Intro to PMS & How to Relieve It

 

Few months ago I’ve decided to come off the contraceptive pill for many reason, which I won’t bore you with, however I was so worried about my PMS & I didn’t want to be taking pain killers as an alternative (I simply just wanted to be pain free)! I knew that the contraceptive pill helped with my cramps and back pain but I no longer wanted to rely on the pill to help me ease the struggle!

I truly saw these signs (PMS) as signs that something was unbalanced in my body (& guess what I was right) and therefore since 9th July 2016 (1st day being hormone free) I have been on a mission to balance my body & my hormones 🙂

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Today I will share with you some of my tips to relieving PMS but first let’s just cover the basics…

What are the symptoms of PMS?

PMS often includes both physical and emotional symptoms, such as:

  • Acne
  • Swollen or tender breasts
  • Feeling tired
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Upset stomach, bloating, constipation, or diarrhoea
  • Headache or backache
  • Appetite changes or food cravings
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Trouble with concentration or memory
  • Tension, irritability, mood swings, or crying spells
  • Anxiety or depression

*** Symptoms do vary from woman to woman.

What causes PMS? (Understanding this should help you avoid it!)

  • Low levels of vitamins & minerals
  • Eating a lot of salty foods, which may cause you to retain (keep) fluid
  • Drinking alcohol & caffeine, which may alter your mood and energy level

Thus, when due (normally 7 – 10days prior to when you expect to bleed, known as the luteal phase) make sure you are consuming enough leafy greens and drinking plenty of water, limit or cut your salt intake (which is why most of us feel “fat” during that period) & limit your caffeine intake – remember that during this time of the month, your body is slowing down & it is only natural to have a lower level of energy, as your body is trying to rest and prepare for your next cycle. So instead of ordering more coffee in hope of becoming more active, try and turn inwards and spend this time looking after yourself and body. Take this week off (not literally call of sick, but off social gatherings & socialising, if it makes you feel better J – I give you the permission to do so – no judging!) and spend more time with yourself, a week of self-care, at the end of the day this is what your body needs!

Lifestyle changes

If your PMS is so bad that you need to see a doctor, some lifestyle changes may help you feel better. Below are some steps you can take that may help ease your symptoms.

  • Exercise regularly. Each week, you should get:
    • Two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity;
    • One hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity; or
    • A combination of moderate and vigorous-intensity activity; and
    • Muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days.
  • Eat healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Avoid salt, sugary foods, caffeine, and alcohol, especially when you’re having PMS symptoms.
  • Get enough sleep. Try to get about 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Find healthy ways to cope with stress. Talk to your friends, exercise, or write in a journal. Some women also find yoga, massage, or relaxation therapy helpful.
  • Don’t smoke or limit it!

If you are looking for alternative therapies & perhaps something to take then the below vitamins and minerals have been found to help relieve some PMS symptoms:

  • Folic acid
  • Calcium with vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B-6
  • Vitamin E
  • Don Quai Chinese herb – apparently works wonders
  • Blackstrap molasses

& Finally the best foods you can eat to prevent & aid PMS

  1. Chickpeas – these are a great source of B6 which helps with progesterone production. If your progesterone levels are low in the second half of your cycle you will experience both stress and period issues. A low level of B6 can make estrogen dominance more pronounced, when you have too much estrogen in your blood stream and not enough progesterone.
  2. Kale and leafy greens – all of the brassica family greens, but especially kale, contain indole-3 carbinol, which is a powerful hormone balancer. This compound promotes estrogen metabolism, which allows us to eliminate excess estrogen and prevent estrogen dominance.
  3. Coconut yogurt – This yogurt contains probiotics in the form of live cultures and lots of good fats, which are both mood stabilizing and prevent PMS food cravings.
  4. Sweet potatoes – not only should they satisfy your sweet cravings – consider drizzling roasted sweet potatoes with some honey and top with pecans – but because they are rich in vitamin A, they will also help your liver break down excess estrogen, balance out your blood sugar levels, and balance your mood.

These are just some of the things I wanted to share with you regarding PMS and that time of the month… I do hope in the next couple of weeks to write a series of posts about each phase in detail, including what to focus on each phase, from lifestyle change, to food to exercise (if you have not already do check out my previous post LINK – The 4 phases of a woman’s Cycle)

I hope you guys found this post useful, like, share and comment for future blog requests 🙂

Arwa X

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