PMS is the devil. Bloating, uncontrollable food cravings, fits of emotional instability, cramps, mood swings—what’s to like about it? The mood swings are the worst ever, I’m dealing with them right now. This morning I woke up in a funk, and it was so hard to get out of bed. I’m on a cleanse and, usually, I wake up with tons of energy but today was different. I walked into work grumpy, even after I had my medium hazelnut iced coffee and that usually shakes me out of the Monday Morning Blues. I was so confused, but then I checked my calendar and noticed I’m right smack dab in the middle of a full blown PMS party (complete with extra bloating and cramps). Fun.
Premenstrual syndrome describes a collection of more than 150 symptoms that strike a week to two weeks before your period makes its monthly debut; this is caused by an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone levels. As a result you may suffer from stress, insufficient sleep, horrible eating habits, and an overall feeling like poo. PMS sucks but don’t be so quick to raid your medicine cabinet so fast—no matter what your symptoms are, you may be able to fix them with these alternative therapies.
Vitamin E and essential fatty acids are PMS rock stars, a study in Reproductive Health noted women who took these supplements twice a day for six months saw major PMS symptom improvements. These nutrients interact with prostaglandin receptors (those little hellians believed to be responsible for cramps). A daily multivitamin should have all the vitamin E you need, I take One A Day Women’s and it has 30 IU which converts to about 22 milligrams. You can take a daily fish oil capsule to get your fatty acids as well, but a calcium rich diet helps control PMS symptoms tremendously too. Make sure it includes leafy greens, almonds, and yougurt and aim for about 1,300 milligrams per day.
Best for: Mood swings, sore breasts, cramps, headaches and acne
The thought of having needles hanging from your body might may you a little uneasy, but acupuncture can be very beneficial to combating PMS. I read a study that showed this method stifled symptoms in 78 percent of women, that’s huge! Western doctors aren’t really sure how it works, but it’s believed it may increase circulation and elevate endorphins, which enhances your mood and alleviates pain. Most women experienced PMS symptom relief within 24 hours after a session. Depending on how you react to it, you might get treated once a month in the week before your period
throws your life in shambles comes.
Best for: Cramps, anxiety, insomnia, headaches and nausea
Researchers believe most premenstrual troubles arise from out-of-balance estrogen and progesterone levels, so many treatments aim towards leveling out the playing field; this is why the pill is often recommended. Using a natural progesterone cream will have the same effect, there are a few forms that are available OTC and be applied to your inner thighs or lower abdomen before your period.
Best for: Mood swings, cramps, anxiety and insomnia
There’s a lot of controversy over whether or not herbs can solve health issues (I personally believe they can), but science suggests they can help lighten the burden of PMS symptoms. Chaste berry (cool name!) may stimulate your endocrine system which may help relieve achy boobs, and those are never fun. Evening primrose (another cool name, it sounds so fancy) may help alleviate anxiety and cramps, valerian root may work as a muscle relaxer which is perfect for cramps, while dandelion root helps reduce bloating. You should definitely consult your doctor before you start a herbal regimen, they can direct you towards how much you need and which ones can work best for you.
Best for: Mood swings, sore breasts, anxiety, cramps and bloating
Sweating and Stretching
Mild exercising can reduce the worst PMS symptoms! I know the thought of moving around more than you’d like to is uncomfortable, but I promise it helps. Working out not only releases endorphins (or “plain slayers”) but it also triggers dopeamine (your natural source of pleasure and satisfaction) and serotonin (a major depression and anxiety fighter). Doing hip and back stretches can increase blood flow to contracted urine, abdominal, and lower-back tension and this eases the tension that leads to cramps.
Best for: Mood swings, cramps, anxiety, and headaches.
Fluid retention, a hallmark of PMS, builds up as a result of those fluctuating hormones I keep rambling on about and it can make you feel like an overstuffed sausage link. For centuries Eastern doctors have believed that nutrients like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins B and C act as natural diuretics. Western doctors have finally caught the wave and have been advising patients to snack on bananas, fennel, tomatoes, watercress, and citrus fruits before their periods. And think twice before you rely on your cup of joe or Diet Coke to get things, for lack of a better word, moving. While caffeine might be able to cut down fluid retention, it can also lead to anxiety, so sip with caution.
Best for: Bloating,
While it may not be as indulgent as the real thing, self-massage can definitely reduce your pre-period woes (#Drake). A rubdown of any kind increases blood flow and eases muscle and mental tension *ahhhh* The essential oils used in massage really make a difference, I live for lavender! It’s a wonderful muscle relaxer, and geranium is a natural estrogen balancer which is much needed during this perilous time we’re all going through. Use several drops of one type of oil in a handful of massage lotion and, starting on your right side above your groin, massage up your waist in a clockwise motion. Once done, move to your left side and work down to your groin again. Doing this for five minutes twice a day during peak PMS time is a surefire way to nix the stressors of premenstrual poopiness. Make sure to use moderate to deep pressure.
Best for: Cramps, headaches and bloating
Clean Up Your Diet
Your diet affects everything—your skin, your mood, your sleeping cycle AND your period. I know it’ll be tough, but you must put down the Cheetos! Refined flour, sugar and processed food have to go! Caffeine needs to be given the heave-ho, stop drinking alcohol (no “buts” please), gluten is officially a no-fly zone, and don’t eat within three hours of bedtime. I know I sound like a diet Nazi but it’s for your own good. Another great tip I learned is to eat evenly throughout the day; skipping meals is NEVER the answer, and it can be harmful to your body. Eating organically as much as humanity permits is the right idea. This tip should be followed religiously for animal products; this helps you avoid ingesting environmental estrogens from pesticides. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but six different steroidal hormones are approved by the FDA for use in “food animals.” They are estradiol, progesterone (those bastards!), testosterone, and the synthetic hormones trenbolone acetate, progestin melengestrol acetate, and zeranol, all of which make animals grow faster and/or produce leaner meat for food. Dairy cattle are often treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to increase milk production. Hormones are banned for use in poultry in the US, but that doesn’t stop chicken producers from marketing their birds as “hormone free”; nor does it stop them from using them. Antibiotics are also routinely administered to animals raised for food, as well. 80 percent of antibiotics sold in the US is used on livestock. That is disgusting!
There are tons of ways to deal with the my-period’s-almost-here blues, and I hope this shed a little light on how you can get the relief you need and deserve (it’s your birthright). One major point I that I feel is absolutely necessary for you guys to keep in mind is that you have to (like have to-have to) deal with your stress! (in a healthy way, so no punching out the kid at McDonald’s for not giving you barbecue sauce for your nuggets….you shouldn’t even be there missy *gives you a stern look*). Stress causes heart disease, trouble sleeping, digestive problems, a drop in overall sexual desire (we definitely don’t want or need that!), and a lot of other problems. Stress leads to worse PMS symptoms and, given the content of this post, that would be a little counterproductive. Lighting candles, trying some deep breathing exercises, and journaling are all great ways to stamp out stress. What are some ways you beat PMS predicaments? Comment down below and let me know.
Stay beautiful my dears ❤