3 Ways to Ease PMS

Premenstrual syndrome––otherwise known as PMS––englobes the emotional and physical changes in the days leading up to a menstrual cycle. In extreme cases, these symptoms (including mood swings, tenderness, food cravings, fatigue, irritability, and depression) can get to the point where they interfere with someone’s ability to perform daily activities.

 

While eradicating PMS entirely may not be possible, there is comfort in knowing that it is definitely possible to manage some extreme symptoms. Read on below to check out a few of our go-to suggestions!

 

SUPPLEMENT ADEQUATELY

 

"Unfortunately, there's not a one-size-fits-all nutrient mix to help alleviate PMS," explains Page Animadu, M.D., an obstetrician/gynecologist at Henry Ford Health. “However”, she adds, “there are a plethora of nutrients that can make a difference.” 

 

Increasing both your magnesium and calcium intake during the week leading up to your period (or the week itself) can help greatly with the management of your symptoms. If you suffer from bad cramps during your menstrual cycle, magnesium could be your new best friend: it works to calm the physical symptoms of PMS by relaxing the smooth muscles of the uterus and reducing the prostaglandins that cause period pain.

 

As for calcium, a clinical study of women taking 500 milligrams of calcium carbonate twice a day for 3 months found they had less fatigue, bloating, fewer changes in appetite, and reduced psychological symptoms, including sadness, mood swings, and anxiety than women with PMS who did not take the supplement. 

 

MOVE GENTLY 

 

Engaging in at least 30 minutes of brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or other low-impact aerobic activity during your premenstrual week will help to alleviate certain symptoms, such as fatigue and a depressed mood. Yoga and gentle Pilates are also great ways to help muscles de-contract, kickstart the flow of endorphins that help elevate your mood, as well as help to relieve stress. 

 

Speaking of which…

 

STRESS MANAGEMENT 

 

Keeping stress levels low is key to managing PMS. When high levels of cortisol are flowing through the body, it can exacerbate symptoms like mood swings, cramps, headaches, and more. Drinking 2L of water daily; getting plenty of sleep; avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and snacks that are full of refined sugars will all play a part in keeping stress levels low. 

 

To ease the physical stress on the body caused by cramps, you can help tense muscles relax with a heating pad, warm bath, or even certain essential oils. 

 

Last but not least, use this time of the month to slow down and focus solely on the things that make you feel good. Whether you like to crack open a new book, go out with friends, take a day off from work, or cozy in with a blanket and your favourite movie, make space for the things that help YOU keep stress at bay.

 

Until next time: make sure to take care of your mind, body, and soul!

 

The BSE Team

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