PMS is also known as pre-menstrual syndrome. It occurs a week to ten days before the onset of the menstrual cycle. There are some symptoms associated with PMS, which occur in the week leading to the onset of menstruation. The typical symptoms of PMS are abdominal cramps, moodiness, depression, irritability, breast tenderness, bloating, headaches, loss of appetite and fatigue.
Some women have very severe symptoms of PMS, which can make the ordeal quite unbearable. Here are some ways with which you can deal with PMS.
Best PMS Remedies
Eat Small Meals, do not Skip Meals
Many women complain of extreme hunger during, or just before their periods. They are also likely to succumb to emotional eating which makes them crave for sweets, chocolates and junk food. The idea is to not let these cravings take over.
Make sure you are eating well every 2-3 hours so that you are reasonably full. Hunger is also likely to make you feel irritable and depressed. Eat nutritious snacks like fruit and nuts, which will also ease PMS symptoms.
Vitamin B6 can be a woman’s best friend especially during her period. It reduces symptoms of PMS like bloating, tiredness and mood swings, which are very common. The best sources of B vitamins are nuts, a banana, beans and whole grains. You can also try some vitamin-fortified cereals.
Take Your Essential Fats
Essential fats like nuts, olive oil and tuna have more satiety value. Eating these will keep you full and also prevent your blood sugar levels from dipping. You can easily whip up a tuna sandwich in case you feel very hungry.
Make sure that you are drinking enough water throughout the day. This will have a magical effect on your PMS symptoms and reduce them.
Water is particularly good at reducing bloating and water retention, which makes women feel ‘fat’. Add foods that have a high water content.
Skip the Salt
Salt may not be your best friend during your periods as it is likely to increase water retention. Cut back on salt and stick to a bland diet.
Use Warm Compresses
In case of very severe menstrual cramps, you can apply warm compresses to your stomach. These will help to ease out your cramps. The other solution is to sit in a hot water tub or take a hot water shower, which eases out your cramps. You can also use a hot water bottle. Some women swear by pleasurable sexual intercourse. A romp in the bed, which leads to orgasms, actually helps to lessen the cramps.
While your tired body and mind will not allow you to do much, you should nevertheless get in an hour of exercise everyday during and before your periods. Exercise will reduce bloating and will also release the ‘feel good hormones’ which will reduce your irritability and depression.
Meet a Friend
To my mind, the best way of tackling PMS blues is to meet up with a friend. See a movie together or catch a few laughs. You will feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed if you spend your time around positive and happy people.
Stay Away from Processed Sugar
Stay away from refined and processed sugar. This is because it spikes up your blood sugar and this is followed by a slump, which makes you feel tired, hungry and irritable. A diet high in refined sugar will exacerbate symptoms of moodiness and irritability.
Milk is filling and full of tryptophan, which relaxes the mind and induces sleep. You can have a hot glass of milk especially at night just before sleeping. It will ease hunger pangs and also allow you to sleep peacefully at night.
Make sure you cut down on your intake of caffeine especially coffee as it can heighten symptoms of anxiety and anger. Reducing your intake of coffee will also reduce breast tenderness and swelling.
Opt for any form of relaxation. This includes yoga, meditation or deep breathing exercise all of which help to induce calm in the mind and the body. This will help you to cope with feelings of anxiety, depression and irritability.
Eat Crunchy Apples
Apples are rich in tummy filling fibre and help to reduce bloating due to their high fibre content. Make sure you eat 1-2 apples daily for best results.
You can opt for a relaxing massage by asking a trusted family member to give you one. A soothing tummy massage will help to ease menstrual discomfort. You can also ask someone to massage your feet as this too helps in reducing bloating and water retention. You can use some special essential oils, which make you feel better and are soothing on the senses.
Drinking or guzzling alcohol while you are on your period or about to start your period is a recipe for disaster. Alcohol is a depressant and consuming it may make you feel even more lethargic and depressed. You can have the occasional glass of wine but you should refrain from consuming too much alcohol during your periods.
Post Pone the Big Events
Try not to schedule an important meeting, event or a party at your home while you are suffering from PMS. The added stress will make you feel riled, angry and tensed. You are also likely to get into personal conflicts between your spouse, family and relatives. Just stay calm and take it easy on the work and home front.
Tell your family and friends what you are going through. It is unlikely that they will automatically understand that PMS is a legitimate medical problem, which plagues millions of women all over the world. People are more likely to be empathetic if they understand what it is and why you are feeling so down and depressed.
They might even chip in and do their bit to make you feel better. If you have children, ask your spouse to help out with them because their playfulness and demanding ways can stretch your patience to its limits. With the above remedies, you can easily gain control over your PMS symptoms.