PMS also known as premenstrual syndrome is a widespread condition that affects women of childbearing age. It is during the time immediately preceding actual menstruation that PMS hails the hormonal changes that lead to premenstrual symptoms.
It is noteworthy that not everyone with premenstrual symptoms also suffers from PMS. In some cases this condition is not actually part of their monthly experiences at all. Statistics estimate that only 40 percent of women with any kind of premenstrual symptoms actually experience PMS.
Of these there are roughly 10 percent who report that they feel virtually disabled by the severity of the experience.
The Symptoms of PMS
Although experiences vary, the most commonly reported complaints are exceeding tiredness, irritable moods, sudden outbursts of anger, rapid shifts in emotional responses to mundane situations, and also bloating of the extremities.
By far the most commonly reported complaint, however, is the fatigue which seems to color each and every activity. It is this low energy that deters PMS sufferers from continuing their exercise regimens, from making the extra effort to eat healthy, and even from taking care of themselves with hot baths or other feel good types of activities that take just a bit of preparation or clean up.
Those on the outside looking in fail to realize just how debilitating PMS can really be. While they might understand fatigue, they have a hard time grasping the havoc it wreaks with respect to the overall emotional stability a woman possesses at that time.
What otherwise would be considered a minor inconvenience, suddenly appears as an insurmountable problem that requires loud arguments and leads to frustration, anger, guilt, and even at times depression. It is of little comfort that women know that their reasons for lashing out are hormonal. After all, while they are mired in the midst of the situation, rational thought is rarely possible.
Understanding the Effects of PMS
It is crucial for those who do not experience PMS first-hand to make every effort to understand the truly debilitating character of this condition, no matter its brief duration. For someone in their lives this is a very real, and unfortunately also very repetitive way of living every single month.
Sufferers themselves need to work hard at understanding their condition in the hopes of beating back some of the depression and also guilt associated with the actions as well as feelings they might encounter in the process. In the worst case scenario, the PMS related symptoms may actually build on each other.
Common Treatments for PMS
Although commonly sold, the over-the-counter medications that seek to relieve some of the worst PMS symptoms at times actually aggravate others. It is not unheard of to deal with women complaining about the added fatigue their anti-bloating medication is causing.
In the same vein, some medications may actually increase the bloating, while taking away some of the more minor symptoms. This has caused a good many to decline the use of over the counter drugs and instead to venture into the field of homeopathy.
Natural remedies are sometimes better suited at not only relieving pain, but also preventing the severity of the next PMS onset.
The Role of Food, Drinks in PMS Symptoms
Foods to Avoid
Due to hormonal changes inside a woman’s body, she experiences unusual food cravings. Most of the time, the food that is being craved is not very healthy and is not really recommended during this time as it can worsen the condition.
Foods that should be avoided include candies and fast foods because these foods have high carbohydrate contents and are also high in fat and sugar. These components are not good for the body because it temporarily triggers the release of serotonin, which will suddenly drop again after a few minutes. This makes the person crave for more and a vicious cycle is formed.
Drinks to Avoid
Drinks that contain a high level of caffeine should also be avoided. Caffeine containing drinks include coffee, soda, tea and chocolate drinks.
These should be avoided because they can cause sugar rush, which just creates a cycle again. Alcohol should also be avoided during PMS because it can only worsen emotional symptoms. You may think that it can relax your mood and help you sleep, but it actually does the opposite.
During your PMS and while on your period, it would be best to just drink a lot of water to prevent dehydration and to increase your energy levels.
Food and Drinks that Can Help PMS
Taking in appropriate supplements even if you do not have your period is highly recommended. Doing this is beneficial to your overall health and can provide nutrients that may be insufficient inside your body. A lack of these nutrients can also be a cause of PMS. Ask your doctor about this first to make sure that the supplements you purchase are the right ones for your body.
Eat calcium and vitamin D rich foods like dairy products, fortified orange juice and other types of fish. Calcium has the ability to decrease anxiety, depression and other emotional symptoms. Instead of indulging in sweets and junk food, it is better to eat whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables.
Studies have found out that adequate intake of these foods at least a month prior to your PMS decreases the risk of actually experiencing it.
There are thousands of food options you can choose from on the market. The foods recommended above are not only good for women experiencing PMS but for everyone, both men and women alike. The effects of these foods for PMS symptoms are just bonuses and should be taken advantage of.
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