals -- unstable molecules that damage the cells of animals as they age. Now, new research is being funded by the National Institutes of Health in order to discover cranberries' effects on yeast infections, heart disease and other conditions, while concurrent studies are analyzing the fruit's effect on cancer, stroke and infections.
Research has already shown that cranberry juice binds to bacteria, preventing them from sticking to cell walls and causing urinary tract infections, and regular cranberry juice consumption can reduce the risk of stomach cancer and ulcers in some people by killing the H. pylori bacteria.
Your teeth can even benefit from cranberries, as Howell has discovered that a compound in the fruit -- known as proanthocyanidine -- can prevent plaque from forming on teeth. A mouthwash containing proanthocyanidine is being developed to prevent periodontal disease.
Preliminary research has also found that cranberry juice can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol in the blood; cranberries can slow tumor growth or prevent them altogether; and certain chemical extracts from cranberries prevented the multiplication of breast cancer cells in a test tube, although the effect on a woman is still unknown.” www.naturalnews.com
Even though not all of these studies pertain to pms they do show the health benefits of cranberries and cranberry juice that can carry over to the treatment of pms. What about dosage? Most recommendations are for three to sixteen ounces of cranberry juice twice daily. If you find straight cranberry juice too strong you can dilute it with as much water as you need.
Many people do not like the taste of cranberry juice but do like fresh cranberries and that is fine. However women can find the right dosage of cranberries along with other vitamins, minerals and herbs needed to combat the symptoms of pms in a product like Period Vitamin. Period Vitamin makes it easy to consume the cranberry you need in a simple tablet and in the right combinations. This is by far the simplest way to get the pms fighting benefits of cranberries.