PMS or premenstrual syndrome, refers to the emotional and physical symptoms that happen during the 7 to 14 days before a woman begins her menstrual cycle.
In many cases, these symptoms can last through the duration of the cycle. These symptoms can include headaches, mood changes, irritability, cramps, bloating, deep feelings of sadness, cravings of carbs, indigestion, tender breasts as well as pain and sleep disturbances.
PMS affects every woman slightly differently. Most, but not all women, have had such symptoms to one degree or another.
However, not all women get all of the symptoms and sometimes the symptoms are more severe than other times.
Typically, about 75 percent of all women will get some form of PMS each and every month.
Approximately 5 percent of these women will have such severe symptoms that they may miss work or school because of them.
Doctors aren’t exactly sure why some women get PMS worse than other women do. Most doctors believe that it’s hormonally related and that once they get the hormones leveled out things will balance out.
A smaller percentage of women suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD.
Their symptoms are the worst of all and are frequently treated with anti-depressants and even in some cases birth control pills.
Thankfully, there are some natural remedies that can be used to help treat symptoms.
Most women have a few tricks up their sleeves for treating such symptoms. These natural remedies may work very well for some women and help to keep the hormones balanced.
There are 11 known herbal supplements that can help ease the challenges of PMS. Many women choose one or two of these to use consistently. Still others choose to use several for relief from their symptoms.
This is a shrub that is grown in Europe and in Central Asia. It can help to ease symptoms by reducing breast pain and tenderness.
Treating constipation and edema as well as reducing irritability and depression. It also helps to ease headaches and temper anger.
The botanical name for this is angelica sinensis. For thousands of years it’s been used as an herbal remedy in China, Korea and Japan.
Today, it’s one of the more popular Chinese medicinal treatments. It’s also referred to as the ‘female ginseng’.
It helps to relieve pain and it is used to help women recover from childbirth. It improves fatigue and low vitality as well. It is even more effective when it is combined with black cohosh.
Excellent for use in treating menopausal symptoms it is also a very valuable herbal supplement for treating PMS. It helps to ease irritability and sleep issues.
For centuries, maca has been used in Peru to encourage fertility. Women have used it to help balance hormones and deal with any menstrual issues and irregularities.
It’s also been found to strengthen bones and improve mood. It’s good for stomach cancer, leukemia, tuberculosis, ED, HIV and AIDS, to improve sexual desire and in boosting the immune system.
Lemon balm is very soothing and calming. It helps with irritability and insomnia. It also works well on anxiety.
Typically used for treating intestinal issues, wild yam also helps ease labor pains and menstrual issues.
There is much debate regarding whether or not it helps with sex hormones however it’s been found to be very helpful for women who struggle with higher estrogen levels.
Burdock is an anti-inflammatory. It helps to improve the liver’s capability I metabolizing estrogen and thus improves the hormonal issues of PMS.
St. John’s wort
Well known for its ability to treat depression and moodiness, St. John’s wort works well to help improve moods.
However, it can interfere with birth control pills making them less effective. Always tell your doctor if you’re taking any herbal supplements and you’re using birth control pills as many can interact and cause the birth control pills to become inert.
Renowned for its ability to improve memory, it can help to improve fluid retention and breast tenderness when treating PMS.
This mineral helps to stabilize insulin and blood sugars. It also helps to stop the cravings and regulate the appetite during PMS so you’re not tempted to over eat or over indulge in comfort foods.
Calcium with Magnesium as well as Vitamin B6
This combination does a great job of treating PMS. They work in tandem to treat mood changes, pain, and cravings. Incidentally, craving chocolate is the body’s way of saying it’s having a magnesium deficiency.
Vitamin E helps to balance out the hormones and keep them on a more even keel.
These offer a myriad of benefits that will help the system to return to normal more quickly.
Be aware that some foods have added hormones, this is quite common in meats, milk and some of the other products on the grocer shelves today.
Read your labels carefully and make sure that you are paying close attention to what is in the foods you’re buying for yourself and for your family.
Also, avoid sugar and foods that have a lot of preservatives in them. This will include prepackaged foods, boxed foods and luncheon meats (which also contain nitrites which aren’t healthy for you either).
Focus on whole foods that will provide you with better nutrition and fewer empty calories.
Strive for a healthy balanced diet that offers plenty of lean meats, leafy greens and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Consider smaller meals more frequently to help combat the symptoms. Cut back on salt and foods with salt to help reduce fluid retention and the tendency to bloat.
Foods that are higher in complex carbohydrates such as fruits, whole grains and vegetables will go far in helping to reduce symptoms as well.
Foods that are rich in calcium will also help and if you can’t tolerate calcium rich foods consider a good calcium supplement for your diet.
Consider eliminating caffeine as well as alcohol from the diet. These can both cause you to be more irritable and edgy in spite of the fact that both work as diuretics.
Believe it or not, when you feel least like exercising (due to cramping and bloating not to mention pain), you will actually benefit more from the exercise.
Yes, that’s right. Exercise. It can help to keep things flowing smoothly in your system and the motion tends to lessen the severity of the symptoms.
This works especially well if you’re active the week or so prior to your cycle. Consider aerobics, walking, running, jogging, and any other form of exercise that you enjoy.
It will also help to lighten your flow and give you more stamina during your cycle.
You might also consider such exercise forms as yoga, tai chi as well. These are very gentle on the body but very beneficial.
All that stretching and sweating will release more endorphins in the brain and help to soothe those painful cramps and that bloating.
Many people talk about an endorphin high that they get from exercising. You’ll release those endorphins and feel much better for quite some time.
According to at least one study, acupuncture is ideal for treating the symptoms of PMS.
Up to 78 percent of all women who have tried this as a form of relief for their PMS symptoms, have found success.
It is said to improve circulation and increase endorphins which in turn can enhance the mood and relieve pain.
Relief is found within 24 hours of an acupuncture session so many women only need the treatment once or twice per cycle.
It also helps to relieve painful cramping and treat insomnia as well as headaches and nausea.
With just one easy treatment it’s easy to schedule it into the week prior to the start of your cycle and reap the benefits throughout your entire cycle.
Many issues with PMS are related to hormones being out of balance. Natural progesterone works to help restore those balances.
These are readily available over the counter and you apply the cream to your lower abdomen or your inner thighs.
It’s scent free and many say that it gives relief from cramps, as well as mood swings and insomnia.
It’s found under the name of wild yam and isn’t too terribly pricey so it’s readily available for most budgets.
It’s also said to help soothe anxiety that can often go along with PMS. If you can’t find it at your local drug store ask the pharmacist if they carry it.
Most likely they do and if they don’t, most will gladly order it for you. It tends to work best if you begin using it about 7 days prior to starting your period.
All Natural Diuretics
Fluid retention is so frustrating. All that bloating and having to squeeze into those pants can be frustrating.
You begin to feel (and your fingers may even look like) an overstuffed sausage. Simply put, you’re not yourself.
You’re more irritable (partly due to the hormonal changes and partly due to the bloating which can make anyone irritable).
Diuretics help to relieve a lot of that water retention and ease those symptoms you’re going through.
Consider eating more diuretic foods the week prior to starting your period such as bananas, tomatoes, watercress, fennel and citrus foods.
You may also want to think twice before you rely upon a morning latte or diet soda to get yourself up and going.
While the caffeine may work as a diuretic, it can also be counterproductive and cause more anxiety so you may want to cut back on anything that increases anxiety.
Always ensure that you’re drinking at least six to eight glasses of water per day as well.
This helps to flush those excess toxins from your body and it can also work as a diuretic.
Pace yourself and drink it over the course of the entire day if you feel that you’re in the bathroom too often.
You can opt for a full-fledged massage therapist or you can do some self-massage. This will increase the blood flow to your body and help ease those aching muscles and that tension.
Consider essential oils that are soothing and relaxing such as lavender and geranium (this is an estrogen balancer) to help soothe your body.
You can apply a few drops of your favorite lotion and add in a few drops of your favorite scent to get started.
Start at your inner thigh and massage in gentle circles up to your waist in a clockwise motion.
From there, move to your left side and work your way back down. Do this for both sides of your body for five minutes several times a day until your symptoms subside.
You can apply moderate to deep pressure if you’re up to it. This is also ideal for treating hormonal headaches simply massage lavender oil in your favorite lotion gently into your temples until symptoms subside.
If you’re going to a full-fledged massage therapist, be honest and tell her that you’re having PMS symptoms, many will give you a massage to alleviate those specific symptoms.
They know how to target specific nerve endings and deliver nearly instant relief from such things as bloating, painful cramping and headaches that are all a part of PMS.
Everyone has walked into a room and smelled something wonderful. That fresh scent can change your mood.
Consider buying a few scented candles that make you feel special and relaxed. You may opt for such scents as lavender, sandalwood, citrus and the like to help ease your symptoms.
When you feel you’re beginning to slip into your PMS mode, simply light up one of your favorite candle scents and inhale the deep aroma.
You can also couple this with a nice warm bubble of the same scent and soak your cares away. The warmth will soothe your body aches and the scent will soothe your soul.
Many people have tried this with great success. Doctors have been using magnetic therapy sessions for years and it is helpful for relieving pain and depression. Magnetic therapy is easy to try and you’ll find many ways to try it.
It can be accomplished by wearing small magnetic devices in the sides of underwear and there is also some jewelry that can be used as well.
Many women have tried these for years and swear by them. They are readily available online and you can also find them in some drug stores.
They help to ease cramps, sore breasts, acne and bloating that can all go along with PMS symptoms.
Rid Yourself Of Stress
Get plenty of rest, rest helps you to deal better with stress. Rest is also a great way to help ward off that sluggishness that you’re feeling mid-month cycle as well.
Other ways of reducing stress include progressive muscle relaxation, which can help you to feel more energized.
Try some deep breathing exercises as well to help lower your stress levels. An added benefit is that the deep breathing can help to send more oxygen throughout your body and thus help to eliminate headaches and reduce cramping.
Yoga, massage and even exercise are all great ways to lower your stress levels and bring balance back into your life.
If you have other forms of stress in your life, do what you can to reduce those forms of stress.
Consider taking on smaller projects at work when you’re getting closer to your cycle.
Avoid stressful tasks that make you feel more stressed during the week before you start your period.
If you’re stressed about bills or something else do what you can to reduce or eliminate such stress in your life.
While ridding yourself of all stress isn’t always possible, do what you can to eliminate the stress that you can control, your body and symptoms will thank you for it.
Many women have found great relief by mixing and matching several of the above all natural remedies.
If one doesn’t work by all means, consider the next one on the list and so on. These can all be mixed and matched to create the perfect treatment plan for your PMS symptoms. Talk about individualized care.
No woman should have to suffer every month with pain and bloating. Do something about it and try these remedies and see if they don’t help to relieve your symptoms.
Whether your symptoms are mild or severe you’re sure to find some measure of relief by trying these easy to do remedies.
Many of these remedies can be done all month long so you can get into the habit of healthy eating and exercise. Sometimes, just a few simple changes are all that are needed to provide a huge measure of relief for PMS symptoms.