It's that time of the month again! Every woman at some point in her life has experienced certain symptoms of PMS, and once these emotional and physical symptoms occur you know that your period is on its way. The intensity of the symptoms may vary, for some women it may be mild but for some it may be severe.
“Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a condition that affects a woman’s emotions, physical health, and behavior during certain days of the menstrual cycle, generally just before her menses. PMS is a very common condition. It's symptoms affect up to 85-90% of menstruating women”.
The duration of PMS varies, it maybe shorter or longer for some women. For most women, symptoms begin 5 to 11 days before menstruation, after ovulation and cease once the menstruation commences.In order for your doctor to diagnose you, PMS must impair some aspect of your daily life.
There is no apparent cause of PMS, the symptoms are so widespread that making a diagnosis can be a difficult task. Evidence suggests that PMS results from the changes in the levels of sex hormones and brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters. PMS occurs when hormones are unbalanced, when estrogen levels increase and progesterone levels decrease, either relatively or absolutely.
The various causes of PMS are as follows:
1. Cyclic changes in hormones.
2. Chemical changes in the brain.
5. Lack of exercise.
7. Lack or not enough sleep.
8. Excess of alcohol, salt, red meat or sugar.
A more severe form of PMS, known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), occurs in a smaller number of women and leads to significant loss of function because of unusually severe symptoms. The American Psychiatric Association characterizes PMDD as a severe form of PMS in which anger irritability, and anxiety or tension are especially prominent.
HOW TO DEAL WITH PMS
1. Cleanse your diet
Having a healthier diet can help relieve the symptoms of PMS. A heavy salt diet can cause bloating and fluid retention, too much sugar can destabilize your blood sugar and mood, so it is advisable to limit sugar and salt laden food and limit consumption of refined flour and processed foods. Choosing foods rich in proteins, fibres, calcium, omega-3s, fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet can help to a great deal. It is also important that you eat at regular intervals without skipping any meals, also it would be advisable to refrain from eating any meals within three hours of bedtime.
2. Exercise is the key
Women may feel that they may not have enough energy to exercise, but this probably is the most important time to do so as exercise balances hormones. It would be advisable to engage in at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, walking, swimming, etc 4-5 times a week.
3. Sleep well
Getting enough and restful sleep can help you feel fresh and can be rejuvenating. A minimum of 8 hours of sleep will do the trick.
4. Say no to caffeine, alcohol and smoking
In order to relieve the symptoms of PMS, it is necessary to cut down and stop consuming caffeine, alcohol and smoking.
Supplements can aid in easing PMs symptoms by boosting metabolic function and hormone metabolism. Some supplements that can be consumed are as follows: Calcium: 1200 milligrams, Magnesium: 400 mg, Vitamin B6: 50-100 mg, Vitamin E: 400 international units (IU).
6. Combat stress
Stress can be an ally in alleviating symptoms of PMS. It is imperative to try reducing stress by either taking a hot bath at night, meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or a massage. Relieving stress aids in helping balancing hormones, so find out what works for you and abide by that.
7. Consult a Psychiatrist or Psychologist
PMS can help aggravate underlying depression, we may feel depressed as we feel it's a part of our monthly cycle and push it under the rug but it is important to know that depression does not follow the patterns of the period and it has to be tracked to know if it's just a symptom of the period or depression that can be clinically treated. Consulting a Psychiatrist or a Psychologist can help as they will try to get to the root of the problem and help you either by prescribing medication or Counseling, many a times both medication and Counseling is used as a collaborative treatment plan.
8. Herbal remedies
Herbal remedies like black cohosh, chasteberry, evening primrose oil, ginger, raspberry leaf, dandelion or natural progesterone creams can help reduce symptoms.
9. Maintain a symptom diary
Keep are cord to identify triggers, timing and intensity of your symptoms, this will help to strategize and formulate a treatment plan.