Photo Credit: Gwen Vazquez – urbanewomen.com
Thank you for Ms. O’s question about Premenstrual syndrome and Diet.
Premenstrual syndrome is a group of symptoms related to menstrual cycle. PMS symptoms occur about 1 to 2 weeks before your period starts and go away once the menstrual flow begins. The symptoms may include:
Physical signs and symptoms
- Joint or muscle pain
- Weight gain related to fluid retention
- Abdominal bloating
- Breast tenderness
- Acne flare-ups
- Constipation or diarrhea
Emotional and behavioral symptoms
- Tension or anxiety
- Depressed mood
- Crying spells
- Mood swings and irritability or anger
- Appetite changes and food cravings
- Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
- Social withdrawal
- Poor concentration
Treatment – Lifestyle
If you have a mild PMS, these lifestyle changes may ease your symptoms.
- Exercise regularly
- Limit salty, sugary foods, caffeine, and alcohol
- Get enough sleep
- Don’t smoke
- Choose foods high in complex carbohydrates, such as fruit, vegetables, and whole grains
- Eat light but frequent meals
Treatment – Alternative Therapies
Certain vitamins and minerals have been found to help soothe some of the PMS symptoms.
Magnesium – May reduce fluid retention, breast tenderness, and bloating. High in boiled spinach, peanut butter, boiled black eye peas, dried pecan, boiled lima beans, whole wheat bread, whole wheat spaghetti.
Vitamin B6 – May improve mood swings, breast tenderness, and headaches. High in fortified cereals, baked potato with skin, banana, Garbanzo beans, chicken breast, lean pork loin, trout, walnuts, and peanut butter.
Vitamin E – May improve appetite and hormone balance. High in fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, sunflower oil, safflower oil, hazelnuts, peanut butter, corn oil, cooked spinach, and turnip greens.
Calcium with vitamin D – May reduce menstrual pain and water retention. Calcium is High in yogurt, milk, cheese, fortified orange juice, and tofu. Vitamin D is high in salmon, milk, fortified cereals, fortified orange juice, and of course you can get vitamin D from sunlight.
Crampy Lower Abdominal Pain
Lamiya left a comment asking about ways to getting rid of period cramps. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a way to get rid of this bad guy completely because the condition may be related to the release of a hormone during that time. However, I do found a list of home remedies for cramps from MedlinePlus. I personally tried a few which worked for me (Italic). I hope they help.
- Take warm showers or baths.
- Use a heating pad on your lower abdomen.
- Drink warm beverages.
- Lie on your side with your knees bent.
- Do light circular massage with your fingertips around your lower belly area.
- Keep your legs raised while lying down.
- Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga.
- Walk or exercise regularly, including pelvic rocking exercises.
- Lose weight if you are overweight. Get regular, aerobic exercise.
Let me know if you have tried the other ones and worked. Please Follow and Stay Healthy. :)
1. Journal: Pre-menstrual Syndrome and Diet by Bussell G.
2. Mayo Clinic: PMS
3. WomensHealth.gov: Premenstrual syndrome fact sheet
4. MedlinePlus: Painful Menstrual Periods