Just about every woman gets the much dreaded monthly visit from Aunt Flow, or her menstruation cycle. Along with Aunt Flow comes her mix of friends called premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. Yes, it’s that awesome period of time when a woman gets to experience mood swings, tender breasts, weird food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression.
Don’t worry, you’re not the only woman going through this; about 3 out of 4 menstruating women experience PMS. However, it’s not something that you just have to endure. There are things that you can do to have a more hassle free with Aunt Flow and her PMS friends.
What is PMS?
PMS, or Premenstrual syndrome, are symptoms experienced by women usually one to two weeks before menstruation, or before bleeding. Premenstrual syndromes affect women at any age, but the symptoms vary from one woman to another. It usually goes away when a woman stops having periods, like during menopause or pregnancy.
What causes PMS?
PMS is caused by a lot of factors. The most significant factor is the sudden change in the level of hormones right before the monthly bleeding starts. The severeness of the symptoms range from mild abdominal cramps to severe crippling pain and depression.
- Estrogen is one of the natural hormones of the body that dictates how the body behaves. Before menstruation, there is a fluctuation in Estrogen, causing a variety of symptoms that ranges from moodiness to being unable to get out of bed due to severe abdominal pain.
Chemical changes in the brain:
- Serotonin, a brain chemical that is in charge of our mood, can also trigger PMS. Low levels of serotonin causes depression, as well as fatigue, food cravings and problems with our sleep.
- Malnutrition and low levels of vitamins and minerals
- High intake of salty foods that can cause the body to retain too much fluid, causing that uncomfortable bloat feeling
- High intake of caffeine and alcohol that can affect mood and energy level
Symptoms of PMS
Emotional & Behavioral Symptoms:
- Increase in anxiety
- Unexplained crying
- Mood swings causing irritability and anger
- Increase or decrease in appetite
- Weird food cravings
- Insomnia or trouble falling asleep
- Social withdrawal
- Poor concentration
Physical Signs & Symptoms:
- Muscle pain or joint pain
- Fluid retention
- Weight gain
- Breast tenderness
- Constipation or diarrhea
4 Simple Lifestyle & Home Remedies For PMS
1. Diet Modification
Since there is commonly bloating and sensation of fullness, it is important to change your diet when you feel like you are experiencing PMS. Eat in small frequent meals and stay away from salty foods to avoid fluid retention and bloating.
When choosing foods to eat, pick the ones that are high in complex carbohydrate such as fruits, vegetables and whole grain. You should also try to avoid caffeine and alcohol.
Exercise not only can keep your weight in line, it will also increase your levels of serotonin, or the happy hormones. You should try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day; try brisk walking, cycling, swimming as well as other aerobic activities.
3. Reduce Stress
Stress adds to the severity of PMS, so try to keep it at the most minimum level as possible. Get plenty of sleep, try yoga or get a massage to relax and relieve stress levels. You can also practice progressive muscle relaxation or deep-breathing exercises to help reduce headaches, anxiety or trouble sleeping (insomnia).
4. Herbal Remedies
The main reason why there are premenstrual syndrome symptoms is because the estrogen levels in the body becomes so unstable right before and during menstruation. The best way to combat the unstable levels is by introducing safe and healthy estrogen in the body.
Doctors often recommend hormone replacement therapy to avoid these PMS symptoms, but the safest ones available are Phytoestrogen.
Phytoestrogen are safe and natural estrogen that are produced by plants. Herbs such as Kacip Fatimah and Morinda Citrifolia have been tested and proven to contain high quality phytoestrogen that can help reduce the symptoms of PMS therefore contributing to a more stress-free and pain-free menstrual cycle.
Morinda Citrifolia helps flush out the toxins in the body to increase the body’s fighting chance against abnormal levels of estrogen. On the other hand, Kacip Fatimah helps regulate the levels of estrogen in the body so that there will be no sudden withdrawals that will lead to these annoying PMS symptoms.
Premenstrual syndrome is not something that you have to endure all throughout your menstruating life. With the right kind of exercise, diet and intake of herbs with high-quality phytoestrogen, you can have a more worry-free and pain-free visit when Aunt Flow stops by every month!