Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) usually begins about two to ten days before a woman’s period and can make her feel uncomfortable in a variety of ways. The symptoms usually persist until the beginning of her period and sometimes throughout it. They include headaches, muscle aches and back pains, breast tenderness, exaggerated appetite and food cravings, severe mood swings, tearfulness, irritability, and difficulty falling and staying asleep. In some extreme cases, PMS may cause swelling of the face and hands, rashes and difficulty concentrating.
What Triggers the PMS
All the unpleasant symptoms of the PMS are the natural reaction of a woman’s body to hormonal changes. However, the severe indisposition can be triggered by several factors:
- lack of physical activity
- hormonal dysfunctions
- thyroid diseases
- caffeine and alcohol abuse
- unhealthy diet lacking vitamins and calcium
Preventing and Treating the PMS
PMS can be prevented and treated. Following is some advice for making PMS symptoms more tolerable:
- Be one step ahead of the PMS – mark the upcoming period in the calendar and be psychologically prepared for the difficulties associated with it.
- See a doctor in order to rule out the possibility of a hormonal dysfunction or thyroid-related disease. Discuss the options of medications that can be used for PMS.
- Stay active – exercising is proven to help with the mood swings and relieve the stress.
- Avoid alcohol, coffee, strong tea and smoking at least one week before the expected period.
- Have sex – an orgasm and skin-to-skin contact are the oldest anti-depressants and stress-relievers that can be also extremely helpful in one’s fight with insomnia.
A Special PMS Diet
In order to fight the unpleasant experience of PMS, stick to a healthy low fat diet (those trying to lose weight can benefit from this even more). Make an attempt to limit sweets and avoid products rich in sodium as well as all bottled and canned foods. Enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables that contain a variety of vitamins as well as dairy products (an excellent source of calcium). Adding any kind of nuts to one’s diet is also a great idea – they are rich in energy, protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Drink juices, herbal teas and lots of water.
There is an old Russian saying – “The Devil cannot possibly be as scary as he is described.” This can also be considered true about PMS. Although there is no doubt that a few days before her period, an average woman goes through a physical and emotional ordeal, in the overwhelming majority of cases, the symptoms of PMS can be successfully relieved.