One of the most natural processes in a woman’s life, periods can be a normal way of life for some and a challenging experience for others. The phase before and after periods can result in a number of symptoms – some that ebb away once the cycle starts and others that prolong throughout the cycle. These symptoms are referred to as PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome.
PMS is not a myth.
“Three out of four women, globally experiences PMS in one way or another”. So rest assured, you are not alone. But the good news is, you don’t have to just deal with the pain, there are solutions. Keep reading to find out how
Periods happen, when the egg doesn’t fertilize during the ovulation phase. Hence after the ovulation stage, when the egg begins to break down from the ovaries, there is a slight decline in the levels of the progesterone hormones (the ovaries are the ones producing the regular supply of our progesterone hormones). This slight change in progesterone levels affects various chemical reactions in the brain and in turn other hormones and body mechanisms.
The degree to which these changes affect our body, depends on how equipped our body is to deal with the changes. Our physical, psychological and social wellbeing at that particular point in time affects the symptoms.
Detailing this further, Human body is remarkable and can deal with a lot of complex changes happening inside. Hence, while PMS is caused by normal hormonal changes in the body, pain and discomfort in the body during that time is a sign of imbalance and deficiencies. A woman's diet may contribute to the development of PMS or affect the severity of the symptoms. What we eat and drink, or in some cases, what they don't eat and drink, can be directly related to PMS symptoms.
There are over 150 PMS symptoms and most women experience at least one PMS symptom each month. The most common symptoms can be largely divided into the following two categories:
1. Behavioral and Emotional Symptoms
- - Food cravings
- - Stress and anxiety
- - Depression
- - Mood swings
- - Irritability
- - Feeling tearful
- - Difficulty concentration
- - Anger
2. Physical Symptoms
- - Cramps
- - Fatigue
- - Body ache
- - Tender breasts
- - Increased acne
- - Abdominal bloating
PMS can be self diagnosed. If you are noticing the above changes, don’t ignore them. They are Ok and there are solutions. Continue to read more below on the list of solutions:
To be honest, there is no direct ‘cure’ for PMS; ‘Pain relief pills’ are not cures, but just medicines that control the symptoms.
However, you can reduce the severity and eventually achieve hormonal balance with a healthy lifestyle, in terms of a balanced diet, regular exercise and minimising stress, as well as avoiding salt, caffeine and alcohol.
There are a number of herbal and nutritional supplements that are suggested for PMS. Read on to find out how you can incorporate those in your diet and adopt a lifestyle that can reduce the discomfort.
Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains the week before your period. Avoid caffeine and salt-heavy diet as they can cause bloating and cause irritability or anxiety. Avoid consuming too much sugar as it can destabilize your blood sugar and mood.
Add more micronutrients to your plate. Eat food rich in Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin B6 & E. Lack of nutrition aggravates the PMS symptoms.
Ayurvedic herbs are known to reduce cramps and mood swings during periods. Ginger is best known to reduce bloating.
Herbs like Shatavari and Ashoka helps to reduce cramps. Whereas, Ashwagandha reduces stress and mood swings.
Exercise can fight both physical and emotional PMS symptoms. <> Go for a run or do some yoga.
Stress impacts the brain and brain plays a crucial role in directing the hormonal release. So avoid stress.
As they aggravate the hormones, hindering their normal functions. Avoid them during PMS when the body is undergoing complex hormonal changes and needs some support from us.
While PMS is a phenomenon impacting the physical and mental well-being of a lot of women, it is not a disease or a body malfunction that can be fixed by medication. Medicines can help curb the symptoms but not solve the larger hormonal play led imbalance, some of which we can feel and some which are beyond the perception of our senses.