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Are you experiencing PMS? Six practical ways to relieve PMS symptoms are listed in this guide.

Sep 20, 2023 By Madison Evans

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) often goes beyond a mere monthly annoyance; PMS can influence a person's health, not just their comfort. Cramping and mood swings are among this illness's physical and emotional obstacles. Several self-care methods supported by science and professional advice provide relief.

Balanced Nutritional Intake

The relationship between our diet and overall well-being is a well-established one. When experiencing PMS, dietary choices can be substantial. While cravings can often turn towards unhealthy options during this period, making informed and balanced food choices can significantly influence symptom severity and duration.

Prioritize Protein and Healthy Fats

During the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, which spans from ovulation to the onset of menstruation, the body's appetite tends to intensify. It's no surprise that many find themselves reaching for sugary snacks. However, excessive sugar consumption can lead to energy inconsistencies and even exacerbate PMS symptoms like bloating and mood disturbances.

Instead of giving in to sugar cravings, focus on protein-rich meals and beneficial fats. For instance, consider meals like grilled fish with olive oil dressing, tofu with steamed broccoli, or lean meats paired with colorful vegetables. Such meals offer sustained energy, keep you fuller for longer, and can temper the typical PMS cravings.

Moreover, healthy fats, especially omega-3s in fish like salmon, have anti-inflammatory properties. Their intake can counteract the inflammation and pain often associated with menstrual cramps.

Opt for Magnesium-rich Foods

As mentioned, magnesium can be a savior during PMS. Regular cramps and muscle tension, typical complaints during this period, can be addressed through magnesium intake. Foods naturally abundant in magnesium include almonds, spinach, and edamame. Including these in your regular diet or increasing their intake during PMS can provide noticeable relief.

Regular Physical Activity

Lacing up those sneakers and hitting the gym might seem less than appealing during PMS. However, the rewards, both physical and emotional, are manifold.

Moderate Intensity Workouts

Physical activity releases brain chemicals called endorphins, which relieve pain. They decrease pain and induce the "runner's high." Despite weariness or discomfort, a moderate-intensity workout might boost your attitude.

Gentle Movement Options

On days when strenuous workouts seem like a tall order, gentle exercises can fill the gap. Activities like yoga, Pilates, or simple stretches can work wonders. These exercises focus on flexibility, balance, and relaxation, which can be therapeutic during PMS. The calming nature of yoga or the fluid movements in Pilates can provide a much-needed mental and physical respite.

Intimacy Can Be Helpful

The human body responds positively to touch, a factor that can be harnessed to manage PMS symptoms effectively.

Comfort in Intimacy

Touch can improve mood, whether a hug, massage, or intercourse. Oxytocin, which promotes love, connection, and well-being, is released during intimate activities.

Self-massage Techniques

In instances where partner intimacy is not an option or when you wish for some self-care, self-massage techniques can come to the rescue. Gentle massage, especially in the abdominal region, can relieve cramps. When used for massage, essential oils like lavender, chamomile, or clary sage can provide additional therapeutic benefits, both for the mind and body.

Beneficial Snacking Choices

The tendency to snack is often heightened during PMS, but making the right choices can be both satisfying and therapeutic for the body.

Almonds

Almonds have earned their reputation as a superfood, especially during PMS. Doctors advocate for these nutrient-rich nuts due to their impressive magnesium content, which can substantially reduce PMS cramps. Snacking on a handful of almonds can help fend off hunger while providing the body with the necessary nutrients to counteract symptoms like tension. Apart from almonds, foods like pumpkin seeds and spinach are magnesium-rich alternatives that can offer relief, especially for those who experience PMS nausea.

Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium supplements are an effective alternative for those not inclined to snack or seeking a more concentrated form of relief. Dr. Walden suggests that taking 400 milligrams of magnesium citrate during each PMS day can be beneficial. This can serve as a potential PMS medicine, relieving some of the most common symptoms.

The Therapeutic Effects of Heat

Heat can be a balm for many PMS symptoms, providing immediate relief and comfort.

Hot Baths

Submerging in a hot bath can offer more than just relaxation. For many women, it becomes a sanctuary, especially during PMS. The warmth can alleviate PMS cramps and soothe sore muscles. Adding Epsom salt to your bath can elevate its therapeutic benefits. Dr. Walden emphasizes the efficacy of Epsom salt due to its magnesium content, which gets absorbed through the skin, offering relief from both PMS cramps and PMS nausea.

Heat Pads and Wraps

While baths are a luxurious way to administer heat, they aren't always feasible. Enter heat pads and wraps. These handy devices can be placed directly on areas experiencing discomfort, such as the abdomen or lower back. Their convenience and portability make them a favored choice for many seeking relief, almost serving as a form of PMS medicine during those challenging days.

Prioritize Restorative Sleep

Sleep is the body's natural mechanism for healing and restoration. Ensuring adequate and quality sleep becomes even more vital during PMS.

Consistent Sleep

PMS often brings with it sleep disturbances, but prioritizing consistent sleep patterns can make a significant difference. Many researchers emphasize the role of REM sleep, a sleep stage associated with learning and memory, in repairing the body. A consistent seven to eight hours of sleep can help with PMS nausea and fatigue and support cognitive functions and emotional well-being during this period.

Sleep Environment Enhancements

Optimizing the sleep environment can significantly improve sleep quality. Consider blackout curtains to eliminate light disturbances, white noise machines to drown out ambient noises, and comfortable bedding. Furthermore, keeping electronic devices at bay and incorporating relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, before bedtime can enhance sleep, acting as a natural PMS medicine.

While PMS might be an unavoidable aspect of reproductive health for many, it doesn't mean one needs to suffer in silence. Individual needs can vary, so it's essential to consult healthcare professionals for personalized advice and care.

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