PMS - What It Is and How to Relieve It
Have you ever experienced a sudden depression or anxiety without a specific reason before your menstruation? Maybe you have never noticed before, but those symptoms have a scientific basis--it is because of premenstrual syndrome.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) happens 5 to 11 days before menstruation and typically disappears once menstruation begins. It affects a woman’s emotions, physical health, and behavior, including symptoms like mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression. The cause of PMS is unknown, but many researchers believe that it’s related to a change in both sex hormone and serotonin levels at the beginning of the menstrual cycle.
PMS is a very common condition. Its symptoms affect more than 90 percent of menstruating women--perhaps the number is even bigger than you've expected. Some women have so mild symptoms that they do not even realize they are in PMS, while some have severe symptoms that make it hard to do everyday activities like go to work or school. Here are some common symptoms of PMS. You can use the list to help check if you have PMS before the next period.
Emotional and behavioral signs and symptoms
Tension or anxiety
Mood swings and irritability or anger
Appetite changes and food cravings
Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
Change in libido
Physical signs and symptoms
Joint or muscle pain
Weight gain related to fluid retention
Constipation or diarrhea
If you feel you have strong PMS that even disturb normal life, here are some tips to help relieve PMS:
Eat a well-balanced diet: Make sure you're nourishing your body. Eat a diet that's high in fruits, vegetables (especially leafy greens), legumes and whole grains, as well as healthy fats like omega-3s and omega-6s. Limit processed foods and saturated fats.
Work out regularly: Exercise is a crucial part of a balanced life, so get the juices flowing for your overall health. Regular exercise may help with premenstrual headache, breast swelling, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and vomiting.
Reduce stress: If mild to moderate anxiety or irritation is part of your PMS pattern, try calming your nerves with yoga, breathing exercises, or mindfulness-based stress reduction.Getting sufficient sleep is also an important way. The key is to find what works best for you to relax and stick with it.
Try supplements: A variety of different vitamins and minerals can help ease PMS symptoms. A few of the most popular include vitamin B6 (for energy), vitamin D (for mood lifting) and magnesium (for PMS-induced headaches).