PMS is a set of physical and emotional symptoms that arise typically about a week before the onset of the Menstrual cycle. It affects only a small percentage of women, and yet it is a commonly known term which is often used without medical context to describe angst in women.
The truth is, PMS is a great emotional and physical liability to those women who suffer from it. Some of these symptoms, like tenderness of breasts or bloating are related to normal ovulatory function in women. The good news is that PMS is controllable; it is not a disease, but a manageable condition, which can improve with certain diet and lifestyle changes.
How Does PMS Manifest Itself?
The symptoms of PMS are:
What One Can Do To Avoid Or Reduce The Symptoms Of PMS
Recent studies have shown that diet has a lot to do with the severity of PMS. Besides the kinds of food one can avoid and increase the intake of, there are several simple ways in which one can manage PMS. These are listed below:
Foods To Avoid, Especially During PMS
It has been researched that a Japanese diet, rich in fish, fruits, vegetables and cereals, has been associated with lower incidence of PMS in Japanese women. This points to the fact, and has been corroborated by studies, that consumption of red meat is not advisable for sufferers of PMS.Alcoholic beverages and caffeine in beverages and caffeine-rich foods are also highly avoidable.Excessive sugar intake is avoidable, as is that of salt, which causes water retention in the body, leading to an increase in the bloating of the body.Smoking is not advisable for those who suffer from PMS.
Foods That Can Prevent PMS
A nutritional imbalance points towards a higher risk of PMS. Therefore, a healthy diet, replete with vitamins and minerals and essential foods can decrease the severity of the symptoms, or even minimize the occurrence of PMS.Complex carbohydrates, higher intakes of Calcium and Vitamin D, though not from dairy products alone, fruits and vegetables, and Vitamin E supplements can help avoid PMS.
Ground Flax seed or Flax seed oil in supplement form is considered hugely beneficial for PMS. Ground flax seed contains Lignans, which help bind up free estrogens in the body, and also contain Omega-3.Evening Primrose oil contains Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA), which reduces inflammation and cramps.
Researchers have noticed that there is less risk of PMS in women whose intake of the two ‘B’ vitamins, Riboflavin (Vit B2) and Thiamin (Vit B1) is higher.Riboflavin can be obtained from milk, eggs, spinach, mushrooms, soy and soy products, and beans.Thiamin is obtained from sunflower seeds, tuna, fortified cereals, lentils, pinto beans and black beans.Inclusion of as many of the above as possible would greatly help in alleviating the symptoms of PMS.
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Cruciferous vegetables, which include leafy greens such as Cabbage, Kale, Broccoli, and Cauliflower also have an effect on the estrogen metabolism in the body, and helps to regulate hormones which lead to the manifestation of the symptoms of PMS.Potassium containing vegetables like strawberries and bananas must be consumed, as research has shown that many of the symptoms of PMS are the same as the symptoms arising from potassium deficiency.
Also consume a diet which is rich in Folic Acid and Vitamin B6, as deficiencies in these can cause depression and fatigue.Drinking Chamomile tea is said to alleviate PMS symptoms as well.
Exercise And PMS
It has been seen that regular exercise, such as an aerobic workout even thrice a week for as less as twenty minutes can decrease the symptoms of PMS. One can also practice Yoga exercises designed to increase circulation in the pelvic region. Exercise also releases endorphins, which contribute to a feeling of well-being, which would lessen the intensity of the symptoms.
Emotional Support And Stress Management During PMS
PMS affects a woman’s loved ones as much as her. Since it can be a time of great emotional upheaval, clue in your partner and close ones around you about how you feel, and what you experience while going through PMS. Ask for their support and help.Avoid stressful situations that can cause PMS symptoms to worsen. Go to a spa, or indulge in some other relaxation therapy. Aromatherapy is said to benefit PMS sufferers. Try inhaling rosemary, lavender or lemon balm through a diffuser to invoke a feeling of calm.
There are many herbal remedies which are said to cure or alleviate the symptoms of PMS, such as Licorice, Chaste Tree Berry, and Dong Quai, a popular herb in China. However, caution should be exercised in taking these if you have certain medical conditions.
Other Factors Which Aid In Lessening The Symptoms Of PMS:
Get enough rest and sleep. A tired mind and body react even more severely during PMS.For acne breakouts during PMS, use a face wash or other skin care products with Tea Tree oil, which would reduce chances of a breakout during PMS.
Drink plenty of water
Use heating pads to soothe abdominal cramps and relieve tension. Prescription drugs or OTC (over the counter) drugs can be used to relieve symptoms. These, however, do not cure the condition, but only mask the symptoms. In order to treat the condition non-symptomatically and holistically, it is best to alter your diet and lifestyle. Birth control pills, similarly, contain synthetic hormones, which prevent ovulation, and thus keep hormonal levels stable, so that there are no withdrawal symptoms, but studies have shown that most women do not stick to birth control pills for more than three months, because of various side-effects. Try phytoestrogens instead, like Soy Isoflavones, found in Soy and Soy products, which are fast becoming a popular alternative to meat products.
PMS has been associated with low levels of Serotonin in the blood stream. Serotonin is what is known as the ‘Happy Hormone’, for the feeling of well-being it produces. Anti-depressant pills may help in preventing serotonin from breaking down quickly, and thus creating a feeling of calm and well-being. SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reputake Inhibitors) are available, which also help to reduce the symptoms of PMS, by reducing anxiety and depression. SSRIs, though, are also symptomatic, and are usually used in cases where severe PMS is present. Some women might not prefer an intermittent therapy such as SSRIs.
The important thing to understand is that this is a syndrome, not a disease, and it can be controlled by dietary changes, lifestyle factors, and medicines, so PMS sufferers need no longer despair over what is generally perceived as an unmanageable condition.
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Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.