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What is premenstrual syndrome (PMS)? In a layman's language, it is that time of the month you don't really want to unnecessarily bother a woman or you might have to face the brunt of an emotional outburst. In medical terms, it is a combination of emotional, physical, psychological changes that occur in a woman after ovulation and culminates with the ending of her menstrual flow. The most common mood-related symptoms are irritability, depression, crying, oversensitivity, and mood swings.
The most common physical symptoms are fatigue, bloating, breast tenderness, acne, and appetite changes with food cravings. In severe cases, anger, irritability, anxiety and tension leads to loss of the functioning ability of a woman. If you've been there or are suffering, you are not alone. There are scores of women around the world who experience these symptoms. Here are ways to minimize and get rid of PMS.
1. Control PMS with diet changes: Certain food types in general are not a healthy choice but can cause more harm than good during PMS. Depending on what factor affects you the most, cut down on these types of food.
- Salt: Excess salt can lead to bloating
- Caffeine: Can lead to anxiety, sleeplessness and irritability
- Alcohol: The concoction for depression
- Sugar: Can cause mood swings
As always, eating more fruits, veggies and grains at the right time can keep you healthy and prepared for those dreaded days.
2. Exercise: Exercise is a mood lifter. It gets you into shape, adds to your stamina and slowly but steadily boosts your confidence to become slimmer, stronger, and fitter. The trick is to pick up on an exercise you love. Hit the road and run free with your thoughts or turn on the music and dance with aerobics.
3. Stock up on vitamins: Hormonal imbalances are the primary cause behind PMS. Though it is not proven, stocking up on some essential vitamins like calcium, potassium and minerals can give you more strength to fight the symptoms.
4. Herbal remedies: They've been around for hundreds of years and you are likely to have an aunt or grandma swear by one of these cures. From ginger to primrose oil, these cures can balance your hormonal activity in a natural way. You will need to experiment to see what really suits your need.
5. Take a break: No matter what physical or emotional trauma you go through, it can double up because of stress and lack of sleep. Knowing your 'off' days, it's best you find a way to take some time off for yourself at a spa or try meditation and deep breathing. Do what you love to do to. Keep your mind calm and clear. Listen to music, take a walk with your dog or simply read a good book.
To start with, change your diet, take a few supplements and herbs, and start exercising, and you should see the change in the first few cycles itself. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.