For most of us ladies, PMS is a monthly evil that rears its ugly head for about a week and wrecks just about everything in its path. Through its wide range of inconvenient symptoms such as bloating, nausea, cramps, breast sensitivity, lower back pain and mood swings, it continually beats us down physically and emotionally throughout our periods every month. With time, we’ve all come to accept PMS to be inevitable and while there are a variety of prescription medications and over-the-counter medicines available to tackle these symptoms, it’s not a very attractive idea to stay on medicines for about one-fourth of the year. Not only are these medications unhealthy in the longer run, they can also cause lasting damage and hormonal imbalance as their side effects which can be a real pain later.
However, when you think about it, isn’t it absurd that 75% of one sex would have a ‘design flaw’ big enough that they would need medical intervention for a natural and healthy phenomenon such as menstruation for one-fourth of a year? Evolution couldn’t possibly be that sexist or stupid. The true story is that the suffering due to PMS isn’t compulsory at all and is caused by specific bad habits, environmental toxins, and stress and can be tackled very smartly and easily by making some small intelligent changes in your lifestyle.
So, here are 5 tips to ease your PMS symptoms that really work:
1. Essential Oils
Essential oils are a wonderful natural solution that can be used in a variety of ways to imbibe them into our busy lifestyle to reap their benefits. They can be applied topically, consumed or used in aromatherapy depending on the sort of oil and the required result. A range of essential oils like lavender, geranium, clary sage, ylang-ylang, eucalyptus, and chamomile help various PMS symptoms and can even be used in blends for greater benefits. Not only do people relax and sleep better with essential oils during PMS due to their soothing and calming properties, they can also help with reducing hormonal acne and dry skin.
2. Exercise more
Exercise would probably be the last thing on your mind when you feel bloated, are in pain and are also experiencing mood swings and irritability. However, the right exercises can help all these symptoms and make you feel better if you just pluck up the courage to get moving. Exercising improves your blood circulation, reduces pain and also releases endorphins which puts you on a natural high, thus also reduces stress and improves your mood. There are also specific exercises for lower back pain which would give you lasting effects during periods without having to resort to painkillers.
3. Improve your diet
There isn’t much a healthy diet cannot cure. During periods, certain foods need to be avoided and certain foods need to be added to your diet for immediate effects. Salt, caffeine, fried food, fatty food, alcohol, sugar and legumes are just a few examples of foods that should be avoided during your menstrual cycle. On the other hand, adding fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fatty fish, nuts, cacao and dark chocolate to your diet provides your body with many nutrients and minerals. Some of these include iron, fiber, and zinc which helps reduce PMS symptoms significantly.
4. Take supplements
While a healthy diet usually has you covered, sometimes the gaps are too big for just food to handle and that’s where supplements come in. Supplements effectively cancel out any deficiencies, hence meeting all your body’s needs. Supplements of magnesium citrate or glycinate, calcium citrate, vitamin B6, vitamin BB1, evening primrose oil, EPA/DHA (omega 3 fats), taurine, and a good daily multivitamin are advised. Among natural supplements, chasteberry fruit extract, wild yam, cramp bark, dandelion root, soy, red clover, or kudzu root, flax seed, Bupleurum Root, Chinese Peony root, Dong Quai Root, Bai-Zhu Atractylodes Root, Poria Sclerotium, Ginger Rhizome, Chinese Licorice Root, and Chinese Mint Leaf are known to be beneficial.
5. Try stress-relieving therapies
During PMS, dealing with stress is very critical because stress itself can make other symptoms worse and start a vicious cycle. So try whatever seems to reduce stress for you. It could be a hot relaxing bath, a massage, yoga, deep breathing, meditation, walks or any other method you like. You can also resort to professional therapies with proven results like acupuncture, homoeopathy, or aromatherapy to see immediate results.