I. Definition
Dysmenorrhea means that women have periodic pains during or prior to, or after menstrual periods in the lower abdomen caused by disruption of contraction within the uterus as a result of excess bad prostaglandins.

II. Causes
A. Primary dysmenorrhea
Primary dysmenorrhea is defined as no underlying cause for menstrual cramps or difficult menstruation.
a) Allergic reactions
Women eating food that causes the immune system to react over-aggressively and negatively due to a weakened immune system as well as resulting in an over-production of prostaglandlins.

b) Nutritional deficiency
Deficiency of magnesium and DHEA encourages the excess prostaglandlins that can facilitate onset of dysmenorrhea.

c) Unhealthy diet
Intake of high amounts of foods containing synthetic preservatives, color agents, additives, and caffeine causes tension in the nervous system, weakens the immune system, and increases inflammation of our body's system resulting in a distortion of hormone production.

d) Excessive estrogen
Balancing of estrogen and progesterone is necessary for a normal menstrual cycle. Women who are taking estrogen enhancing medications may cause an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone resulting in a hormone imbalance and menstrual cramps.

e) Over weight
Women who are overweight have twice the risk for having stronger and more persistent menstrual pain than women who are not.

f) Smoking.
Cigarettes are a stimulant that not only causes tension in our nervous system, but also distorts hormone production causing excessive production of prostaglandlins. Women smokers are more likely to suffer from menstrual pain.

g) Stress
Stress is a psychological and physiological response to events that upset our personal balance in some way causing chemical imbalances in the brain resulting in irregular menstruation or menstrual cramps.

B. Secondary dysmenorrhea
Secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by gynecological disease
a) Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a condition in which the cells that line the interior of the uterus dislodge and grows outside the uterine cavity resulting in no exit for the blood when estrogen levels drop causing dysmenorrhea.
b) Fibromas.
These benign tumors form and grow in the uterus or the ovaries as a result of prolonged, dilatory menstruation or abortion as well as imbalances between estrogen and progesterone causing pain during the menstrual flow.
c) Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
PID is a bacterial infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries.

III. Symptoms
Symptoms of dysmenorrhea include
a) Spasmodic cramps
b) Headaches
c) Dizziness
d) Anxiety
e) Nausea
f) vomiting
g) Depression
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IV. Treatments
A. With foods
1. Tofu
Tofu is made from yellow beans. It contains high levels of isoflovones. Intake of tofu will help to stimulate the production of good estrogen which is low during menstruation resulting in reducing the inflammation as well as menstrual cramps. It also inhibits bad estrogen, also known as xenoestrogens which causes breast cancer and tumors in women. Raw yellow bean is toxic and harmful to our body.

2. Legumes
Legumes are dark green food. It contains high amounts of vitamin C and chlorophyll that help to relax our abdominal muscles caused by inflammation during menstruation and fighting against forming of free radicals in our body.

3. Deep sea fish
Dark water fish such as tuna and salmon containing high amounts of iron and omega 3 fatty acid help to stimulate the production of red blood cells that is essential to replace blood loss during menstruation. Without omega 3 fatty acids to balance the excessive of omega 6 acid it will result in hormone imbalance thus increasing the risk of menstrual cramps.

4. Banana
Bananas containing high amounts of potassium and magnesium that work together to block the release of prostaglandins and occurrence of spasms.

5. Green tea
Green tea helps to stimulate the digestive system resulting in a cooling sensation and alleviating sharp, stabbing pain during menstruation.

6. Mexican wild yam
Mexican wild yam contains precursors to DHEA that help to regulate and balance hormones the natural way resulting in reducing symptoms of menstruation. Study shows that people with healthy DHEA levels when given a choice, chose lean protein and carbohydrate foods as opposed to foods comprised of high fat.

B. With Nutritional Supplements
1. Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1 is also known as thiamin, thiamine or aneurine hydrochloride. Excessive alcohol drinking and unhealthy diet are the major causes of vitamin B1 deficiency, therefore women with bad drinking habits and women that eat more junk food will likely have dysmenorrhea.

2. vitamin E
Study shows that women who take Vitamin E two days before menstruation continuously and three days after the onset of menstruation, was significantly effective in relieving menstrual pain.

3. magnesium
Since magnesium is an important mineral in maintaining muscle tone, women with deficiency of magnesium will result in overactive muscles leading to menstrual pain and symptoms. Adding magnesium in your daily diet will help to reduce or prevent menstrual cramps and pain.

4. Zinc
Women with dysmenorrhea have zinc deficiency and have high levels of prostaglandins, hormones believed to cause menstrual cramping. Since zinc has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions and inhibits the metabolism of prostaglandins, intake of zinc will help to reduce menstrual cramps.

5. Omega 3 fatty acid
Women with low intake of omega 3 fatty acid seem to be associate with menstrual pain. Study shows that including omega 3 fatty acid in your daily diet will reduce menstrual pain and menstrual symptoms.

6. Calcium
Since calcium deficiency causes hyperactive muscles, taking calcium supplements may help to reduce chances of menstrual cramps by maintaining normal muscle tone. Study shows that intake of calcium during the menstruate cycle will help to relieve premenstrual cramping, and pain during menses.

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C. With Herbs
1. Ginger
Ginger is most commonly used in western medicine in treating dysmenorrhea for a long period of time due to its stimulated function of anti- inflammation, spasmolytic, and circulation. Ginger helps to inhibit cyclo-oxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymes that cause menstrual cramps.

2. Herbal tea
Herbal tea contains high amounts of phytochemicals that helps to relax stomach and uterus muscles resulting in reduced or no menstrual cramps. Drinking herbal tea until the cramping subsides is recommended.

3. Cramp Bark
Cramp bark is a a uterine tonic. It is used to relieve cramps and spasm of all kinds, to treat uterine and ovarian pain, dysmenorrhea as well as relaxing uterine muscle.

4. Raspberry leaf
Raspberry leaf has been used in traditional herbal therapy for a variety of conditions relating to the female reproductive tract, especially during pregnancy and to facilitate delivery. It is a uterine tonic that helps to relax the uterine muscles resulting in reduced menstrual cramps.

5. Pennyroyal
Pennyroyal is a relaxant and stimulant. It has the same property of relaxing the uterine muscle like raspberry leaf, and has been used for treating menstrual cramps.

6. Mugwort
Mugwort has been used in Chinese medicine to relieve pain by promoting blood circulation, restoring depressed liver by invigorating the flow of qi , regulating menstruation and alleviating pain as well as irregular menstruation and dysmenorrhea.

7. Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a highly antioxidant and anti-inflammation herb enhancing inhibition of the metabolism of prostaglandins, intake of cinnamon tea will help to reduce menstrual cramps. Overdose of cinnamon is toxic to your kidney and liver.

D. With Chinese Herbs
1 Dond quai(Chinese angelica root)
Chinese angelica root or dong Quai has been used in Chinese medicine for women's health in treating menstrual cramps, regulating menstrual periods, and lessening menopausal symptoms. Study shows that dong quai can help to reduce pain, dilate blood vessels, and stimulate the relaxation of uterine muscles.

2. Peach kernel
Peach kernel besides helping to enhance blood circulation and remove toxins from our blood, it also helps in moistening the bowels and relieving constipation. It is most often used in treating dysmenorrhea due to pathological blockage in blood circulation and abdominal pain before and after menstruation.

3. Curcuma Root
Chinese doctors believe that menstrual cramps and pain are due to stagnation of the liver-qi and retention of blood stasis in the interior. Curcuma root has been used to relieve pain by promoting blood circulation, restoring depressed liver by invigorating the flow of qi, and clearing away heat in the blood and heart.

4. Corydalis tuber
Corydalis tuber contains powerful alkaloids that have been used in postpartum abdominal pain due to pathological blockage in blood circulation and depressed liver causing qi stagnation. It is an important Chinese herb that has been used for hundreds of years to help relieve almost any painful condition especially for menstrual cramps, and chest and abdominal pains.

5. Safflower
Safflower is one of the many Chinese medicines used to treat difficult and painful menstruation by promoting blood circulation, and by removing any blood blockage substance and regulating blood flow.

6. Nutgrass flatsedge Rhizome
Nutgrass flatsedge rhizome is a Chinese herb that is used to sooth and regulate liver qi promote blood circulation, regulate menstruation, and alleviate pain as well as irregular menstruation and dysmenorrhea.

7. Chuan Niu Xi (Cyathula Root)
Chuan Niu Xi is a liver and kidney tonic herb that has been used in Chinese medicine to strengthen blood circulation, stimulate menstrual discharge, and promote urination.

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"Let Take Care Your Health, Your Health Will Take Care You" Kyle J. Norton
I have been studying natural remedies for disease prevention for over 20 years and working as a financial consultant since 1990. Master degree in Mathematics, teaching and tutoring math at colleges and universities before joining insurance industries. Part time Health, Insurance and Entertainment Article Writer.