PMS Symptoms Got You Down? Try These Natural Remedies
PMS, Premenstrual Syndrome symptoms occur in over 90% of women, according to the Office of Women’s Health. PMS symptoms range can even be so severe that it causes you to miss work or school, 30% to 40% of cases actually report PMS symptoms interfering with normal daily life. If you’re suffering PMS, you might sometimes feel like just crawling into a ball and waiting until it’s over — don’t we all! There are things you can do to alleviate the symptoms and give yourself some relief.
What Are PMS Symptoms?
PMS symptoms vary. The most common are bloating, headaches, food cravings, breast tenderness, anxiety, and depression. However, researchers have determined there’s actually more than 150 PMS symptoms. You may experience loss of appetite, gastrointestinal problems, acne, insomnia, trouble concentrating, weight pain, fatigue, and other symptoms. PMS symptoms typically start five to 11 days before your period.
Rehaul Your Diet
Even though the temptation for salty and sweet is strong during PMS, you should pay close attention to what you’re eating. There’s a variety of foods that will help you feel better and reduce the severity of your period symptoms.
Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps muscles relax. Eating a bit of pineapple during your period can help ease cramps. However, if you have a heavy flow, you might want to avoid pineapples, as they can increase your blood flow by stimulating the production of red and white blood cells.
Get your greens. Leafy vegetables and colorful vegetables are great during your period. They’re rich in iron and vitamins which helps with fatigue. Kale packs plenty of vitamin A, which may help with hormones and also features fiber, which can address any gastrointestinal issues that may occur during PMS.
Put down the Pop Tart for breakfast and pick up a bowl of hearty oatmeal. Not only is oatmeal more filling, a fresh-cooked bowl is rich with magnesium and vitamin B. This combo naturally encourages the production of dopamine and serotonin, both of which help relieve common PMS symptoms like headaches, muscle soreness, and anxiety.
Water retention is a large of PMS, which is why you feel so bloated during that time of the month. Eating foods with a high water content will offer natural bloat relief. Try cucumbers, watermelon, and tomatoes. All are natural diuretics, which will make your body less likely to retain water because it will feel satisfied. Cap off your meal with a glass of water as well. Doctors recommend drinking at least 2 liters a day when you’re bloated and PMSing.
Bulk up on anti-inflammatory foods such as salmon, nuts, and beans to get the omega-3s. You’ll feel full longer, and will stave off the sugary carvings. Omega-3s can also help prevent or reduce pain.
Calcium has been proven to significantly reduce symptoms of moodiness, depression, and pain in PMS sufferers. You may want to take a calcium supplement or have some low-fat cheese or yogurt. A study of women who ate about four servings of these a day had a 40% lower risk of PMS than those who didn’t. This comes to about 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day.
Love tea? You’re in luck as there’s some great tea combinations for PMS pain. Ginger can help ease cramps, while chamomile soothes your mood. If you have heavy bleeding, grab a cup of raspberry leaf tea, and reduce bloating with peppermint tea. Dandelion tea will help reduce your swollen breasts, while green tea is great for treating the PMS acne. The warmth of the tea can also relax your muscles, so it’s a win-win.
In addition to diet and tea, there are several natural remedies you can use for PMS. Let’s look at a few that are easy to do, free, and aren’t time-consuming.
You probably don’t want to hear it, but here it is: Getting exercise during PMS can actually help alleviate the symptoms. Exercise naturally produces endorphins in the body. These chemicals can reduce the pain plus boost your mood. Focus on moving your body, even if it’s a quick walk around the block or a series of gentle yoga stretches. Yoga with Adriene has a great gentle PMS yoga session for free on YouTube.
Sleep is a vital part of your period and PMS. Your body needs sleep and if you aren’t getting enough, it’s not going to feel refreshed or have proper hormone balance. Shoot for eight hours a sleep a night, if possible. If you’re fighting insomnia, try reading before bed, and avoid the blue light of your electronics — it’ll only keep you up longer. You can also try doing a meditation before bed. Focus on calming your mind and body, breathing in deep and exhaling. Creating the right conditions for sleeping, such as a cool and dark bedroom, will make it easier to doze off. If it’s hard to sleep because of cramps, try curling up in the fetal position to take pressure off your abdominal muscles.
Use heat sources, such as a hot water bottle, menstrual patch, or heating pad. Be careful to not let it touch your skin directly or you’ll risk burns. Another way to treat your body with heat is to take a soothing hot bath or shower. The heat will relax the uterine muscle tissue to decrease cramps. Take the time to pamper yourself with a face mask, bath salts, body scrub, or any other favorite thing. Make it a little me-time ritual and try to relax. Try Epsom salts, which are specifically made to reduce muscle cramps and tension.
Get comfortable. Sometimes you just have to get comfortable and try to take your mind off your pain. Find your favorite sweatpants or lounge clothes, put on some favorite music or an enjoyable TV show, and just get lost in the experience. You’ll forget your pain, and might even make yourself tired, thus beating back the insomnia.
Find pleasure. We don’t mean through baths and good TV shows. Orgasms are natural tension relievers, contracting your muscles — all of your muscles. That contraction can relieve muscle pressure and release endorphins, thereby reducing pain. There aren’t conclusive studies, but female health experts advise women that if they feel like it, go ahead.
Remember you’re alone in suffering PMS, but if it gets to be unbearable, don’t be afraid to talk to a doctor.