The symptoms that make up premenstrual syndrome range from skin breakouts, bloating, headaches, sore breasts and of course mood swings. They can begin from 5 – 11 days prior to the start of your period and their intensity can make life miserable for some women (and their partners!).
Soak Up The Sun
Women’s health expert Christine Northrup MD suggests that 10 minutes exposure to full spectrum natural light daily increases serotonin levels which are reduced at that time of the month due to the drop in estrogen. It also decreases sugar cravings associated with PMS.
Eat Away PMS
The following nutrients can help ease symptoms:
Calcium +D – found in 4 servings a day of low fat milk can lower your risk of PMS by 30-40%
Magnesium – can ease breast tenderness and bloating. A cup of raisin bran, an ounce of almonds or a banana provides enough.
B vitamins – found in fortified cereals, spinach, broccoli or the cabbage family have also been found to fend off PMS.
Iron – A daily serving of fortified cereal can also provide enough iron to reduce PMS symptoms. Looks like you should start the day with cereal. At least during your period.
Omega 3s – Taking 1000mg fish oil or flax oil during the week before your period has been shown to calm nerves that can become frayed.
Limiting salt minimizes bloating and fluid retention during this time and getting more sleep and exercise can reduce the intensity of symptoms (See Simple Steps To Improve Your Mood a free booklet available for download from www.drsarahallen.com for ways to improve sleep and cope better with stress).
PMS can worsen after you have had a baby and during peri-menopause because hormones ten to fluctuate more widely than usual. Symptoms are also worse if you are stressed due to the increased cortisol levels.
If none of the above suggestions help or if your mood swings are severe, consider talking to your doctor as you might have the more severe Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) which can be treated successfully with medication and therapy to learn successful ways to cope with stress and mood swings.