P.M.S. — three of the most despised letters in the english alphabet…at least for women…because we all know they generally stand for misery. Every month about 85% of women suffer from at least one sysmptom of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)….from anxiety, depressed mood and irritability…to headaches, cramps, and acne flare-ups.
While we all experience PMS symptoms differently and to a different degrees, I think we’d all agree it can be a pretty wretched time. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help improve your symptoms, and possibly eliminate them altogether.
Here are some natural options for helping to ease your monthly PMS woes.
While eating fatty, fried, or salt-laden food when you have PMS is very tempting….they aren’t your friend! Those foods will only contribute to water-retention and make you feel more bloated and fatigued. Fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as ginger, turmeric, and cilantro, can combat bloating and help ease some of that pressure, instead of making it worse.
Another good tip for dealing with bloating is staying hydrated! While it seems counterintuitive, being dehydrated can worsen bloating because your body will hold onto more fluid. So stay hydrated by drinking your recommended amount of water each day, and avoid caffeine and alcohol. It’s also a good idea to drink peppermint tea to calm an upset tummy and help shed the water-weight.
Incorporating a brisk 30 minute walk during your premenstrual period, along with some stretching before and after, can do a world of good for your body. Not only does moderate exercise help alleviate the physical symptoms, but the increase in endorphins will help alleviate your emotional symptoms as well.
An increasing number of studies are demonstrating the power of specific essential oils to alleviate the intensity and duration of PMS pain in women. Oils like Lavender, Peppermint, and Clary Sage have been shown to alleviate PMS symptoms when applied topically. Essential oils are particularly effective at alleviating PMS symptoms when combined with massage of the lower abdomen area, which proved to be more effective than even acetaminophen.
For a quick-and-easy essential oil remedy, the new Harmony blend from Spark Naturals contains several PMS-fighting oils, and is conveniently premixed. Use a roller bottle to apply to your lower abdomen, the back of your neck, and the bottom of your feet to help alleviate symptoms.
(As always…use coupon code JILLEE to receive an additional 10% any Spark Naturals essential oils order.)
I’ve never personally had an acupuncture session before, but it’s certainly growing in popularity! It is used to treat many different kinds of conditions, including PMS symptoms. In fact, studies have found that acupuncture alleviated PMS symptoms in up to 75 percent of women. Though it’s not quite understood how it works, some doctors suggest that acupuncture increases circulation and releases endorphins, which can quell pain and elevate mood.
Herbs and Supplements
Women who experience premenstrual cramps often find relief by taking Vitamin E capsules once a day. Essential fatty acids, such as the ones found in Fish Oil capsules, can also be effective at reducing pain from cramps. Herbalists also suggest chasteberry and evening primrose to alleviate symptoms associated with PMS.
The really annoying thing about stress is that it makes everything worse, and that includes PMS symptoms! Anything that can help you to destress and relax when you’re experiencing PMS symptoms is probably something you should be doing! Whether it’s reading, meeting a friend for lunch, or taking a hot bath, a little relaxation can go a long way towards alleviating your PMS symptoms.
Disclosure: I am a blogger, not a doctor. This post is meant to be informational, and is not a replacement for medical advice. If your PMS symptoms are causing you severe pain or emotional distress, please consult a doctor. And always consult a doctor before beginning any new health regimen.