It is reported that a record 12 to 25 million women in the U.S. alone suffer from Bad PMS symptoms of some sort or the other, some time in their lives.
Studies show that in your 40s, the symptoms worsen. This means that middle aged women need to be even more careful about what they do to treat the symptoms.
The symptoms will most likely be there – and you need to do something about them. So the next question is – what can you do about it
Well, for starters, you can try some or more of these, depending on the problem you are facing.
What to do when Bad PMS strikes
There are a number of things you can do – and these seem to help most women. So check them out:
1.Distinguish between PMS and other conditions
The first step is to determine if the symptoms you are attributing to PMS are indeed caused by it.
There could be another more serious underlying condition that is only playing up in those two weeks prior to your period. If that is the case, then you need medical attention.
To do this, track your symptoms along with the times of your period as well as if you have any similar symptoms at other times of the month.
2.Try and stick to a healthy diet
Once you have ascertained that it is indeed bad PMS, now comes the next part.
Remember that the estrogen released when you have PMS also affects the intestines, preparing them for an imminent pregnancy.
Naturally, you need to alter your diet to help your body. And the things to do are:
- Decrease salt intake to prevent bloating.
- Keep anxiety and irritability in check by cutting back on caffeine intake.
- Too much sugar will cause blood sugar dips and spikes and cause mood swings.
- For the same reason, it is essential to keep eating at regular intervals.
- Avoid alcohol as it exacerbates depression.
- Switch to eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains when you have PMS.
These should help you to reduce the symptoms somewhat.
3.Get some exercise
Exercise can help you to combat both the physical as well as emotional discomforts that come with PMS, according to doctors.
Even if you feel you do not have energy, make exercise a regular practice, and you will find that you can come by the energy with practice.
As for exercise routine, here’s what will help you most – this on a weekly basis, so divide up among the days you exercise in the week:
- 2.5 hours of moderately intense activity – this could even be work around the house or office.
- 1 hour and 15 minutes of aerobic exercise – this has to be vigorous exercise.
- 2 sessions of muscle strengthening exercises.
According to The National Women’s Health Information Center, this amount of exercise is adequate in PMS.
4.Vitamin supplements help some people
While it is not known exactly why they work, most women seem to find relief with vitamin supplementation’s – either in the form of supplements or as part of the diet.
Here’s what is usually the recommended dosages:
- Vitamin B6 – 50-100 mg
- Vitamin E – 400 IU
- Magnesium – 400 mg
- Calcium – 1200 mg
Besides vitamins …
5.Herbal remedies are another way to tackle the symptoms
While these are something that a doctor will not necessarily prescribe you, there is some research being done on them.
Quite a few are seen to be highly beneficial for PMS. We are giving you a list here, but for usage, dosages as well as other options; do speak to your doctor or a naturopath:
- Raspberry leaf
- Chaste berry
- Black cohosh
- Evening primrose oil
Another option is to try natural progesterone creams for topical application.
Another thing that helps greatly is..
If you start tracking your PMS symptoms, you will find that stress actually worsens almost all of them. So strategies to handle stress are essential:
- Avoid sleep deprivation – and for this, make sure you get enough sleep on a daily basis.
- Try stress reduction techniques like massages, meditation, deep breathing, or yoga.
- Do something that helps you to relax and unwind – it could even be a night out.
Just make sure that you are doing something to handle stress. Different strategies work for different people – so find what works for you.
7.Pain killers (Non Steroidal ones) and other meds can help with the discomfort
Now pains and cramps are a very real problem with most women in PMS and there are a few things that will help.
You can try out hot compresses. But if even they do not help, then you can try one of the following:
- NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers) are the safest way to tackle the pain, breast tenderness, cramps or aches.
- Over-the-counter PMS medication can also be had – these are also generally safe.
Besides these pills…
8.Birth control pills are another way to get your hormones regularized
Oral contraceptive pills, in small doses usually help to regulate the hormone balance in your body.
They not only stop the periods, they can also keep bad PMS symptoms at bay. However, be prepared – it can lead to some breakthrough bleeding.
Also, do speak to your Obstetrician or Gynecologist about side effects of the Pill before starting.
9.Try a diuretic for the bloating
For many women, bloating is another really bad problem. They experience swelling in various parts of the body – related to water retention.
While the reduced salt intake should work for most, if it doesn’t work adequately for you – then speak to your doctor and get some low dose diuretic.
This helps your body to get rid of the retained water in the form of urine. But be sure to talk it over with your doctor to avoid unpleasant experience
10.Talk to a doctor about taking antidepressants for the 2 weeks
For some women, the depression gets really bad. It could be actual cyclical depression, or it could actually be your hormones wreaking havoc.
If all the natural modes of handling depression fail to work, talk to your doctor about some low dose SSRI (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) that you can take for the 2 concerned weeks to handle the symptoms.
So that is 10 ways to handle bad PMS symptoms.
They tend to work for a majority of women but in case these do not work, visit your Obstetrician or Gynecologist and discuss your issues with them. They should be able to help you with the problems.