Let’s face it, at times, it sucks being a woman. Sure, 99% of the time it is truly wonderful, but for that remaining 1%, when you’re feeling irritable, bloated, emotional, hormonal, bloated, and just like plain garbage, well, it just sucks! Yes, as if you hadn’t already guessed, we’re talking about the lead up to that time of the month, where PMS grips you like never before.
PMS, or Premenstrual Syndrome, can make life incredibly difficult for women for several days of the month. Not only does PMS affect the woman, it can also affect those around her and can place strain and stress on relationships. PMS symptoms have been known to last as much as two weeks at a time, and as any woman will tell you, just one day is hard enough, let alone two weeks. There are over 150 recognized symptoms of PMS at this time, which include, but are not limited to:
- Stomach cramps
- Dizzy spells
- Mood swings
- Food cravings
- Muscular cramps and pains
- And more…
As you can see, that hardly sounds ideal, does it? So, what can be done? Well, as it turns out there is actually quite a lot you can try. The next time you suffer with PMS in the lead up to your menstrual cycle, try the following:
Become more active
This first tip may sound simple and straightforward, but if you’re dealing with PMS, boy is it tough. When you suffer with PMS, all you ideally want to do is curl up in bed or on the sofa, watching trash TV, eating junk, and just wait for the worst of it to subside. However, experts have found that exercise and physical activity is actually incredibly beneficial for women dealing with PMS.
One key way in which exercise helps to alleviate the symptoms of PMS is through the secretion of endorphins. Endorphins are known as ‘happy chemicals’ and they are secreted by the body when we exercise. As the nickname implies, these endorphins help to lift your mood and promote feelings of happiness and relaxation. Physical exertion also helps to reduce Estrogen levels in the body, which again helps to alleviate the symptoms of PMS.
Make smart dietary choices
Again, when you’re dealing with PMS, chances are that you’ll crave chocolate, candy, and junk food. A little of what you love will do you good, but just make sure that it is a little. If you spend days eating and drinking the wrong stuff, your health will suffer, and your PMS symptoms will likely be exasperated. You see, what you consume will have an impact on the severity of your PMS symptoms.
If you eat too much salt for example, salt causes bloating, so you’ll feel even more bloated than you already did. If you consume caffeine, caffeine can cause anxiety and irritability, which will do your mood no good at all. Alcohol, which is a known depressant will likely make you feel even more down and depressed than you already are. Ideally you should clean up your diet and make smart dietary choices in the leadup to your period, or in fact, all year long if you wish to reap the healthy rewards associated with a healthy diet.
Get plenty of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, drink more water, and try to eat at regular intervals to avoid spikes and dips in blood glucose levels. Again, you can treat yourself now and then, just make sure to make smart dietary choices for the majority of the time.
Try to relax more
Trying to relax when you’re feeling stressed is easier said than done, but if you can avoid stressful situations, you should avoid stressful situations. PMS can leave women feeling stressed, tense, anxious, and even depressed in some cases, which will do your mood no good at all.
Studies have found that rest and relaxation however, can help to drastically alleviate the signs and symptoms of PMS, leaving you feeling happier and in a much better place psychologically. How you relax is entirely up to you, but personally, we recommend things like: taking a warm bath before bed, listening to calming music, reading a book, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or even meditation.
The supplement industry is currently booming, and for good reason. We spend hundreds, if not thousands, on supplements each year because they work so effectively. When it comes to PMS, supplements can again prove very useful. We’ve already looked at the importance of eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and foods packed full of nutrients, but what about supplements? Supplements give you a concentrated dose of important nutrients, in a very convenient form.
Calcium for example, is a mineral with proven benefits associated with PMS symptoms. Experts have found that doses of 1200mg are optimal for women afflicted with harsh PMS symptoms. Getting this much calcium from dietary sources would be difficult, which is why supplements are so ideal. Omega 2 fatty acids, as well as ALA, or Alpha-Linoleic-Acid, have also been found to help lubricate the joints and act as anti-inflammatories to soothe the aches and pains associated with PMS. Never rely on supplements in place of whole foods, but if you can, it is certainly well worth using health supplements in conjunction with a healthy diet.
Probiotics, both in whole food form and supplement form, are also very useful for women suffering with PMS symptoms. Probiotics help boost good bacteria in the gut and digestive system, which has been found to reduce PMS symptoms. You see, healthy bacteria from probiotics have been found to increase enzyme activity from an enzyme known as beta-glucuronidase. This enzyme promotes the secretion of Estrogen, and as we have already looked at, the less Estrogen in the body, the less severe the PMS symptoms are likely to be.