The Learning Centre


Kick Cramping to the Curb

By Dr. Katherine Kremblewski ND

Ladies, we’ve all been there: Alarm goes off at 6:30am. You hit the gym for a workout. Come home and grab a shake, shower and head to work. You’re feeling good- great, in fact. You’ve hit the ground running. Then BAM! You feel the familiar rumblings in your stomach and suddenly you’re in the clutches of hell. Everyone is all at once talking too loudly and being wildly annoying. Your pants suddenly shrink as the familiar bloating sets in and your digestion takes a nose dive. You contemplate faking a workplace injury but on second thought decide to opt for a sick day. Before you know it, your once productive day has now become the pain-filled one you have come to dread every month at this time. Yes, I’m referring to your period.

Between fetal position changes, you grab the ibuprofen and wait for the sweet wave of relief to wash over you. If this is what child-birth is like, you think to yourself, I’m out. Once the painkillers numb the rolling agony of your cramps, you slowly feel back to normal.

Sound familiar?

Here’s the problem with this cyclical picture: the painkillers we once thought to be harmless and fairly benign long-term, are now becoming a systemic issue- from both an abuse and a health perspective. Ibuprofen, for example, has been shown to cause stomach ulcers, when used chronically over time. How often do you find yourself reaching for a “quick fix” and not thinking twice about it because it is over-the-counter and thus presumably has no dangerous side effects? Think again. With repeated use analgesics (fancy term for painkillers) can cause serious digestive damage. There are actually some rumblings in the medical research community about cognitive effects as well.

So what do you do and what other options are there? Create an arrangement with your employer for 1-2 sick days/month? Good luck with that! Hysterectomy? Don’t go getting any ideas.

Let’s take it back to basics.  The origin of acetylsalicylic acid (a popular painkiller) is actually derived from White Willow Bark, an herb used for centuries to achieve just that: relief from pain. The difference between the two being that White Willow Bark is far less concentrated than its chemical counterpart and will not cause ulceration of your stomach lining. Neat eh!

Devil’s Claw is another herb empirically known for its anti-inflammatory action (a huge contributor of menstrual cramps). Side effects? None. Sign me up!

To round out the cramp banishment strategy – Biovaflex® natural eggshell membrane provides essential nutrients for connective tissue, along with protein, collagen and elastin to aid in recovery of the damaged tissue (endometrial lining, we’re talking to you).

What product contains all three ingredients and is backed by research, you ask? I present to you Genuine Health fast pain relief+.  By dosing 1 cap 3x/day, you can accomplish the same results and achieve the same relief as using your trusty over-the-counter “nonlution” (that’s my term for a non-solution). While you get to the root of your menstrual cramps and mind-numbing PMS symptoms, fast pain relief+ can give you the breathing room you need to get through the day and yet another month (it can also help in the event of wine overload but that’s another post for another day!)

Learn more about this amazing product!


Dr. Katherine Kremblewski ND, BA
Naturopathic Doctor
Yorkville Integrative Health Clinic
Toronto, ON