Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a real condition of which more than 150 systems have been associated.
It has been estimated that 90% of women have symptoms associated with their periods and 40% of those women have actual PMS.
Most Common Symptoms of PMS:
- Mood Swings
- Weight Gain
- Changes in appetite
- Joint or muscle pain
- Breast swelling
- Sleep pattern changes
- Water Retention
- Low Back Pain
- Breast tenderness
- Stomach upset
- Inability to concentrate
PMS has both physical and psychological effects, and the symptoms of PMS respond to a variety of treatments. While there is no cure for PMS, many symptoms can be controlled.
1. Take a magnesium supplement.
Research has shown women with low levels of magnesium have worse PMS symptoms. Magnesium interacts with the hormone, estrogen, and helps to relieve symptoms of stress, improve the mood and reduce water retention. The recommend dosage is 400 mg. per day.
2. Cut back on caffeine.
Caffeine can increase irritability and anxiety, make mood swings worse, and increase breast tenderness. Instead of regular coffee and tea, opt for decaf coffee and ginger tea. Ginger is helpful too for an upset stomach. Cola contains caffeine also, so substitute juice, or soda that doesn’t contain caffeine.
3. Get plenty of sleep.
Women who suffer from PMS often have trouble sleeping. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each day to help regulate your sleep. Remember that 8 hours of sleep is important.
4. Stay away from sugar.
While you may be craving sugar more than usual, sugar can actually make your symptoms worse and increase your anxiety and irritability. It’s not too great for your skin either! Keep some healthy snacks around the house. Opt for fresh fruits or apple juice, instead of brownies and doughnuts.
Exercise triggers the release of “feel good” endorphins, and also reduces fluid retention and bloating. Aerobic exercises, such as bicycling, jogging, aerobic dance or stair-stepping are all good choices. Try to exercise at least 20 – 30 minutes, 3 days per week, and keep it up on a regular basis, not just when you are experiencing PMS symptoms.
6. Say no to salt.
Table salt and foods with high levels of sodium can increase bloating and breast tenderness. Use alternative seasonings when cooking, and purchase canned goods labeled “low sodium”. Better yet, eat fresh vegetables.
7. Avoid alcohol.
Alcohol depletes the body of necessary B vitamins and minerals. It also disrupts the ability of the liver to metabolize hormones, which can cause higher estrogen levels. Alcohol also can make you feel tired and depressed, as well as interrupt sleep.
8. Take a Vitamin B6 supplement.
Vitamin B6 has been found to reduce water retention and fatigue, as well as improve the mood. Recommended dosage is 50 – 100 mg. per day.
9. Get plenty of calcium.
Calcium has been found to reduce both emotional and physical symptoms of PMS, such as headache, mood swings, depression, irritability, bloating and back pain. Take a calcium supplement or drink a glass or two of milk each day. Women aged 19-50 should get 1000 mg. of calcium each day, either through supplements or dairy products.
10. Consider an herbal remedy.
Some women find PMS symptoms are relieved by taking herbal supplements such as chaste berry, black cohosh or evening primrose oil.
It’s important that you follow these recommendations on a regular basis, not just when you are experiencing symptoms, so that you can get the full benefit of these PMS remedies. Also, you shouldn’t have to go through PMS alone. Enlist the help of your family by explaining to them the problem, and let them know you don’t mean to lash out at them.
Letting your family members know that you are stressed and not feeling your best will give them a “heads up” and can hopefully help avoid an unpleasant situation. PMS has wrecked many careers, as well as marriages. If emotional symptoms are causing relationship problems and do not improve by following these home remedies, consider seeing a mental health professional. Your regular physician should be able to refer you to someone.
Suffer from PMS? Have natural remedies worked for you? If so let us know in the comments below!
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