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What are the Different Treatments for Abdominal Cramping?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 23 July 2018
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There are various types of treatments for abdominal cramping, ranging from home remedies to medications. The treatment types often differ depending on the reason for the cramps. For example, cramps that are caused by menstruation can usually be treated with a heating pad, over-the-counter pain relievers, and physical activity. Cramps that are related to eating food that has gone bad are best remedied by substituting water for caffeinated or carbonated drinks, resting, and eating only foods that are easily digested. Finally, abdominal cramping caused by constipation is often treated with high-fiber foods, passing gas, and over-the-counter laxatives.

Many women notice abdominal cramping just before and during their menstrual period, but are aware of at least a few types of treatments. For many women, holding a heating pad over their abdomen can help relieve the cramps, as can a warm bath. Some might assume that rest sounds like the most logical way to treat period cramps, but physical activity is often best to relieve them. Thus, going for a walk or jog during menstruation is often advised, though many women opt instead for medication to relieve cramping. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are often used to get rid of abdominal cramping, and there are even special pain relievers available that are specifically meant to treat period cramps.

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Eating food that has gone bad, or simply eating too much food at once, can frequently lead to abdominal cramping. It usually goes away once the food has gone through the body, but meanwhile, rest is usually helpful in relieving discomfort. Carbonated and caffeinated drinks usually add to the discomfort, so they are not suggested for those suffering from cramps. Instead, patients are often advised to drink a lot of water. Though food in general may be unappealing during this time, patients may eat food that is easily digested, such as crackers, toast, rice, or applesauce.

Constipation can also cause abdominal cramping, but there are a few ways to relieve the discomfort. Passing gas is often the body's natural way of reducing the cramps associated with this issue, though of course this is not always a choice in public. Eating foods that have high fiber may also help solve the problem, such as apples, prunes, or bran. One method that tends to work quickly is using a natural laxative, which can be found at most grocery or drug stores. Patients who are regularly constipated may consider seeing a doctor to help relieve the issue, especially if increasing fiber intake does not work.

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