Do you experience cramps, headaches, irritability, or other symptoms in the days before your period comes? If so, you are not alone; around three-quarters of menstruating women experience some sort of menstrual discomfort, referred to as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Despite its prevalence, there's no need to endure this monthly nuisance. Continue reading for everything you need to know about managing PMS the natural way.
PMS typically occurs 3 - 14 days before a woman gets her monthly period. Most women who get PMS experience the same set of symptoms to the same severity from month to month. PMS is more common in younger women, and symptoms tend to subside after age 35. Women who have given birth at least once and those with a personal or family history of mood disorders are more likely to experience PMS.
While the exact physiological causes of PMS have not been determined, it is generally agreed upon in the medical establishment that it is related to changes in female sex hormones and other hormones that fluctuate up and down in line with the menstrual cycle.
A drop in the levels of estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones triggers the shedding of the uterus lining. However, the decrease in these hormones can affect much more than just menstruation. Because these hormones also regulate other processes in the body - like mood and water retention - undesirable symptoms may appear when their levels drop.
Many symptoms, both physical and emotional, have been associated with PMS; however, women usually experience only a handful of these symptoms. One woman's PMS experience may be completely different from another's in terms of what symptoms she has, how long they last, and how severe they are.
Physical symptoms of PMS include:
Emotional and mental symptoms experienced during PMS may include:
It can be helpful to keep track of your symptoms, their intensity, and their duration every month, especially if you one day consult a healthcare practitioner about PMS. This can also help you know when you expect your PMS symptoms, which may help you in implementing lifestyle changes.
PMS hampers the busy lives of many women, but it is a nuisance that can be done away with. The first step in managing PMS is to work toward appropriate lifestyle modifications. The following factors seem to make PMS worse:
That being said, the following changes in habit can help manage PMS. Though they take dedication, their benefits often go beyond the relief of PMS symptoms.
Home remedies may also help relieve PMS symptoms. For example, taking a warm bath or using hot compresses can reduce pain and cramps. You can also alternate hot compresses with ice packs if you have swelling. A castor oil pack applied 30 - 60 minutes with a heating pad can also reduce pelvic pain.
Natural therapies can serve as a good complement to healthy lifestyle changes and avoid the need for medical intervention. Some of these methods alleviate the symptoms of PMS, while others address the underlying hormonal imbalance.
These therapies tend to be most helpful for reducing pain and promoting relaxation. While they do not tackle the cause of PMS, they target certain symptoms directly.
Herbal supplements are the most effective type of alternative treatment when it comes to correcting the hormonal imbalance that causes PMS.
There is no one treatment that is effective for all women, as PMS can vary greatly between individuals. A woman can combine the above lifestyle changes and alternative therapies according to her symptoms and personal preferences. In many cases, women take hormone-regulating herbs to complement their healthy lifestyle changes, setting them on the path to wellness.
A better understanding of how your body works will help you cope with hormonal fluctuations.
Detecting symptoms of hormonal imbalance can prevent you from developing serious conditions.
Implement simple lifestyle changes and natural approaches to prevent, manage, and relieve symptoms.