PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome occurs in many females a day or week before monthly menstruation. However, its cause is still unclear, but it is linked with rise in hormones such as estrogen and progesterone during luteal phase of menstrual cycle of 28 days. It is characterized by moodiness, bloating, food craving, weight gain fatigue, breast tenderness, mild to severe headache, acne, crying for no reasons, change in sex drive, sleep pattern. In most cases PMS is manageable and often taken as normal disturbance associated with menstruation. In certain cases, it needs clinical call. PMS symptoms sometimes overlaps with other health issues such as depression, anxiety disorder, diabetes, thyroid, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, dysmenorrheal, endometriosis.
PMS may also be aggravated by exposure of the body by xenobiotics and endocrine disruptors compounds (EDC). EDC are common in today’s’ world when environmental is loaded with like plastics, pollution, paraben, bromides, antibiotics, cosmetics, plastics and wide range of chemicals in food chain, travels, household cleaner, radiation etc. Hormones particularly the female hormones more sensitive to EDCs thus they are at high risk of hormone imbalance and associated health problems including PMS.
Excessive consumption of salt, sugar and alcohol worsen symptoms of PMS. A lady tends to crave for sugar-laden foods. It is a manifestation of the body’s attempt to increase serotonin level which is neurotransmitter responsible to improve mood and relaxation. Increased consumption of foods rich tend to cause spike in insulin level and water retention in the body. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are also associated with intense symptoms of PMS.
Foods like banana, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, milk, spinach, broccoli, cardamom, and beet, green leafy vegetables before and during periods support good health and reduce the risk of symptoms of PMS like bloating, irritability, moodiness, breast tenderness.
Nutritionally, B vitamins particularly vitamin thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12, and the vitamin C, E, D and among minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium are crucial in reducing the PMS symptoms. Food should also contain high protein and high fibre content. These nutrients help to synthesize and secretion of adequate amount of hormones and neurotransmitters such as serotonin, GABA and other compounds. Further Exercise helps to improve mood and reduce lethargy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helps to reduce the problematic thoughts and behaviour which are common during PMS.