The problems that women experience just before or on the first couple of days of their menstrual periods are cramps, bloating, backache, nausea, headache, fatigue, anxiety, depression and irritability. For some women these problems may be mild and well within tolerable limits, but for others, these symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can severely disrupt the sufferer’s ability to function normally. The hormonal imbalance experienced just before the onset of the periods can even result in mood swings, breast pain and weight gain. Fortunately, there are a lot many things you can do to control PMS symptoms the next time round.
Counter the cramps
- Let the first indications of cramps serve you as a warning that you need to get into action. Start some exercise, even mild ones like taking a walk or a jog can help, and try to sustain it consistently. Any kind of physical activity raises the production of pain-killing endorphins, and besides, exercising can also relieve bloating.
- Lie down in a in a hot bath tub, it relaxes the cramps in the uterus. If you add one cup of Epsom salts, it will have a soothing effect on your nerves and will relax your muscles. You can even lie down and keep a hot-water bottle on your abdomen for relief.
- Homoeopathy has some proven remedies for cramps related to PMS. Experts recommend Mag phos (phosphate of magnesia). You need to take five 6C or 12C pills every hour. If five doses of this don’t relieve your cramps, you might try the same dosage of Pulsatilla or Nux vomica, the latter is particularly helpful for PMS cramps that are accompanied by constipation and irritability.
- Drink three cups of tepid red raspberry leaf tea. The leaves contain a substance called fragrine that tones up the uterus and eases cramps, and also controls excessive bleeding.
- Drink ginger tea, it is a proven remedy for PMS cramps.
- Reduce the intake of salt in you diet and add vitamin B6 supplements during your periods. Cut back on salty processed foods and snacks.
- Diuretic foods like asparagus, celery, garlic, watercress and parsley can help in easing PMS.
- Daily in the morning and evening take 500 mg of both vitamin C and bioflavonoids to control excessive bleeding. Both work by strengthening the walls of the blood vessels. Grape skins, blackberries, blueberries and citrus fruits are rich sources of bioflavonoids.
- Chasteberry can also regulate your periods by balancing the levels of sex hormones. (In men it decreases libido, and hence in the days of yore it was given to priests.) It lightens heavy flow. You can take its tablets or capsules as per manufacturer’s instructions.
- If you are susceptible to PMS, avoid caffeine. Studies have linked caffeine to increased risk of menstrual problems.
- Take divided doses of 1000 mg of calcium citrate with food daily, it helps in relieving PMS cramps. But avoid calcium supplements that have high lead content. If you are taking a calcium supplement, you need to take half its dose of magnesium too.
- Women who are prone to PMS have shown a deficiency of zinc in their blood. Consuming 50 mg of zinc every day may take care of the problem.
- Practice meditation, deep breathing and other relaxation exercises, as these mind-body therapies reduce stress, and they also mitigate the severity of cramps.