Most women are familiar with Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). It affects around 90 percent of women and serves as a warning before the menstrual period, striking as killer cramps, much complained about mood-swings, headaches, bloating…ugh. The days before the period can be a nightmare for some, and many women have reported their symptoms ranging from mild to severe. There aren’t any “cures” for the syndrome however, there are always lifestyle choices, modifications and ways to curb the symptoms and cut down on discomfort. Read further to find out how!
Improve Your Diet
Know what foods will aggravate your symptoms and which will provide relief. Caffeine can alleviate anxiety, salt-rich meals will cause bloating and an excess of sugar can play with your mood. What you should definitely eat? Fruits and Vegetables! And also whole grains- eat as many as you can before the week of your period.
Also, don’t forget that it’s not all about what you eat, but also how you eat. Try eating at regular intervals to avoid any spikes in blood sugar levels.
Most women say they lack energy and motivation for exercise during this time, but what they don’t realize is it can help solve their PMS problems. Exercise alleviates both physical and emotional PMS symptoms. Best way to go about it is to select an exercise routine that you enjoy and one which gets your heart rate up.
Don’t forget to regulate your stress. First and foremost, make sure you get adequate amount of sleep to get that out of the way. Then, make a conscious effort to soothe the mind and body, and thus, reduce stress. Try massage, yoga, deep breaths, meditation and don’t forget a good old girls’ night out.
For women with PMS symptoms like backache, headache, cramps and breast tenderness, then NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) are proven to be adequate relievers. Some common ones are ibuprofen and Advil. There are also some period-specific ones that you could avail.
Beat the Bloat
Bloating is experienced by many, especially in the hands, feet, stomach and face. If exercise and low salt intake don’t help, consider taking diuretics. Diuretics are drugs which help the body get rid of excess water by giving the urine output a boost. Spironolactone is a common Potassium Sparing Diuretic. But DO make sure you consult a doctor before taking one, because diuretics aren’t for everyone.
Sore and tender breasts are one of the most common PMS symptoms experienced by women. This is owed to the fluctuating hormones-estrogen and progesterone. For sore breasts, use primrose oil. It is crammed with anti-inflammatory acids. Another useful supplement would be Vitamin B6. It has shown to relieve breast tenderness. Beans, bananas and fish are good sources of this Vitamin.
Don’t worry you’re not alone. Heavy menstrual periods are a problem for many. If that is the case, it is recommended to avoid iron supplements to avoid iron-deficiency. In case of abnormally heavy bleeding, consult a gynecologist.
Check for Depression
Although antidepressants aren’t the first choice to deal with PMS-related stress, you can always consult your doctor if you experience severe sadness. If nothing else is helping and the symptoms are affecting your daily life, then a trip to the doctor is worth a visit.
Sometimes women wrongly attribute underlying depression to PMS but actually it may just aggravate their underlying depression. They only realize it once they properly track the symptoms.