Cramps, abdominal pain, mood swings and bloating are the most apparent signs of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) every month. PMS is a regular thing for many women. Eight to twenty percent of women experience some form of PMS symptom which may be mild to severe. These symptoms may be both physical as well as emotional. Some women experience cramps and bloating while for some others, there may be extreme bouts of mood swings and anxiety. Whatever be it, the causes and symptoms of PMS have been associated with fluctuating levels of hormones and chemicals in the brain.
1. Menstrual Diary
Managing PMs starts with maintaining a menstrual diary. The diary should include detailed information on every menstrual cycle. This helps in keeping a track on your menstrual cycles and identify the patterns which help to plan ahead to manage the periods. You should record the symptoms you experience every time, the dates and duration, how you were feeling or if there was anything unusual.
2. Small Frequent Meals
Eat small portions of frequent meals rather than heavy meals.A heavy meal may result in increased carbohydrate intake and cause fluctuation in the level of sugar in the blood. This will also help in reducing bloating. Instead of two or three heavy meals, divide your food intake into six smaller meals and eat at regular intervals.
3. Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol And Sugar
Limiting the intake of caffeine, chocolate and sugar, or avoiding them altogether two weeks ahead of your periods can make a huge difference. Caffeine elevates anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia. Giving up alcohol can have great outcomes because alcohol works as a depressant and can backfire the symptoms of PMS. Cutting off sugary food a week ahead of periods may reduce the chances of mood swings associated with fluctuation in the level of sugar in the blood.
4. Quit Smoking
We all know smoking is injurious to health. And in case you are still looking for a reason to quit, here it is. Women who smoke are more vulnerable to experience severe premenstrual symptoms. The chances of cramps becomes fifty percent which may last for two or more days.
5. Exercise Regularly
Exercise regularly for at least two and half hours in a week. This can uplift your mood and provide relief from anxiety and disorder. Physical exercise can counteract some of the hormonal changes that elevates PMS. This is because, when we exercise, our body releases endorphin, better known as feel good brain chemicals. Exercising also helps in relieving pain,
6. Increase Calcium Intake
Calcium supplements and calcium rich food can help in easing the symptoms of PMS in some women. In fact, it is one of the strongest PMS busters. Milk and milk products are high in calcium and consumption of milk has been associated with reduced cramps, bloating and food cravings and adhesion. You may also have almonds which is again a rich source of calcium. Calcium supplements available over the counter is another source of calcium easily available everywhere.
7. Manage Pain
Dysmenorrhea or menstrual pain are caused due to contractions of the uterus. The uterus being a muscle, may press against the nearby blood vessels, when the contractions are stronger. This may cut off the oxygen supply to its muscle tissue. When a muscle tissue of the uterus loses the supply of oxygen, it may cause pain.
8. Reduce Stress
Some women experience very wild and uncontrollable mood swings, irritability and anxiety. Stress can add to it. Try relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, body massage, or listen to good music. And apart from all these, have enough sleep.