woman experiences PMS to some degree. Sometimes, PMS happens like
clockwork but other times it might change from month to month, depending
on any number of factors including your diet, stress level, sleep
patterns or overall health. Some women go their whole lives without
experiencing PMS, but symptoms may start after they give birth. For
other women, they wake up one day to find their PMS is gone. For
the rest of us, PMS is a fairly consistent presence throughout our
lives. PMS usually ends with menopause, unless you are treating menopause
with cyclic hormone therapy.
PMS is characterized by abdominal cramps
(the uterus contracting to expel excess tissue and blood from its
lining), crankiness, fatigue,
skin break-outs, depression, anxiety, headaches, backaches, breast
tenderness and food cravings. Many of these symptoms are related
to the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Right before you get
your period, levels of estrogen and progesterone significantly
As an effect, you may experience some crankiness, emotional sensitivity,
as well as breast tenderness and food cravings. The cramps are
caused by the hormone prostaglandin. Prostaglandin triggers the
contract, which can be a painful experience.
PMS is, in a way, inevitable,
if you are predisposed. Some of the ways you can deal better with
your feelings of PMS are:
- Eat right. Even though you probably
crave some salty foods or chocolate, if you get a balanced diet
in during your period, you
will give your
body the nutrients it needs to keep functioning in top shape,
and you will experience less of the symptoms such as water retention,
fatigue and bloating.
- Exercise. Contrary to what you may believe—that
during your period you’re entitled to stay in bed all day—you’ll
need to get regular exercise in order to limit the feelings of
PMS and feel your best.
- Relax. Being stressed out and super busy
during your period might be a fact of your life, but you can’t
expect to alleviate some of the symptoms of PMS unless you can
lie back and indulge
in some relaxation and pampering.
- Quit smoking. Smoking has been
linked with the symptoms of PMS—one
more reason to kick the habit.
Most women treat themselves for PMS
by popping over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen®. For
the most part, this solution
and recommended. Just make sure you read the labels, don’t
mix medicine with alcohol and keep it in moderation. Some women
prefer complimentary and alternative treatment approaches to PMS.
change their lifestyle for the days during their period to promote
a stress-free environment in order to deal with PMS. If your symptoms persist, and nothing
seems to help, you can talk with your provider about specific alternatives