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Combat PMS & the Bloat it Rode in on.

Posted Aug 05 2009 12:00am
PMS sucks. period.

cramping, moods, bloating, crying, headaches, irritation, muscle aches, fatigue, cramps, need I go on? If you're not taking birth control that can alleviate some of these symptoms, and you want to be able to deal with that miserable time of the month, try some of these tips.

Some physicians blame "PMS" on the rapid rise & then fall of progesterone after you ovulate. A lot of experts believe that "PMDD" may be caused by lower levels of serotonin. Thyroid problems actually share a lot of the same symptoms of PMS, so if you feel this is an ongoing problem, you may want to get to a doc to get your thyroid checked out.

Again, if you're not on the pill (or if you are and have these symptoms still) keep track of the 1st day of your period for 2 months, so you can see how many days are in your cycle--then you can know when to start expecting symptoms, and you can be 2 steps ahead of the wrath of Aunt Flo by trying the following
  • REST--eliminate stress and make sure you get 8 hours of sleep at night, try winding down and de-stressing a few hours before you go to bed...either do an aromatherapy bath w/ candles, or take a hot shower and rub down w/ some essential oils and soothing music to get nice and relaxed so you can go to bed w/ a clear mind! This will put you in a hormonal position to handle the physiological imbalance of PMS
  • EXERCISE--as much as you feel like plopping on the sofa & watch re-runs of Gossip Girl--hit the elliptical machine or kickboxing class instead & get your daily endorphin rush --it's one of the best ways to relieve cramps and that bitchy mood so the man in your life can stop getting his head chewed off for looking, standing, smelling the wrong way, lol.
  • PENCIL YOURSELF IN-scheduling some "you" time around the last and first weeks of your cycle (when PMS is likely to hit), cause you're not going to feel like taking on too much, and the added stress will make it worse. Post-pone anything that will cause stress in the 2nd week (7 days after the 1st day of your period) because then you will have a peak in energy, focus, estrogen and testosterone during that week before ovulation
  • CUT BACK THE UPPERS & DOWNERS--minimize alcohol and caffeine intake when your premenstrual...women who experience extra sensitive boobies can minimize the pain by cutting back on the 5 cups of coffee..and cut out alcohol all together to help reduce the crying episodes during Good Morning America
  • AVOID HIBACHI NIGHT--cutting back on salty foods will help you stay in your jeans without unbuttoning the top around your period. The sushi drenched in soy sauce you're craving is one of the worst things for "the bloat" before the storm.
  • PUT DOWN THE CANDY BAR--I know we all tell ourselves "it's OK, I'm PMS'ing" when you are out and want to order the cheesecake, or a triple scoop of chocolate brownie ice cream sundae--I am not one to tell you to ignore your chocolate craving but I will say that eating refined carbohydrates will increase inflammation in your body, make cramps WORSE, not to mention the sugar high and crash that will not be very good for your relationship (on top of the already irritable mood you're in) limit the sugar, if you need to get some organic dark chocolate (which is rich in antioxidants) and eat a portion to satisfy the taste buds, along w/ a healthy diet rich in veggies, protein, and whole grains, eating every 4 hours to keep blood sugar stable!
  • GRAB SOME NUTS--everyone should have a handful of almonds a day--but especially women suffering from PMS. Nuts are rich in magnesium, which will help alleviate headaches and fatigue. (Quinoa is a great source also, see my recipe for Quinoa stuffed Peppers!)
  • PROTEIN POWER--eating protein rich foods like lean meats, low fat dairy, tofu, and legumes will help combat those nasty mood swings, and make you feel more like yourself during your period.
  • SUPPLEMENT--some experts believe calcium will reduce PMS symptoms. Also get plenty of energy boosting B complex vitamins, especially B6! Try using primrose oil supplement (a non-steroidal anti inflammatory) in place of ibuprofen to help alleviate cramps and breast tenderness.
  • TEA TIME--sipping on some herbal tea w/ organic Dandelion Root is known to help alleviate PMS symptoms.

**If all else fails spend some extra time snuggling w/ your furry friend, my little guy always makes everything bad go away like magic ;-)

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