Diet Modification May Provide Menstrual Pain Relief

An alteration in diet may help lessen menstrual pain, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society, held from Oct. 12 to 15 in Atlanta.

Serah Sannoh, from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, conducted a literature review to identify studies evaluating the relationship between menstrual pain and specific diets.

Sannoh found that diets high in animal meats, oil, sugars, salts, and coffee contributed to an increased risk of dysmenorrhea. Foods high in omega-6 fatty acids promoted inflammation, while foods high in omega-3 fatty acids reduced inflammation. Since the American diet is typically high in omega-6 fatty acids, and since menstrual pain results from inflammation, Sannoh suggested that a diet that balances omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids may promote the reduction of menstrual pain.

“Diet is one of the many contributors to health outcomes that is often overlooked,” Sannoh said in a statement. “I am hopeful that this research can help those who menstruate reduce the pain they experience and shed light on the importance of holistic treatment options.”

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