Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a collection of physical and emotional symptoms related to a woman’s menstrual cycle. It is a common problem affecting 3 out of 4 women’s everyday lives (75% of all women!). The specific emotional and physical symptoms that characterize PMS vary from woman to woman, but they generally leave a feeling of discomfort.
In everyday life, it is very important to hear what your body is telling you and for you to be in-sync with your body’s ques. This will also help in identifying which PMS symptoms you have specifically. Symptoms may include but are not restricted to bloating, fatigue, food cravings, pain, aggression, depression, mood swings, headaches, acid reflux ….
There hasn’t been any well established “cure” for PMS’s symptoms, but I believe that once you know what to expect in that special time of the month, you can better tame the PMS beast.
In addition, being a strong believer in the power of nutrients and preventive therapies, I will cite the most agreed upon tips to curb PMS’s symptoms. Kindly note that what may work for one person might not work for another since body types differ and may respond differently.
1- Magnesium: Women with lower magnesium levels in the last 2 weeks of their menstrual cycle had severe mood changes and bloating. These symptoms subsided with increasing dietary sources of magnesium in following months such as raw almonds, fatty fish and whole grains. So try to incorporate these items more frequently into your weekly diet.
2- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) Omega 3 fatty acid: DHA is a primary structural component in many organs such as the retina, brain, skin and others. It is recommended to eat fatty fish (which contains DHA) to get the 800 – 1000 mg that are seen to attenuate PMS symptoms.
Moreover, DHA intake can be supplemented by eating plant sources rich in ALA which can be converted to DHA however, the conversion is not very efficient. Plant sources rich in ALA include flaxseed, canola oil, walnuts, almonds, the popular chia seed among others.
3- Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 plays a wide role in many metabolic processes. Related to our topic is B6’s role in the making of serotonin and dopamine the “feel good hormones”.
Now this is not a “more is better” kind of situation. Your body will absorb and use the amount of B6 that is needed to maintain its natural processes. Unless you have a deficiency or other special cases, there is no need to supplement.
Make sure you are getting enough B6 in your daily diet by consuming whole grains, vegetables (such as spinach and corn), raw nuts, lean meat and bananas.
4-Drink lots of water! There is no direct string why water helps alleviate PMS symptoms but women who drink more water complain less of PMS symptoms.
5- Cut out those unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, drinking too much caffeine (3+ cups/day) and not exercising. These behaviors are decreasing your health score period.
Get help, put your mind into it and look after your health.
6- Find a way to de-stress…other than resorting to the fridge! Stress is know to increase terrible hormones in your body. One way I like to look at it is fight fire with fire. Stress will increase bad hormones, well I have a secret little pill that’ll help increase your ‘I AM AWESOME’ hormones. Check out my friend Patricia’s blog post here she has linked a great video explaining what the pill is and how it works 🙂
I absolutely love the quotation above “Take the pledge for conscious living”. Be conscious of your food choices, your exercise (or lack of) choices, be conscious of your emotional and social well-being. After you become conscious of your choices you will know what is lacking for you to achieve the HEALTHIEST YOU POSSIBLE.