Cramps, cravings, crankiness?
Sore boobs, spots and poor sleep?
When these signs happen before your period is due, you could be suffering PMS. Pre Menstrual Syndrome.
PMS affects about 40% of menstruating women. Yikes. That’s A LOT.
That goes up to 70% if you factor in breast changes during the cycle. Double yikes.
If you’re a sufferer, you are NOT ALONE. Many women are suffering.
Some women are only affected mildly. For some the changes can be dramatic.
But whether you’re at the Teary and Weary of the scale or turned into full on Bitch Troll From Hell by PMS, it’s awful.
It’s embarrassing. It can affect everyday life and work. It can affect your relationships with your partner and family. It can lead to depression. It’s likely to happen every month.
It’s all the subject of many a joke, but it’s no laughing matter.
So what’s PMS and what are the symptoms? And how can we help ourselves at home to find relief from the aches, pains and other signs?
What is PMS?
It’s basically a long list of over a hundred really unpleasant symptoms that can occur in some women before their period comes. Noone is certain what causes it, exactly.
Some experts think it’s connected with the drop in progesterone in relation to oestrogen that happens as part of a woman’s cycle.
It’s commonly accepted that lifestyle choices can make symptoms better or worse.
Symptoms of PMS
There are over one hundred symptoms associated with PMS. Most common symptoms include :-
- Mood swings
- Fluid retention
- Food cravings
- Cramping pains
- Skin breakouts
- Poor sleep
- Breast tenderness
- Loose bowels
Some women only experience a couple of these. Some get most. And EVERY MONTH. Hardly a barrel of laughs.
Conventional treatments usually focus on pain relief and reducing blood loss. In some cases, women are offered artificial hormones.
All meds have possible side effects – at very least they deplete women of nutrients over time. That can trigger other symptoms. And that might lead to even more meds.
Possible vicious cycle.
Please think about any drugs – what they’re made from, how they were tested and on whom, what the side effects might be, whether you will need to take them long term and what the options you have before resorting to taking them. Then decide for yourself. It’s your choice.
10 Top Tips for Relieving PMS Symptoms Naturally
Here are my top ten tips for PMS self-care.
1. Balance blood sugar to balance mood swings and energy. It might also reduce cravings. Eat good quality protein with each meal and snack. Avoid sugar. Eat regularly. No skipping meals.
2. The phytoestrogens in beans, soy and flaxseeds can help relieve breast pain. Take a look at my blog on Why Women Should Love Beans for more info.
3. Avoid foods and drinks that are thought to aggravate symptoms – coffee, tea, alcohol, fizzy drinks, fatty foods, salty snacks.
4. Take plenty of essential fatty acids in the form of oily fish (salmon, mackerel etc) and flax seeds/oil to help balance hormones.
5. Take a walk outside – research in the US suggests walking boosts serotonin (the feel-good hormone) which helps lift the blues.
6. Try herbal teas – dandelion can help fluid balance, lemon verbena can support headaches, peppermint or fennel can help with digestive issues. And in plenty of plain filtered water to beat fluid retention.
7. Avoid constipation and sluggish digestion, so your body rids itself of old hormones. This can support better hormone balance.
8. Soothe your mood by burning essential oils in a diffuser/burner – take one tablespoon of a carrier oil like sweet almond and add 3 drops of fennel, 3 drops geranium, 4 drops of grapefruit. It smells a-m-a-z-i-n-g.
9. A hot water bottle on your tummy or lower back can help relieve cramping pain. Or take a warm bath.
10. Take the Tissue Salt Magnesium Phosphoricum when period pain strikes. Tissue Salts are micro-doses of the 12 essential minerals your body needs to repair and maintain itself. The are safe and gentle. Contact me if you’re not sure where to get some.
Do consult a qualified therapist for homeopathic remedies or herbs or supplements that may help your specific symptoms. There are quite a few – including some blends and combinations – I have used with great results with my VIP clients.
Give them a go and let me know how you get on. It’s worth trying these before opting for medications.
If you are really concerned about your symptoms, see your Doctor for advice.