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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) – tips to deal with it

PMSDo you experience mood swings, fluctuating temperaments and a lot of stress as soon as a particular date approaches every month? What you might be experiencing is called Premenstrual Syndrome more popularly known by its acronym PMS. By all broad definitions, PMS refer to a collection of emotional and sometimes physical symptoms related to a woman's menstrual cycle. Read on to find out more about the condition.

What actually happens?

If you are going to blame someone for your PMS symptoms, blame either your genes or/and hormones, because they're the ones who contribute to it. As you near your menstrual cycle, your body undergoes hormonal fluctuations, which is believed to cause cranky moods, feeling low, tiredness and depression for no apparent reason. Physical changes are also observed during PMS which include tenderness of the breasts, lethargy, constipation, food cravings, headaches and digestive problems.

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Another reason for these symptoms is a family history of depression, or even postpartum depression. This theory works in the same way as the hormonal theory, where hormones and fluctuating levels of certain essential substances goes haywire, leading to PMS. Be it a social construction or a real condition, the fact is that many women experience it, so how what can you do about it?

Even though many women end up taking painkillers and/or antidepressants to beat PMS, you can also go natural with loads of rest, eating natural foods and practicing yoga. Natural methods to help deal with PMS, on the other hand, are more effective, mostly because they don't just relieve the symptoms, they also give your body a good amount of the nutrients it needs, which you won't get from painkillers or anti-depressants. Here are some natural remedies to deal with the symptoms:

Go easy on the salt and sugar: Refined sugar and table salt are among the major causes of health problems today, and no matter what you suffer from, an excess of these will definitely aggravate your symptoms. The trick is to limit your sugar and salt intake as you approach your monthly period. An excess of refined sugar during PMS is thought to increase your feeling of lethargy and exhaustion, and it makes you feel hungry all the time.

Boost your fluid intake: Maintaining the electrolyte balance of the body is an essential part of good health and wellness. Make sure you drink 8 glasses of water every day, especially during summers, when your body loses a lot of water through sweat and urine. Alternatively, you could also add more watery foods to your diet. Watermelon, cucumbers and bottle gourd are good sources of water. Fruit juices, coconut water and lemonade are also good.

Exercise: Studies show that women, who exercise regularly, especially aerobic exercises, are less likely to suffer from the extreme symptoms of PMS. Even moderate exercises like brisk walking and climbing the stairs can boost your circulation and make you feel better.

Load up on the essentials: Vitamins, minerals and certain elements play a huge role in maintaining the overall health of your body. You can reduce the symptoms of PMS by loading up micronutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B and E, that your body needs. Potassium, calcium, vitamins A and E reduce irritability and mood swings, whereas vitamin B reduces depression, improves digestive function, and releases the hormone serotonin in the blood, which plays a vital role in pain sensitivity.Vitamin B is also thought to elevate mood and make you feel happy, one of the best supplements for PMS.

Also keep in mind the fact that consuming junk food, caffeine, fat laden foods and skipping meals are a terrible foursome for a PMS prone body. All these just add to the uneasiness and pain and will make you feel worse. So, even though PMS can make you feel at your worst, you now know how to deal with it!

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