PMS relief: Top four ways

Have you ever imagined what it feels like to experience a multitude of emotions such as angry outbursts, then a sudden anxiety attack, crying spells, and then getting back to normal, all within just a few hours? It might sound strange, but this is exactly how some women feel prior to their menstrual cycle. According to some research, about 75% of menstruating women experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) before their period every month.  

PMS is a set of physical and emotional changes that typically occur a few days before a woman’s period. Between ovulation and the first day of a girl’s period, her estrogen levels increase and then drop. These quick fluctuations can cause both physical and emotional changes, which then disappear with the onset of the menstrual cycle. Research suggests that the female hormones interact with chemicals in the brain, which can contribute to emotional instability.  Some common emotional and physical symptoms of PMS include mood changes, fatigue, depression, acne, sore breasts, headaches, abdominal pain, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and sensitivity to sound and light. Thankfully, many of these symptoms can be alleviated by making some simple lifestyle changes. However, in the case of severe PMS, medication may be needed.

Here we give you a rundown of a few lifestyle changes that women can make to improve their physical and emotional health before their menstrual cycle starts.

Exercise regularly. We all are aware of the fact that one of the essential ways to stay fit is to workout daily. Especially for women who are having a tough time dealing with PMS, indulge in a workout routine that will be extremely beneficial. Research shows that aerobic exercise helps with depression and anxiety issues. Example of some aerobic activities include cycling, running, brisk walking, and swimming. These effective workouts are good for lungs, heart and circulatory system.

yogurt

Change your diet. Food plays a vital role in aggravating the symptoms of PMS. Increase your intake of healthy foods such as green leafy vegetables and fruits. Incorporate whole grains into your meals, as the carbohydrate content in them contributes to chemical changes that help in mood enhancing emotions. Another excellent way to fight against the symptoms of PMS is by consuming calcium-rich foods such as soy, low-fat cheese, and curd. Before your menstrual cycle, you should also increase the intake of foods that are rich in iron. This particular diet helps to avoid anaemia. Foods that are high in iron include tofu, beans, lean meat, shellfish, spinach, red meat, quinoa, and broccoli. Last but not least, drinking plenty of water also helps.

stress

Stress management. One of the important reasons for women to experience PMS before their menstrual cycle is stress. To combat the symptoms, one must indulge in activities that reduce stress levels. Physical exercises like  other relaxation techniques and yoga such as meditation and deep breathing can help reduce the symptoms of PMS.

Stay away from alcohol, sweets and caffeine. Did you know that caffeine is associated with an increase in emotional changes, such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia? Alcohol too is a form of depressant that reduces the functional activities in your body. Cutting down on caffeine, foods that are high in sugar, alcohol, and fizzy drinks like soda and coke will help ease the symptoms of PMS.

-Akhila Kakarala
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