There are some in the medical community who believe that PMS is actually a social phenomenon caused by social constructs. But there are many naturopathy and nutrition changes which may be able to alleviate PMS.
Commonly, doctors suggest to their patients that ibuprofen and oral contraceptives can reduce pain associated with PMS. And it is true that women taking birth control pills have reported less menstrual pain. Typically ibuprofen needs to be taken three to four times a day. These medications are known to block the adverse effects of prostaglandin hormones.
Prozac, an anti-depressant also known as fluoxetine, is an SSRI (serotonin based) which can be prescribed by your physician. Prozac dosages usually are between 20 to 60 mg per day. Other drugs which are often used include paroxetine, clomipramine, fluvoxamine, and nedadozone.
Hormone treatments include oral contraceptives, progesterone, and gonadotropin-releasing hormones, although these should only be used to treat severe symptoms as they have side effects as well.
But not all women want to take birth control pills, prescription drugs or ibuprofen to reduce their PMS pain and symptoms, due to the many side effects of these drugs. So for those that are interested in alternative options, there are nutritional therapies, lifestyle changes and herbal treatments. Acupuncture is another alternative treatment that some swear by.
On the nutrition side, some nutrients often can reduce or eliminate the negative symptoms thought to be associated with PMS. Here are some nutritional suggestions for changing your diet during your peak PMS times to reduce the PMS symptoms:
Avoid smoked cheese, meats (such as bacon), and fish. These can increase fluid retention;
Avoid caffeine and carbonated beverages;
Reduce sugar intake;
Reduce sodium in your diet;
Increase fiber in your diet; and
Eat fresh food
A noted gynecologist who has suffered PMS herself suggests that taking nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin E may have beneficial effects on PMS. In a 1998 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Susan Thys-Jacobs found that calcium supplements of 1,200 milligrams per day (equivalent to four glasses of milk) reduced PMS symptoms dramatically. Results from using calcium supplements do not become apparent immediately. Calcium increases generally take about two months to take full effect.
Increasing Vitamin A intake has been shown to sometimes be effective. Other nutritional supplements available that may prove effective are Vitamin B6, manganese, and tryptophan. Tryptophan specifically is a good option when your PMS symptoms include crying, mood changes and depression. It works by increasing the serotonin levels in your brain to elevate your mood. Be cautious though, because taking too much may make you sleepy. It is commonly found in online supplement stores. Try some dietary changes and taking some vitamins and supplements before taking drugs, because these are usually safer alternatives.
Note: Statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA, and should not be considered as professional medical advice.
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©2007, Kathy Burns-Millyard. Kathy has been successfully using natural herbal remedies to treat her family's health needs for almost 20 years.