|According to many studies conducted approximately 85 % of women who have menstrual cycles will experience at least one PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome symptom each month.
The causation of PMS is not entirely known but it is thought that changes or increases in female hormones as well as changes within the brain and its activity are highly suspect when it comes to PMS and the symptoms.
Women who have been diagnosed with mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression are at a higher risk of suffering from PMS. Fortunately further research and studies are consistently being done on this topic and over the past few
decades there have been many advances in medications and holistic remedies that can offer relief whether long term or temporary, from PMS.
PMS typically becomes apparent about one to two weeks prior to the onset on a woman’s menstrual cycle and can last anywhere from a few days or it can continue through the end of her cycle. While most women have not been technically diagnosed with PMS, some have extreme symptoms which have required doctor’s care.
Many women learn to live with their PMS and have become accustomed to the side effects and symptoms and get through them with minimal problems, while others have symptoms so debilitating it interferes with their daily lives and routines.
Some of the most widely recognized symptoms of PMS include: acne, feeling more tired than usual, changes in appetite (a reduced appetite or increase of, as well as specific cravings, often salt and sugar induced) headaches or migraines, bloating about the stomach or legs, soreness of the breasts, muscles and joints and difficulty concentrating or focusing. Extreme cases of PMS also include mood swings, full blown depressive episodes and chronic insomnia.
Depending on the severity of your PMS symptoms and their longevity, this time of the month can be a mild bother or can wreck havoc on your daily lifestyle. Every woman’s body is different and thus they will experience different symptoms for varying amounts of time.
Finding adequate relief and suspension from your PMS symptoms is generally a trial and error process; it is best to incorporate numerous relief methods until you find the ones that are best suited for your symptoms and needs and can provide the best relief. These relief remedies include medications, lifestyle alterations and/or changes, holistic remedies and other alternative remedies.
Billions of dollars have been spent in an effort to find naturalistic remedies for PMS. Much of the reasons they are becoming more common and accepted is because overall the treatments and methods are inexpensive and those who are naturalists or green friendly tend to be particularly fond of such methods.
Rather than subjecting your body to harsh chemicals and traditional medications that often have negative side effects, many prefer more natural remedies such as acupuncture, herbal treatments and exercise regimes such as Yoga.
Much of the hype from holistic remedies is immediately related to the adoration of self healing. Holistic practitioners can teach one how to align their “chi” or “auras” and some claim they yield remarkable results. Acupuncture for example is a growingly popular natural remedy that many use to relieve the symptoms of PMS.
|Acupuncture originated in Europe during the 17th century in Europe and is the act of utilizing and inserting needles throughout the areas of the body which are causing pain.
Trained professionals place these needles within specific troublesome areas and by doing so heat and electrical stimulation is thought to relieve the associated pain that comes along with the injury. Ancient Chinese practitioners believe
that these currents direct positive energy flow to the specified areas. These needles will influence the tissues to repair themselves and some believe that they additionally tap into our brainwaves and neurological systems further inducing healing capabilities.
Acupuncture is used in many regions of the world as a tool and treatment of chronic pain. It is thought that over one million practitioners and physicians within the United States use acupuncture as a treatment method.
For those who suffer with symptoms such as back pain, muscle aches and headaches during PMS, acupuncture may be something worth considering.
Yoga is another long time ancient practice that has gained wide recognition in different regions of the world. According to the National Association of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, yoga is the 5th most popular alternative therapy used in the United States.
Many utilize yoga for a variety of health issues as well as emotional well being. In Sanskrit, Yoga is defined as a union-that is, it incorporates the mind, body and soul as one and by doing so the three come together to create a peaceful and serene space for healing and release of stress and tension.
It is thought that by creating balance within the body ailments will begin to disappear or lessen. Yoga incorporates specific stretching and poses, while also using mental imagery and concentration. Other things like chanting and breathing exercises also may be encouraged.
Many people with PMS experience high stress levels, anxiety and emotional imbalance for which yoga may be a therapeutic tool to assist with. Many studies have reported that practicing yoga can reduce stress and overall well being.
Many practitioners suggest specific Yoga exercises that can assist with PMS and possibly reduce discomfort and pain associated with those symptoms particularly for those who suffer from acute dysmenorrhea, which literally translates to “painful menstruating.”
Those who suffer from dysmenorrhea may want to try a Yoga move called “The Cobra Move” which is known to regulate menstrual cycles and relieve gas and bloating that can cause discomfort.
To do this pose lie on your stomach with your head resting on your arms in a crossed position; once comfortable gently raise your head, gazing forward and position your hands close to your body near your breast area. Slowly raise your upper body with your weight on your hips and thighs.
Raise yourself until your back is arched but not painfully so with your head now tilted back slightly. Hold this stretching pose for 20 seconds. Return to original position and repeat a few times.
To relieve bloating discomfort and overall muscle tension and pain, try the “Wind Relieving Pose.” To do this lie flat on your back with your legs straight on a Yoga mat or carpeted surface. Slowly raise your left knee until it is almost to your chest, wrapping both your arms around it. Slowly raise your head to your knee gently and hold the position for 10 seconds.
Release and return leg to prior position. Repeat with right leg. To relieve cramps, try gently rocking up and down while your knee is bent. This will help with tension and gas in the stomach region and massage your spine.
Herbal medicines have a long history or record benefits many of which may be able to alleviate symptoms of PMS and offer relief. Acne is often rampant during PMS.
A study conducted by Leeds Metropolitan University tested herbs such as Thyme and Marigold and found that these two herbs were more effective in neutralizing the bacterium that is a leading cause of acne
than many over the counter and prescription medications and creams currently used; and that they worked much faster without any side effects.
This would make sense as these and other herbs are often used within the ingredients of anti-acne washes and creams. But by settling the herbs in alcohol and extracting their original components, the results are much faster than processing them with myriad other ingredients which is done when making creams and medications.
During that process often times the effective components of the herbs are diluted by the time they hit the shelves for consumers to purchase. Additionally these over the counter remedies contain benzoyl peroxide which has nasty side effects such as burning the skin and causing irritation. Utilizing natural herbs can rectify and avoid those effects.
Herbs such as Chickweed contain anti-inflammatory agents which can help reduce swelled and inflamed joints experienced during PMS. Additionally, Chickweed also incorporates vitamin C which has been linked to numerous health benefits.
Holistic PMS relief methods are innumerable and the results are varied, but there remains millions of supporters of these remedies within communities and the medical and scientific communities as well.
Diet and Exercise
Consumers are bombarded almost daily with lectures about how diet and exercise are pivotal to leading a healthy and long life. Studies show that by altering your diet and increasing your activity level you may receive beneficial health treatments for PMS relief.
Exercise has long been linked to emotional and physical benefits. Various studies have proven that those who exercise are not only in better shape physically, but that they report feeling emotionally better after even a brief walk or a tennis match with a friend.
Exercising in a group can help burn calories and by mingling with others in a social setting, our brains release serotonins and endorphins, which are both directly related to our bodies and minds experiencing happiness, relaxation and peacefulness.
Additionally, when we sweat our bodies release water, a culprit of bloating. Thus, by merely becoming active it is possible that we can lessen depressive symptoms and bloating that often accompanies PMS.
What we put into our bodies directly affects not only our physical body but also our emotional health. Consuming alcoholic beverages and caffeine has medically been associated with symptoms such as headaches, dehydration and anxiety. Forgoing these two things during times of PMS may lessen those same symptoms that occur during PMS time frames.
Other studies have shown that by eating foods rich in starches and carbohydrates causes our brains to release serotonin, a chemical directly influencing our mood. These foods can also help diminish fatigue and assist in focus and concentration. The Mayo clinic published a study in 2009. In it women who took calcium tablets of 1200 mg reported experiencing less depression, mood swings and cravings.
Another recent study concluded that eating foods rich in riboflavin and thiamine can also curb PMS symptoms and offer relief. Of the total women that participated the study that were given these two components, 35 % of them noted a decrease of or complete lack of PMS symptoms while taking high doses of riboflavin and thiamine contained in foods.
Vitamin supplements and PMS
There are a plethora of vitamins and herbal supplements which have been tested, studied and concluded to be helpful in aiding with alleviating the symptoms and aversions of PMS. Such vitamins and supplements include Kava Root, St. John’s Wort, Ginger tablets or root and Vitamin B.
As discussed previously, one of the popular symptoms of PMS is depression and changes in mood and energy levels. Supplements such as St. John’s Wort contain antispasmodic and anti-depressive agents within in, both of which can help with feelings of sadness and depression.
- Wild Yam
Wild Yam is becoming increasingly popular with dietitians and medical professionals as well when on the topic of PMS and different ways to lessen its symptoms and offer relief. Wild Yam is part of the Dioscoreacceae family and contains small traces of steroids. Steroids are well documented as relieving PMS symptoms such as joint and muscles aches, constipation and inflammation.
Magnesium is another vitamin supplement that may help with PMS symptoms. Magnesium can influence our serotonin levels, neuromuscular functions and cellular membranes all of which if out of whack can invoke havoc on our bodies and cause mood shifts and headaches as well as tension and stress related symptoms.
In a blind study by The Journal of American Education, 38 subjects who reported mild to severe PMS symptoms were given 200 mg of Magnesium everyday; at the conclusion of the study each participant reported experiencing less symptoms of at least one category they were tested for including tension headaches and fluid retention or bloating.
- Vitamin B
Vitamin B has also been studied with a vengeance and assists in controlling and balancing our neurotransmitters which are directly related to mood elevations. Many of the study’s participants reported feeling less depressed and having more energy after taking Vitamin B in this controlled study.
Carbohydrate supplements may also alter drastic mood swings. These supplements increase the amount of amino acids in our bodies and by doing so may increase our feelings of happiness and elation while reducing tension and depression.
Vitamins and minerals may be helpful particularly to those whose symptoms are not severe enough to warrant a prescription medication but are bothersome enough that their daily functioning is altered and affected.
These are merely a few options one may try in an effort to relieve PMS symptoms that can cause sheer unhappiness during those times. Every woman’s symptoms and acuteness is different so you will have to try each one and gauge how effective it is for you as an individual.