You’re Not The Only One Who’s PMS-ing

Are you suffering from Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)? You are not alone. PMS is defined as a combination of “physical” and “emotional” (or behavioral) symptoms that occur about seven to ten days prior to menstruation and is absent for the remainder of the menstrual cycle. It is an important health problem for women and there is no easy explanation of its causes. The symptoms of PMS are severe enough to significantly interfere with work or home activities, and they can worsen when combined with stress, which a lot of college students deal with on a daily basis. Symptoms can include sudden mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression, weight gain, migraine headaches, joint and muscle aches, back aches, changes in sex drive, food cravings, and changes in fluid retention. The symptoms are usually relieved after the flow begins and continue to occur at least for the next consecutive cycle. Therefore, it is important to be aware of different methods to help with relieving these symptoms. It is important to consider natural methods of healing first because overall, they produce more positive affects. Most women experience some relief from PMS symptoms if they make changes to their diet and lifestyle, particularly increasing consumption of calcium (i.e., milk, spinach, broccoli, yogurt, and seaweed), complex carbohydrates (i.e., fruit, vegetables, grains, and beans), and water. It can also help to decrease caffeine, alcohol, salt, and refined sugar intake. Secondly, exercising regularly will help most women relieve stress. The food guide pyramid suggests at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week and approximately 8 hours of sleep. Relieving stress by meditating or doing yoga can also help. Also, you can try rubbing your stomach, inhaling deeply, and soaking in your bath tub using aromatherapy oils such as geranium, lavender, and clary sage. Other alternatives include taking medications (i.e., Midol) and/or herbal supplements containing women’s hormones. Taking a multivitamin every day that includes 400 micrograms of folic acid and a sufficient amount of vitamin B6, in combination with taking a calcium supplement fortified with vitamin D may prevent or decrease the severity of PMS symptoms. Another alternative is to take oral contraceptives to stop ovulation from occurring. Not all of these techniques will be helpful for you, as every woman reacts differently to stress and the symptoms of PMS. You will have to try them out to find out which works best for you. Hopefully this will help all of you women suffering from PMS.