Naturally Treating PMS!
At some point in our life, we as women have struggled with pre-menstrual syndrome if not currently struggling on a monthly basis. PMS is more than your stereotypical ‘bad mood’ and a time to eat your weight in chocolate.
Often we go to painkillers for treatment of PMS, but these have all sorts of negative side effects. We want to share with you some natural remedies to alleviate those not fun symptoms and be able to get on with life!
PMS occurs in the 1-2 weeks leading up to a period, causing physical and emotional symptoms. These symptoms usually occur 4-10 days before a menstrual bleed (usually the time of ovulation) and usually stop after the bleeding begins.
This part of a womens cycle is called the Luteal phase, which is associated with fluctuations and changes in the levels of the two main female hormones- oestrogen and progesterone.
The emotional symptoms that occur during this time impact the way we think, feel and respond. We often have a rise to a lower ability to cope with stress, irritability, frustration and even depression. These can vary depending on the psychological make-up of a woman.
We often hear more about the physical symptoms that occur during PMS. These can include bloating, water retention, weight gain, digestive and stomach problems such as stomach cramps and upset stomachs, strong food cravings, exhaustion and fatigue. Again, these vary from one woman to another.
There are many factors that can impact the level of pre-menstrual symptoms a woman experiences. These include…
Diet- certain foods and drinks can influence the degree of pre menstrual symptoms a woman gets. For example caffeine can increase levels of anxiety and irritability and salt can increase bloating and water retention.
Genetics- a woman is more likely to experience symptoms if a close relative has PMS.
Chemical changes- changes in female hormones can impact the levels of chemicals in your brain. This includes serotonin which controls your mood.
Depression- women who experience low mood before their menstrual cycle are more prone to developing depression.
Stress- stress can impact the level of PMS symptoms, increasing levels of anxiety and irritability and also the ability to cope with physical symptoms.
Natural Remedies To Treat PMS:
- Avoid consuming alcohol, salt, caffeine and excess sugar. These may exacerbate pre-menstrual symptoms such as bloating, anxiety and unstable blood sugar levels.
- Take natural vitamins and supplements including… B vitamins which help balance mood and anxiety, Magnesium which helps with cramps, Calcium and Omega-3 supplements also relieve physical symptoms.
- Soothe cramps and stomach pains with heat, whether that is a hot bath or shower or a heat pack placed on the abdomen.
- Eat plenty of plant based foods, foods high in fibre, green leafy vegetables, flaxseeds, wild caught fish and avocado- these all help with the physical symptoms of PMS.
- Essential oils such as clary sage oil, cypress oil, ylang ylang oil, lavender and peppermint oils all help to relieve the body of physical symptoms as well as mentally.
- Get acupuncture before PMS symptoms begin- this can help enhance mood and alleviate pain by increasing endorphins and circulation.
- Exercise may be the last thing you want to do while suffering from PMS but mild forms of exercise such as yoga, stretching and walking may ease cramps and also benefit your mood and anxiety. Check out this slow yoga flow to ease the body and mind!
- Get a massage done- not only does it feel good, it increases blood flow which alleviates muscle pain and cramps. It also is soothing for anxiety.
- Put out your crystals!- crystals like malachite, moonstone, lapis lazuli can ease mental and physical pain.
- Herbal teas can help with PMS pain such as ginger tea for cramps and nausea, chamomile for anxiety relief, peppermint for bloating and dandelion for water retention
We hope these natural remedies assist in alleviating that annoying PMS!