I’m not even going to list the litany of symptoms and ailments that come with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). If you are currently going through it, just reading the long list can make it worse. Instead, I will focus on items that will make that special time of the month a lot less special.
It’s estimated that the majority of women have PMS symptoms during menstruation, the most common being cramps. It’s caused by hormonal imbalances in women of childbearing age, and can result in both psychological and physical issues. These fluctuating hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone naturally occur in preparation for menstruation. The symptoms usually start about a week before menstrual flow begins. When PMS symptoms become so severe that they incapacitate a person, it is called PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).
You know it’s coming, and there is nothing you can do to stop it, but you can make the symptoms less severe by following these rules:
- Skip processed foods. Trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar and other anti-nutrients are like lighting a misery fuse.
- Take your vitamins. If you have low levels of essential vitamins, your body will let you know. Immediately.
- Avoid stress. Don’t sweat the small things-they will become big things during PMS.
- Skip that daily routine of stimulates and mood altering substances like coffee and wine. Don’t feed the beast.
- Salt. It is your enemy, causing fluid retention and bloating. Avoid beef, pork and dairy. They are big contributors to symptoms.
- Environmental toxins. These can be hard to avoid because they are everywhere. Just be vigilante when you can.
Avoid over-the-counter medicines like Midol and Ibuprofen. Even though they might lessen the pain of cramps, the side effects can make other symptoms worse.
Now that you know what not to do to make PMS worse, here’s what you can do to make PMS less of an issue:
- Make sure your diet is full of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and herbs.
- Try adding Kefir to your diet to reduce abdominal cramping
- Add flaxseed and wheat germ to your prepared meals.
- For at least 3 days of your symptoms, add wild-caught fish to your diet.
- Supplement your diet with Folic acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamins B-6 and E
- This helps balance hormones and reduce stress.
- Use essential oils like evening primrose oil to relax.
PMS is a real health issue, and if not taken seriously can lead to unnecessary suffering. If you have symptoms that are severe, work with your doctor to create a plan that specifically addresses your symptoms naturally.