Are you tired of those days of the months where you can not zip up your jeans without having to lay down on the bed, breathing in, or jumping up and down to get into one leg? Then you get irritable to top it off? You are not alone. Ninety percent of all women suffer from different degrees of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Marilyn Glenville, PhD, wrote in her book Natural Solutions to PMS that there exists up to 150 possible symptoms that can make you feel terrible and that there are ways to treat some of the most common premenstrual problems.
The idea here is to gain control of your blood sugar by eating small meals regularly. Failure to heed this advice allows your blood-sugar level to decrease and adrenalin levels to increase. The hormone, adrenalin, screws up your normal hormone balance resulting in mood swings. Eliminating caffeine and sugar from your diet will also help prevent irritability. After three menstrual cycles, you will notice a real difference. Keep a stash of health snacks such as nuts, oatcakes, and fresh fruit to minimize your craving for foods that will make you feel worse. Definitely, cut out potato chips and chocolate from your diet.
To combat a mood swing, take a multivitamin containing large amounts of B vitamins. This helps to reduce stress and give you more energy.
You need to stay hydrated. Not taking in enough fluids makes your body retain any existing fluid you have. This results in swelling, which makes it difficult to fit into your clothes. Minimize or eliminate your salt intake in the weeks prior to your menstruation to help reduce PMS bloating. Eat lots of watery foods, and cut down on your caffeine intake because it can dehydrate you thus worsening your problem.
To deal with bloating, drink herbal teas containing natural diuretics like dandelion, watercress, and celery to minimize your body’s water retention.
Maintain your blood sugar. This is tantamount to ensuring there is enough gasoline in your car to keep it going. Eat snacks often so that you do not “crash” in the late afternoon. If you consistently feel fatigue, check with your health care provider to eliminate the possibility of anemia or thyroid disorders.
To help eliminate fatigue, consider taking coenzyme Q10 (coQ10). Coenzyme Q10 helps to release energy by burning fat. It is a great vitaminomimetic (vitamin-like substance) in case PMS causes you to feel excessively sleepy or tired late in the day.
Headaches and breakouts
The liver is responsible for detoxifying all hormones your body makes when you are in the premenstrual mode. When the liver does not function as it should, symptoms manifest themselves in the form of skin breakouts or PMS-related migraines and/or headaches. Do not overwork your liver by drinking alcoholic beverages since alcohol will take priority in the liver’s metabolic functions over the hormones.
To minimize headaches and skin breakouts, consider taking milk thistle which enhances liver function. Zinc supplements are optimal for the skin and general menstrual hormonal imbalances.
Water retention is primarily the cause of breast tenderness. In addition, there is a molecule found in coffee and chocolate called methyl-xanthines that can make the breasts feel very tender and uncomfortable to the touch. Get rid of these from your diet and concentrate on being properly hydrated.
To help get rid of breast tenderness, vitamin E has been shown to be beneficial for premenstrual breast pain and swelling.
Get regular exercise to relieve cramps. The endorphins released are naturally occurring opiates. You do not have to engage in strenuous exercise, but consider doing something mild like yoga or cycling to help increase blood flow to the pelvic area and relieve cramps in the abdomino-pelvic region. Exercise also helps with any vomiting, diarrhea, and/or constipation that are many times associated with menstrual cramps.
For supplemental solutions to cramps, try magnesium to help relax the blood vessels and muscles. Magnesium helps to open up blood vessels and promote blood flow to the pelvic region. A lack of magnesium in the diet can cause blood vessels to become spastic allowing PMS symptoms to get worse.