PMS is also known as Premenstrual Syndrome (Scientific), Pragartav (Hindi/Urdu), Masik pali yayachya agodar honara tras (Marathi), Matavilakku (Tamil), Jing qianqi zonghe zheng (Chinese), sindrome premenstrual (Spanish), Rutustrav purbe lakshan (Bengali), predmenstrual’nyy sindrom (Russian).
What is PMS and PMDD?
The premenstrual syndrome are different symptoms which recur in the same phase of the menstrual cycle between ovulation and menstruation. These generally make their appearance two to seven days before the onset of menstruation and are relieved once the menses start. Approximately, 40 per cent of menstruating women suffer from premenstrual tension and it occurs mostly in women over 30 years of age. In some women, the onset of symptoms seems to coincide with ovulation and may then persist until menstruation commences. In some rare cases, relief from the premenstrual syndrome may be obtained only with the cessation of the menstrual flow. The symptoms may be physical, emotional, or behavioral in character and are thought to be caused either by hormonal imbalance (possibly due to recent childbirth or a gynecological disorder) or by marginal (sub-clinical) nutritional deficiencies which can affect the fine hormone balance in the body. A severe form of PMS called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) causes marked psychological symptoms: irritability, mood swings, depressed mood, and nervous tension.
What Are Common Symptoms of PMS?
The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and their severity are different for every woman. Specific nutrients have an influence on these symptoms and relieve the discomfort associated with PMS. Tension headache which is often accompanied by migraines attacks occur with severe pain and vomiting, a general feeling of depression and irritability are some common symptoms. What is worse, these symptoms intensify progressively, making the last day of the PMS the worst. Breast tenderness, which is also common sometimes so severe that it is almost unbearable. There may also be abdominal bloating, accompanied in some cases, by odema of the ankles and hands. Some women resort to dieting to get rid of the abodminal bloating but this only leads to fatigue and depression. Others may experience a craving for sweet foods. Epilepsy dizziness, back ache, hoarse voice, greasy hair, acne, allergic reactions, suicidal thoughts, confusion, poor concentration, violent, distention, anxiety, fear, insomnia, and mood swings can also be experienced. For some women, these symptoms are barely noticeable; for others, they are severe and can affect physical performance and mental focus during this time. A slight gain of weight of one kg or more in the latter part of the menstrual cycle due to salt and water retention can be seen. The retention of fluid is partly due to ovarian steroids, but there is also an increased output of anti diuretic hormone from the posterior pituitary gland.
What are Root Causes of PMS?
Deficiency of hormone progesterone or emotional stress may result in PMS. Dietary deficiencies particularly that of vitamin E and vitamin B6 or pyridoxine are the most common causes of PMS. Monthly oscillations in reproductive hormones have something to do with it but actual cause is unknown. Psychological stress, being overweight, and smoking can also may cause PMS.
Natural Home Remedies for PMS and PMDD
Approximately 85 percent of women experience the symptoms of PMS. These symptoms usually disappear after a few days without significant impact on the woman. However, for about 2 to 3 percent of women, the symptoms can be so severe they can be debilitating. Here are some natural remedies that may help.
- Ease Symptoms With Barley: Barley water, which is rich in B vitamins, can be drunk freely throughout your menstrual cycle to ease symptoms.
- Vitamin D Cure: Get outside in the sun. Sunlight helps produce vitamin D in the body, and also some studies suggest that it helps regulate your menstrual cycle. Also, consider taking a vitamin D supplement. Even though sunlight and diet (such as salmon and fortified milk) are tops for vitamin D intake, it’s hard to get enough vitamin D from diet alone. Take a multivitamin with D as a daily supplement. Many calcium supplements also contain vitamin D.
- Aloe Vera: Take 1 tablespoon Aloe Vera gel with a pinch of black pepper, 3 times a day before food.
- Treat Swelling: Swelling can be prevented by eating plenty of fresh, crunchy apples in the week prior to menstruation.
- Flush Toxins: Drink water. Extra fluids will help flush your system. drink at least eight 8-ounce (235 ml) glasses a day or add more water laden fruits and veggies, such as watermelon and cucumbers, to your diet.
- Cherries: Eat about 10 cherries daily on an empty stomach for a week before the onset of menstruation.
- Heal Abdominal Bloating and Cramps: When there is abdominal bloating and cramps, all constitutional types can put a warm castor oil pack on the lower abdomen. One of the qualities of castor oil is that it produces a slow, sustained heat that is soothing and healing. Warm up about 3 tablespoons of castor oil, and pour it onto a handkerchief or other soft cloth, spreading it equally on the cloth. Place this compress on the lower abdomen. If you have a hot water bottle; you may place it on top of the pack to keep it warm. An electric heating pad is not recommended. A warm castor oil pack will also help relieve the congestion and discomfort of endometriosis.
- Celery: Celery is also a good diuretic, and acts on the kidneys to encourage their action.
- Reduce Depression and Breast Tenderness: Calcium and magnesium have been found to improve mood and decrease the water retention that leads to bloating. Vitamin B6 has been associated with a decrease in the irritability that accompanies PMS in some studies, as well as reduced depression and breast tenderness. Manganese, when combined with calcium, may also reduce depression, and tension. To get these nutrients include dairy products such as milk and yogurt in daily diet. It is great source of calcium. For magnesium, try cashews, quinoa, amaranth, and peanut butter. Vitamin B6 can be found in chickpeas, wild salmon, chicken, and pistachios. Include pineapple, pecans, and raspberries for more manganese.
- Ease Water Retention: Water retention can be eased with couch grass or dandelion teas, drunk two or three times each day during the premenstrual phase.
- Chinese Herbalism: PMS is believed to be caused by an imbalance of spleen, kidneys, and liver, and can be treated with angelica, peony, hoelen, and skullcap.
- Relaxation To Reduce Stress: Yoga provides physical activity and relaxation training. Preliminary research suggests it reduces stress in women with PMS.
PMS Prevention Tips
- Negative mental attitudes like fear, worry, anger, jealousy, tension and inferiority complex should be eliminated by positive thinking, meditation and good company.
- Be sure to get regular exercise during the month, including half an hour of walking or other aerobic exercise at least five days a week.
- Reduce the sugar and salt in your snacks and meals. This will help decrease bloating, especially in hands and feet. Snack on fruits and veggies instead.