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Natural Remedies for PMS

Natural Remedies for PMS

Tips for Ending the Cycle
of Frustration and Discomfort

If you're a woman in your 20s, 30s or 40s, chances are good that you've experienced -- or will experience -- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). PMS is a set of physical and emotional symptoms that show up in the days before your menstrual period. For many women the same symptoms appear every month, right on schedule, causing pain and emotional distress and interfering with normal activities.

Symptoms vary from woman to woman, and may range from mild to severe. These may include:

  • Headache
  • Abdominal cramping or bloating
  • Breast tenderness or swelling
  • Food cravings
  • Stomach upset
  • Emotional changes such as anxiety, irritability, anger
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

The good news is, there may be simple steps you can take to alleviate the symptoms without medications. The following lifestyle changes may help.

  • Increase your Calcium Intake. Eat more foods that are rich in calcium, such as dairy products, or take a calcium supplement. Studies have shown this mineral can reduce the severity of symptoms, both physical and emotional.
  • Choose your Foods Wisely. If you experience bloating or swelling, breast tenderness, or dizziness, you'll want to avoid eating a lot of sugar and salt. Instead, opt for complex carbohydrates like whole grains and brown rice, and foods rich in potassium, like tuna, beans, and broccoli. Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Also try to avoid caffeine and alcohol, which may negatively affect your mood.
  • Make Time for Aerobic Activity. Studies have shown that brisk walking, running or other forms of aerobic exercise can help relieve symptoms. Stick with your exercise program all month long, not just when symptoms crop up.
  • Try Dietary Supplements. There are dietary supplements that can help alleviate some of the symptoms of PMS. Chasteberry helps balance hormone levels and reduce the symptoms of irritability, depression and breast tenderness. Calcium, magnesium and vitamin B6 may also be helpful. Products containing the milk peptide Lactium may help with reducing stress and improving sleep. Talk with your doctor and pharmacist about any interactions with medications before incorporating these supplements into your health routine.

Remember, PMS is directly related to your menstrual cycle. If you experience severe symptoms that aren't helped by these lifestyle measures or if your symptoms persist all month, talk with your doctor to determine if they could be the result of another medical condition.

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