Are you feeling the blues… crying a lot this time of the month, or are you irritated at the world, is the back giving you trouble or the stomach cramps have you at wits end…
You are just suffering from PMS or Pre menstrual Syndrome. There are 150 different symptoms of PMS experienced. The type of symptom experienced changes from person to person as does the severity too.
The mood change, anxiety, irritability that occurs during this time is due to an excess of estrogen, the primary female sex hormone responsible for reproductive system. On the other hand the depression, hopelessness that comes is due to the excess levels of progesterone which along with estrogen helps in pregnancy.
There are also cravings for sugar, tiredness and headaches which are due to the change in levels of hormones.
But don’t you worry, there are ways to cope up with these and if you are a guy, and your wife/girl friend complains all of these, tell her to try the below techniques to help her out:
- Exercise- It is believed that regular exercise at least 30 minutes three times a week can surely control PMS symptoms. Aerobic exercises releases endorphins which are called as the ‘feel good’ chemicals thus getting rid of the PMS blues and irritability. Yoga is also proven to help to manage PMS symptoms both physical and emotional.
- Supplements - There are supplements which are very useful in controlling these symptoms.
-Calcium- Consuming 1200 mg of calcium daily can reduce up to almost half of all symptoms including mood swings, depression, and menstrual cramps of PMS. Calcium supplements help improve negative moods by affecting the hormone-producing endocrine system.
-Vitamin B6- Vitamin B6 is a co factor in estrogen removal in the liver and helps in production of the mood inducing chemicals in the brain. You can take about 50 to 300 mg of Vitamin B6.
-Magnesium- Taking 200 – 400 mg of Magnesium per day helps relieve PMS symptoms. Magnesium also may help reduce breast tenderness.
-Vitamin E- Vitamin E prevents the symptoms like nervous tension, headache, fatigue, depression, insomnia, breast tenderness, anxiety, and food cravings, take 400 IU per day.
- Natural Foods- the Best option is to have plenty of natural fruits and vegetables which are rich in these.
- For calcium- Dairy products, Soybeans, green leafy vegetables.
- For magnesium eat- whole grains, nuts, legumes, dark leafy vegetables, shellfish, figs, lemons, grapefruit, yellow corn, almonds, seeds, apples, lentils etc.
- For Vitamin B6- eat bananas, potatoes, lentils, other whole grains, chilies, peppers, green vegetables, eggs, dairy products, and meats including turkey, tuna, and liver.
- Reduce Salt and Caffeine- To better control the symptoms reduce your salt intake as salt intake increases water retention which aggravates PMS symptoms. Also avoid caffeine as it can lead to more irritability and headaches.
- Increase intake of Omega 3 fatty acids- Increasing the intake of oils like flax seed (Alsi) and prim rose oil (lavang tel) eases menstrual irregularities.
- Medication- There are OTC medications which can relieve stomach cramps. But avoid taking Aspirin as it is found to increase menstrual bleeding.
- Relax- Once you have the symptoms, all you can do is try and relax. Switch on soothing music, do breathing exercises, get a massage, a warm bath… you will surely feel better.
- Be Positive- Try and fight the blues with consciously having positive thoughts and laughing. Laughter is really the best medicine.
- Diary- Maintain a diary where you note down the symptom, duration and severity; this will help you to manage your symptoms.
- Plan and Prepare- What generally happens is that we aren’t aware of the PMS symptoms unless it is the stomach cramp. So we go on crying over small things, feeling depressed over a slight argument and snapping at our friends.
-One way of preventing this is keeping tab of when the next period is going to be and counting up to 10 days before that. This is when the PMS symptoms will start. So keep a tab of what you are feeling so that you may know you are not over reacting.
There are some doctors like gynecologist Dr. Sangeeta Pikale who believe that PMS now has become an urban hyped Phenomenon and “many like to blame their anger and irritability on PMS and find it as a safe excuse to be irrational.” Other doctors beg to differ Dr. Anirudhha Malpani MD Gynecology contradicts it with “PMS does exist. Aware women realize they have it. Rural women and poor women are too busy making ends meet, so they cannot complain even when they do suffer from it.”
We are busy with our lives, rushing past a breakneck speed; we might find these PMS symptoms to be largely annoying and painful but remember these are biological signs hardly avoidable. Treat them as reminders for us to pamper ourselves, and see how much more bearable they seem …