PMS, also known as premenstrual syndrome, is responsible for a variety of symptoms that are thought to be triggered by the hormonal changes in a women’s body in the weeks prior to her menstrual period. These undesirable symptoms are common in any woman, but when it causes a woman to experience difficulties in every day responsibilities it is diagnosed as PMS and it quite a challenge to deal with.
Not only does a woman with PMS undergo physical discomfort, it causes emotional disturbances as well. The two most common symptoms of PMS are fatigue and headache, but other symptoms such as anxiety, depression, tender breasts, bloating, weight gain, mood swings, irritability, abdominal cramping and host of other symptoms are also noted. This can cause a woman to not feel like her normal self and can disrupt relationships making life with a person with PMS extremely difficult.
Women with PMS have been helped in the past with lifestyle changes, such as diet, stress reduction, exercise, and medication. Women with PMS should plan to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that is nutritionally sound to give her body the best possible defense against the condition.
Other diet suggestions for someone suffering with PMS are to maintain a diet that is low in saturated fats. This will help to regulate the hormone levels. Decreasing your sugar and carbohydrates will help with blood sugar.
Salt intake should be at a minimum, as this will help to control the bloated feeling that takes place in your body when you have your menstrual period. Caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol consumption should be minimal or better yet eliminated altogether. Diets that are fruit and vegetarian rich and low in meat intake are best in terms of balance a woman’s hormonal cycle.
Other well-known treatments in addition to dietary adjustments are lifestyle changes, exercise, and stress reduction. These steps will add to an increased feeling of well being in not only a person suffering from PMS, but everyone.
Learning to live with the challenges of PMS are not easy, but can be done making you feel like a more well adjusted, happier, and productive person. Diet and PMS are thought to be one of the treatments in living and coping with PMS. There is no reason that one should let PMS interfere with their life when a few simple changes can make all the difference in the world.
If feeling any of the above symptoms and feeling unable to cope with your physical and emotional difficulties during your period then you owe it to yourself to seek the advice and counsel of your physician. If symptoms of PMS are severe then you and your doctor may have to consider additional treatment with the use of medications, but starting with a few simple dietary changes is definitively a step in the right direction.
Psychology Today: You can Prevent PMS from Destroying your Diet
The British Dietetic Association: Premenstrual Syndrome
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Premenstrual Syndrome
WomensHealth.gov: Premenstrual Syndrome Fact Sheet