PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) is basically a condition faced by most women when they experience emotional and physical changes prior to menstruation. PMS symptoms may occur anytime during the week or even a week before the start of monthly bleeding.
Yes, it’s that time of the month when you find the otherwise patient woman throwing around tantrums or showing some angry outbursts.
Premenstrual changes occur in about 75-80% of menstruating women. The symptoms vary from woman to woman and from cycle to cycle.
Signs & Symptoms of PMS
While a variety of factors can influence a woman’s symptoms during this time (including genetics, nutrition, medications, etc), it is largely controlled by hormones, and getting hormones in proper balance can go a long way toward reducing the symptoms.
Some women may be more sensitive than others to changing hormone levels during the menstrual cycle.
PMS often includes both physical and emotional symptoms, such as:
- Mood Swings
- Tension, irritability or crying spells
- Anxiety or depression
- Joint or muscle pain – in thighs/legs
- Appetite changes – Sugar & Food cravings
- Swollen or tender breasts
- Trouble sleeping
- Upset stomach, bloating, constipation or diarrhea
- Headache or backache
- Trouble with concentration or memory
Some women experience migraine headaches just prior to or during menstruation. These headaches, which are called menstrual migraines, may be related to hormonal changes.
PMS doesn’t have a definite cause or a complete cure. However, by incorporating certain diet changes one can go a long way in fighting PMS and easing the symptoms a little.
- Vitamin B– Increasing Vitamin B in your diet can ward away the crankiness and food cravings. Some of the best sources of Vitamin B are fortified whole-grain cereals and baked goods, wheat germ, enriched rice, green peas, bananas, lentils and nuts like almonds.
- Magnesium– That chocolate craving before your periods is a sure shot way to know your body is clamoring for Mg. By increasing dietary and supplemental magnesium you can get relief from symptoms such as headaches, bloating, low blood sugar and sugar cravings. Brown rice, sunflower seeds, spinach, beans are rich sources of magnesium.
- Iron – It is believed that around 1 mg of iron is lost for every day of bleeding. And, insufficient iron leads to anaemia. So have more of green leafy vegetables, red meat, chicken and fish.
- Dairy – Eating a diet with calcium-rich dairy products, especially those with added vitamin D is essential in controlling the irritability aspect of mood swings. A full glass of milk, a bowl of yogurt can help lower the risk for developing PMS by as much as 40 percent. It is found that some women have lower blood levels of calcium around the time of ovulation, and adding calcium can make a big difference when dealing with PMS symptoms.
- Water – Drinking lots of water so that you are not dehydrated. Drinking water keeps your body from water retention and helps to avoid painful bloating during menstruation. Try coconut water and lemonade.
- Fix Sugar Cravings with Healthy Carbs – Craving for sugary carbohydrates like chocolate and ice cream before and during their periods is common. But, instead of having a sugar fix, try eating meals plump with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. This will beneficial in reducing the PMS symptoms and also the associated cramping that often accompanies heavy bleeding.
Do you get PMS? Could share an idea or two on how you can manage it ?