Ahead of Endometriosis Week taking place from 3rd – 9th March, co-founder and bath salt specialist of the UK’s leading bath salt brand Westlab, Penny Hamilton has put together a guide to easing symptoms and pains with regular bathing and the wonder supplement of Magnesium.

  1. What causes period pains? 

Period pain is caused by prostaglandins (hormone-like substances) causing the muscle wall of the uterus to contract, which results in pain and inflammation. It’s thought that more severe period cramps are caused by a build-up of prostaglandins. 

  1. How is magnesium thought to help these pains and cramps? 

Magnesium is a mineral which is essential for muscle relaxation in the body. Magnesium deficiency is linked to muscular tension and cramps. So, to help keep our muscles functioning correctly we need to ensure we get enough magnesium. In terms of period pains, research is still limited at this time, but early indications have also shown that there is a definite link between magnesium deficiency, prostaglandins, and PMS symptoms – including period pain and headaches.

  1. Who will magnesium work/not work for? 

It’s estimated that over 50% of the population are likely to have a Magnesium deficiency, as we no longer get the required amount through our diets due to processed foods and modern farming. Plus, lifestyle practices such as heavy exercise, stress and alcohol tend to deplete us quickly of Magnesium and as it’s not stored by the body, we need to constantly replenish this important mineral.

  1. How should it be taken? Every day or only on the days period pains are expected? What dose and timing? 

At Westlab we recommend a 360 approach for magnesium – Diet, Supplements when needed and regular Transdermal Bathing. And this should be a general lifestyle approach, not just during monthly cycles. It’s important to keep your magnesium levels topped up regularly for your overall health and wellbeing. So, ensure you’re getting enough magnesium-rich foods in your diet, and if you think you may need supplements too then consider speaking to your doctor to get your levels checked.

  1. What other tips are there to reduce period pains?

A warm bath with added Magnesium such as Epsom Salts or Magnesium Flakes, as these can be a very comforting and soothing way to boost your magnesium when you have period cramps. Epsom salts are particularly good when you’re suffering with the cramps as the magnesium sulphate is excellent for helping with muscle aches and cramps. Magnesium flakes are great between your periods as this form of magnesium chloride is retained especially well by the body. A warm bath before bed can also help the body to sleep better, which can be an additional benefit at this time. Our favourite choice here is our SLEEP salts with magnesium-rich Epsom and Dead Sea Salts blended with Lavender, Jasmine, and Valerian.

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