The symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) can range from mildly annoying to completely debilitating. In the latter case, PMS symptoms can result in missing time from work and the inability to accomplish much of anything until the symptoms resolve. This blog discusses some possible ways you can address some of the more troublesome symptoms of PMS.
Most Common Premenstrual Symptoms
Some months you may barely notice that your period is on its way and other months it can seem like you have every PMS symptom imaginable. While irritability and mood swings are perhaps the most well-known PMS symptoms, they are far from the only ones. Here are several others that you probably recognize:
- Breast tenderness
- Craving for sweet or salty foods
- Mental fogginess
You may be able to make small, simple changes in your life depending on the PMS symptoms that bother you the most. For example, engaging in regular exercise has proven effective at treating the symptoms of PMS along with lowering stress and elevating mood.
Dietary changes can reduce the impact of PMS each month as well. Sugar, red meat, alcohol, caffeine, and dairy products all have inflammatory properties that can make the bloating and cramping of PMS worse than it would be otherwise. Better food choices you can make to reduce inflammation include fruits, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, and complex carbohydrates.
Get Plenty of Rest
If you have timed your cycle fairly well, you know which days each month you are more likely to experience PMS symptoms than others. These are the days you should aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Getting enough sleep will help you wake up feeling refreshed and allow your body to repair any damage from the previous day. This includes cramping, bloating, and other physically uncomfortable symptoms of PMS.
Take a Hot Bath Every Night
Soaking in a hot bath each night during PMS can help to relieve physical discomfort and mental tension. Adding Epsom salt to your bath water can provide an even greater benefit because it helps to relax your sore muscles. The magnesium in the salt also helps to promote greater mental relaxation.
Vitamins and Supplements
If food cravings are a problem for you during PMS, consider supplementing your diet with 300 to 500 milligrams of magnesium each day. This supplement can also help with breast tenderness. Vitamin B6 can reduce overall symptoms but be sure to take it in the correct dose to avoid certain side effects such as numbness. Natural progesterone cream and primrose oil are additional solutions recommended by leading gynecologists.
Sometimes the Problem is Worse than PMS
While nearly all women deal with PMS at some point during the reproductive years, a much smaller percentage develop severe PMS symptoms known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder, commonly abbreviated PMDD. Having PMDD can make normal functioning in the days leading up to menstruation challenging to impossible.
If you think you could have PMDD or need additional input to manage your PMS symptoms, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with Folsom OB-GYN.