What Causes Menstrual Cramps?

Understanding why you have cramps is the first step towards relief. The reason nobody can come up with a remedy is because the underlying cause for cramps can vary from woman to woman. If you can better understand your specific body chemistry, you may be able to figure out how to find some relief.

The most common cause for cramps is a lack of calcium at the tissue level.  Meaning, you may have plenty of calcium in your body, but it's just not in the right place. Calcium is one of the main minerals responsible for allowing the muscles and other tissues to relax.

More: How to Fuel to Maintain Your Menstrual Cycle

When tissues contract, calcium is what allows them to relax again. If enough calcium is not available at the tissue level, severe cramps can occur. Calcium levels can be low at the tissue level for a number of reasons.

The most common factors that can pull too much calcium out of the tissues are:

  • Consuming too many starchy carbs, sugars or liquid sugars like juice/soda/alcohol.
  • Excessive sun exposure or supplementing too much vitamin D.

More: What is Vitamin D

Too Many Carbs or Sugars

Calcium follows sugar, so if your diet consists of too many sugars or carbs, the high sugar levels can pull too much calcium out of the tissues.

If there is a shortage of minerals in your body, minerals (like calcium) could be pulled out of the tissues to be used for other purposes. During your menstrual cycle, your body needs a greater amount of resources so this can be exacerbated around your period.

More: 5 Tips to Eat a Clean Diet

About the Author

Tony Hale is the author of the Kick It In the Nuts series of natural health books (www.KickItInTheNuts.com), and Executive Producer of the groundbreaking documentary, Why Am I So Fat? (www.whyamisofatmovie.com).

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