Not every woman suffers from premenstrual symptoms near their period date. However, 85% of the female report feeling at least one symptom every month. Briefly, the symptoms entail bloating, cramping, and a general decline in the mood. There is no particular cure for PMS, however, certain lifestyle changes can help you manage the discomfort better and ease off the symptoms.
Roughly 75% of the women suffer from headaches, bloating, mood swings, fluid retention, sleep disturbance, and other problems. 20% of these women suffer from severe symptoms so much so that they require medical treatment. 8% of these individuals face extreme symptoms that are termed as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
What causes PMS?
The answer to this is pretty simple: fluctuated hormone levels. Your hormones are in a jumble such that the levels of progesterone and estrogen come down. There are several reasons behind hormonal imbalances. These include but are not limited to refine carbohydrate diet, pollution, stress, hormones in meat and dairy products, caffeine, pollution, and more.
Alcohol consumption also chips in liver damage, and prevents the organ from secreting estrogen in adequate amounts. Hormonal imbalances can be further aggravated by disturbances in the population of gut bacteria and constipation.
6 ways to manage PMS and mood swings
Here is a look at some natural and medical ways to eliminate premenstrual symptoms including mood swings:
- Improve diet
The pro tip is to keep excess salt, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar limited when you near your period. A salty diet can culminate in bloating. At the same time, caffeine can worsen anxiety and irritability. On top of this, alcohol is likely to multiply depression. Lastly, sugar also destabilizes your mood and blood sugar levels.
So, what should you eat? Essentially, add whole grains fruits, and vegetables to your diet a week before period. You also need to be careful about how you eat. Divide your meals into regular intervals to make sure that blood sugar levels don’t rise or plummet drastically.
Joanne Piscitelli, MD, associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University in Durham, N.C. gives her opinion. She says, “It is worth changing your diet habits before moving on to medical therapies, because you are less likely to have side effects.” Maintaining steady sugar markers in your blood is also a critical move to lower mood swings too.
- Include omega-3s in your diet
A critical addition to your diet are omega-3 fatty acids. An extensive amount of research indicates that omega-3s work wonders in maintaining good cardiovascular health. At the same time, this nutrient is crucial for boosting brain health. Simultaneously, these help maintain a stable mood.
You can get omega-3s from food sources such as cold-water fishes including sardines, salmon, and halibut. Flaxseeds and walnut are also essential sources of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to food sources, you can also get the needed dose of this nutrient via omega-3 supplements.
Supplements are easy to slip in your routine. Over and above that, there are several ways to incorporate these items to your food. These include sprinkling or garnishing food with walnuts and flaxseeds. You can also consume walnuts directly. Grill or bake the fish as per your preference.
- Cultivate calmness
There are multiple measures to instill serenity and calmness. These depend on individual ways to calm themselves down. Generally, you can try to practice deep breathing, which is also helpful in dealing with anxiety. You can also try to count to ten to calm yourself or read a good book. It all comes down to personal strategies to calm yourself.
You can also try mindfulness meditation or yoga to calm yourself. It can help you develop deeper awareness of your surroundings and life in general.
Exercise can help you curtail both emotional and physical symptoms of this condition. it helps lift mood too. Exercise increases blood circulation to all the organs of the body, which is helpful in dealing with PMS.
Experts point out that you may feel that you don’t have the energy to move your muscles. But, this is the time when it is significant to exercise. Pick a physical activity routine that suits you the best and that gets your heart rate up. The National Women’s Health Information Center suggests that you dedicate two and a half hours to moderate intensity exercise. If you are a strenuous exercise person, then you can set one hours and 15 minutes to the work out session.
- Give vitamins a shot
Vitamins are helpful for dealing with PMS. In particular vitamin B6 and E. There is no solid evidence that highlights that these supplements may work. However, these are still worth giving a try. The Mayo Clinic suggests that you can have daily doses of the following vitamins and minerals:
- 400 mg of magnesium daily
- 1,200 mg of calcium daily
- 400 international units (IU) of vitamin E
- 50-100 mg of vitamin B6
Iron insufficiency can also snowball the risk of developing PMS. Therefore, correcting this deficiency is helpful. Research indicates that it is possible for low iron declining the level of serotonin, the hormone that is responsible for elevating mood. Some food items that are rich sources of iron are spinach, soybeans, silver beet, broccoli, bok choy, and lentils.
- Try herbal remedies
Herbal remedies are not studied widely with regard to PMS, however, they are credited quiet much. For instance, herbal teas can help uplift mood. You can try chasteberry, ginger, dandelion, black cohosh, or evening primrose oil.
Key pointers related to herbal remedies for eliminating PMS are:
- Cramp bark and wild yam assist in relieving menstrual cramps and regulating cycles
- Flaxseeds aid in maintaining hormonal balance
- Dandelion root works as a diuretic and helps detoxify liver
- Chasteberry fruit extract helps balance hormones by the pituitary gland that helps control hormone function
- Isoflavones from kudzu root, soy, or red clover improve estrogen detoxify by enhancing the activity of certain specific detox enzymes
- Chinese herbal formulas also help. You can try Ginger Rhizome, Chinese Licorice Root, and Chinese Mint Leaf
Extra virgin olive oil is considered a formidable solution for alleviating moderate menstrual pain. Research proves that 60 women participants who took olive oil were successful in lowering the menstrual pain. The clinical trial also indicated that daily doses of olive oil are far more effects that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in reducing menstrual pain severity.
- Look for diuretics
Several women experience bloating in their face, feet, hands or stomach due to PMS. One way to reduce this is by exercising. And the other is having diuretics, which are prescription drugs that aid in eliminating excess water by improving urine output.
A commonly prescribed diuretic is spironolactone. However, these are not for all and sundry. This is because they can exacerbate constipation, urinary incontinence, raise potassium levels, lower blood pressure, and interact with other medications.
Wrap up thoughts
You can try these measures to bring down and ease PMS. Take a healthy diet and eat at regular intervals to make sure that your blood sugar levels are well maintained. Try herbal remedies or check with a consultant to get a prescription of diuretics and anti-depressants Try to exercise and work out ways that help you calm the associated stress and anxiety.