By John Gibb
PMS symptoms can be very uncomfortable and problematic. If your symptoms appear seven days prior to the onset of your menstruation and disappear a couple of days into it, it may be PMS-premenstrual syndrome. There are some things you can do to help relieve the symptoms.
Symptoms of PMS
The symptoms of PMS can include mood swings, irritability, fatigue, aggressiveness and/or difficulty in concentrating. You may also have food cravings such as salt/salty foods, sweets, and fatty foods. Your appetite might increase as well. Weight gain from over eating or water retention is also possible. You may feel bloated as well. Headaches including migraines, breast soreness, and back aches may also occur. There are well over 100 symptoms of PMS. No two women will experience the same symptoms or the same intensity of symptoms. The symptoms can be very mild requiring no treatment while others are so severe they require serious treatment and possible hospitalization.
Tips and Treatments
If your PMS symptoms are mild you may require nothing more than a few lifestyle changes. Exercise is important for overall good health and for increasing your energy level. If you need motivation get a friend to go with you to the gym or to just hold you accountable for your exercise.
Spirituality, meditation, and/or relaxation techniques can all help you ease tension, relieve pain, and in general feel more positive. Yoga is a great way to exercise and meditate the result of which can be deep relaxation.
Some dietary changes may also help. Eliminate or reduce eating salt, salty foods, fatty foods and sweets. Excessive consumption of salt or salty foods can cause bloating, weight gain and water retention. The body perceives thirst and pulls water from the cells causing the above symptoms.
Eliminate or reduce your consumption of caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine can make you jittery, cranky, and you may get breast tenderness. It is a stimulant. Alcohol on the other hand is a depressant and can darken your mood causing depressive feelings.
Instead of eating 3 larger meals and a couple of snacks, you can try eating six small meals- 3 meals and three snacks. This will help you to feel full longer and hopefully avoid unwanted weight gain. Do eat complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, whole grain pasta, cereals, fruits and veggies. Eating calcium rich foods can also relieve symptoms. A study showed that women who drank 7 cups of milk daily (double the recommended daily allowance) is over 30% less likely to have any PMS symptoms than women who drank less than 1 cup of milk daily. A calcium supplement with vitamin D will have a similar effect.
Vitamins and vitamin supplements can help ease food cravings and keep your body working at a healthy level. Many vitamin supplements also contain many nutritive minerals that support good health.
Medications may include pain relievers, diuretics (water pills) that will get rid of excess water. The problem is that diuretics can seriously drop potassium levels. That would cause another set of health concerns. Anti-inflammatories relieve pain as well. For severe symptoms of depression, antidepressants may be used. Many medications though come with side effects that could be worse than the symptoms you are trying to relieve.
Herbal supplements often have vitamins such as B-complex and C vitamins and minerals including zinc in them. If they are made to meet pharmaceutical grade standards, have only standardized herbal extracts, and been extensively tested. You can be guaranteed that you have a top quality supplement and that the dosing is consistent in each capsule as is the quality of each supplement. They should not be added to your routine without checking with your doctor because there are some herbs that can affect the performance of prescriptions you may be taking for other health concerns.
PMS symptoms are uncomfortable and in some cases severe enough for medications and/or hospitalization. Medications including pain medications, anti-depressants, and diuretics may also be used. All are effective and some can have unwanted side effects. This is the reason for the increased use of natural treatments and herbal supplements.
For some women all that may be needed is a few life style changes such as exercise, dietary changes, and learning meditation and relaxation techniques. The good news is there are options and all are effective. You and your doctor should decide together what will be the best treatment that will meet your needs.
John Gibb is a nutrition enthusiast with over ten years of nutrition education and has now become a freelance writer. Currently, he focuses on information articles focused on women's health and fitness. Read more at https://www.the-menopause-source.com