“That time of the month” is often met with dread by women because of its inconvenience and also because it is also frequently preceded by annoying symptoms such as irritability, fatigue, acne and bloating. Some unlucky women experience a constellation of symptoms which are severe enough to disrupt daily function. These women are said to have premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
What are the symptoms of PMS? Though they can vary greatly among women and even from cycle to cycle, and can range in severity, there are common symptoms which characterize this syndrome.
Common Symptoms of PMS:
• Breast tenderness
• Changes in bowel habits
• Back pain
• Decreased libido
• Mood swings
• Inability to concentrate
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? However, there are a number of measures which women can take to decrease symptoms. I will confine my recommendations to the most widely documented and readily available aids.
• Eat small, frequent meals to stabilize blood sugar
• Avoid alcohol
• Decrease intake of fatty foods
• Decrease red meat intake
• Increase intake of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and fish
• Reduce sugar and salt intake
• Eliminate or decrease caffeine
Women who exercise regularly experience fewer and less intense PMS symptoms than those who do not engage in regular exercise.
There are a number of methods women can employ to promote relaxation, such as meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises. By reducing stress this can help to level out the erratic emotions which can strike before your period.
Magnesium has a beneficial effect on mood changes that are associated with PMS, and also reduces the swelling, breast tenderness and bloating which commonly occur in women before their periods. Take 400 milligrams daily.
Women who suffer from PMS tend to have lower calcium levels, and those who take calcium supplements experience less severe symptoms than those who do not. Calcium supplementation can reduce bloating, mood swings, food cravings and pain. Take 400 milligrams three times daily.
VITAMIN B-6: Take 50 to 100 milligrams daily to ease PMS symptoms.
VITAMIN E: Vitamin E reduces the production of prostaglandins which are responsible for cramps and breast tenderness. Take 400 international units daily.
CHROMIUM: Chromium regulates insulin and blood sugar which in turn controls food cravings and appetite. Take 25 micrograms daily.