Tips for PMS

Ladies, let’s be honest. Periods suck. It can feel like you have to put your life on pause every month due to the cramping, pain, and heavy flow. You may want to lay on the couch all day, eat everything in sight, maybe even yell at everyone in sight. What if I told you that it doesn’t have to be like that? Experiencing severe PMS symptoms ISN’T NORMAL, and you do NOT have to suffer through your symptoms.

There, I said it.

Premenstrual Syndrome is COMMON, but ‘common’ and ‘normal’ are two different things. According to the Mayo Clinic, 3 in 4 women experience PMS.
What is considered PMS? It ranges from emotional, physical, and behavioral signs and symptoms such as:

Emotional and behavioral signs

  • Mood swings
  • Food cravings and appetite changes
  • Crying spells
  • Irritability or anger
  • Depressed mood
  • Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
  • Poor concentration
  • Social withdrawal

Physical signs

  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain related to fluid retention
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Acne flare-ups
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Alcohol intolerance

PMS symptoms can begin 5-11 days before the menses and will typically stop after 4 days following the start of the menses’.

In many cultures, menstruation is an honored time for women. To slow down, rest, and take care of your body. Meanwhile, we live in a society that promotes workaholics. This is your sign of giving yourself a break to slow down and honor your body’s needs.

How to relieve PMS symptoms

Within a few months of adopting the right combination of some of these habits below, you can relieve your symptoms. Adopting the proper practices for you, including a mix of dietary, mind-body, and supplements, you can reduce your symptoms within a few cycles.

  • Sugar, fast carbs, dairy, excess alcohol all worsen PMS. Resist those impulses with healthier alternatives, and eat more complex carbs to help curve the cravings!
  • Aerobic exercise, including walking, 3-4 times weekly for six or more weeks, can prevent PMS.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking can cause PMS.
  • Increase your omega-3, either with a supplement or eating fish three times a week.
  • Consume 2 tbsp ground flaxseed daily, a week before the start of your period.
  • Bump up your iron- including red meat, dark meat poultry, shellfish, legumes, dark chocolate, nuts, spinach, and tofu.
  • Partake in yoga and meditation!
  • Consume more calcium-can reduce PMS headaches, pain, moodiness, and food cravings by 50%.
  • Take your B Vitamins! Combat PMS fatigue with this energy vitamin.
  • Supplements such as chaste tree berry and evening primrose oil.

Personally, what has helped me is the combination of physical activity (especially switching to lower impact exercises around my time of the month, such as yoga), consistently taking a fish oil supplement and B-vitamins, and finding healthy comfort foods recipes. Our hormones are drastically different at different cycle stages, and learning to work with your body makes life much easier!

If you feel your symptoms are extreme, there may be a root cause of your symptoms. Over time, if we ignore our symptoms or mask them by using birth control, it can trigger a health condition. Our symptoms can be warning signs and finding a doctor who will help you understand what you are dealing with is crucial. It is critical to seek appropriate medical support, especially when experiencing severe depression, anxiety, or thoughts of self-harm.
At Tree of Life, we have connections with many practitioners who seek to heal the root cause of a health issue. If you are ever looking for guidance, give us a call, and we are more than happy to guide you in the direction you are looking for.