There are a number of symptoms which can occur for approximately a week to two weeks before you begin your menstrual period and this is known as premenstrual syndrome or PMS. Some women have even been known to become quite violent and aggressive during this time. PMS is considered to be a physical condition that recurs during a particular phase of the menstrual cycle. Hormonal fluctuations can make PMS worse and more pronounced especially after childbirth, a miscarriage, an abortion or once a women discontinues using birth control pills. Most women will experience a symptom of PMS at some point in their lives and the symptom will vary with each woman. Symptoms include:
Cravings for food
Breast swelling and pain
Fluid retention and bloating
Moodiness, crying and anxiety
Drowsiness and fatigue
PMS is believed to be caused by a hormonal imbalance. However it is also believed to be caused by a deficiency in a particular hormone and others say that it might be biochemical. A lack of vitamin B6, essential fatty acids and a poor diet may also be responsible. There is one type of PMS with symptoms that include a headache, heart pounding, dizziness, craving for chocolate and increased appetite is believed to brought on by a deficiency of magnesium that is brought on by stress.
Changing your diet can be quite effective in relieving PMS symptoms. You should try to reduce your intake of sugar, fat, salt, caffeine, dairy products, honey and white flour as research has shown that they sometimes aggravate the symptoms of PMS. Eating more wholegrain bread and cereals as well as fruit and vegetables is extremely good for you and will alleviate PMS. Taking supplements of vitamin B6 and magnesium can also help, a naturopath should be consulted before doing this though. Evening primrose oil which contains essential fatty acids should be taken as well.
Regular exercise has been found to reduce the symptoms of PMS as well as getting sufficient sleep which will help you to successfully treat PMS.
You should try to exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, take recommended supplements and reduce stress and try and sleep more. You should also try to relax more, you can take on a calming hobby such as gardening, get a massage or facial, have a nice warm bath perhaps with your favorite aromatherapy oils, use a hot water bottle to relieve muscle or back aches and try to not drink alcohol just before your period.
When to seek further professional advice
If you find that your symptoms are so severe that they are interfering with your normal functions or daily routine..
There are a number of alternative remedies that can help relieve the symptoms of PMS. The essential oils of chamomile and lavender as well as juniper and parsley oil have been found to be helpful in relieving irritability and anxiety. You can add several drop of one to a warm bath. Breast tenderness can be relieved by adding 6-8 drops of geranium oil to a warm bath. Chinese herbalists recommend dong quai, which is believed to help balance the body’s hormones and have a tonic effect on the uterus and other female organs. There are also a number of herbal remedies that are able to relieve the many symptoms of PMS, the ones most commonly used are Dandelion, skullcap and chaste tree, a professional herbalist should be consulted for the correct dosages. Bach flower remedies have also been found to help, some include impatiens, beech, willow or the rescue remedy which helps you calm down when you are angry or irritable. Scleranthus can be taken during the second half of your cycle this will help with concentration and to restore hormone levels. If you are suffering from jealousy try use holly. A homeopath will be able to recommend individualised remedies and dosages for PMS symptoms.
Most women live with the symptoms of PMS without treatment, although there are treatments that are able to relieve the symptoms and give you some comfort. Doctors often prescribe various hormones to alleviate the symptoms however the treatment is controversial and has been found not to work with all women. Because of this it would probably be wiser to have a good diet, regular exercise and other lifestyle changes that affect you during PMS.
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