Approximately 85% of women in the United States report experiencing at least one symptom of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) during their monthly cycles, and while they vary from person to person, there are a lot of women who suffer from these symptoms every month. As so many of us know, dealing with pain and bloating, changes in mental health and energy levels, and everything in between, is exhausting. And while none of the following is meant to full-on cure you of PMS, embracing some of these natural PMS management methods can improve your overall health month-to-month.
To keep from further inflaming endometriosis and PCOS:
According to the Wellness Mama, a lifestyle and health blogger, it’s best to avoid polyunsaturated omega-6 fats like vegetable oils, canola oil, margarine, soybean oil, and other manufactured, oxidized fats, as they can worsen inflammation. Instead, she argues that women should up their intake of such healthier, natural fats as omega-3 fatty acids (like olive oil, fish, walnuts, chia seeds, egg yolk), coconut oil, real butter, and animal fats like lard or tallow. In addition, it’s important to embrace a calcium-rich diet with things like leafy greens, almonds, and yogurt, which can help with a variety of PMS symptoms.
To regulate hormonal imbalances:
Maintain the body’s vitamin intake with some fermented cod oil, which obviously sounds disgusting, but has vitamins A, D, K and is an excellent omega-3. It's benefits certainly outweigh the gross factor. For hormonal balance, as well, it’s crucial to be getting enough sleep and trying to exercise regularly (which can also help with cramps), even though many women report lower energy levels just before, during, and right after their periods. In fact, on the topic of exercise, the National Women’s Health Information Center has recommended two and a half hours of moderately intense activity, one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of the two each week, plus two muscle-strengthening sessions in order for women to stay healthy. For people who are less inclined to exercise regularly (*sheepishly raises hand*), this may sound like a lot, but your body will thank you. Drinking tea can also be a big help, especially herbal teas like chasteberry or dandelion.
To deal with bloating:
Much like getting bloated any other time of the month, it’s important to cut down on salty foods as much as possible and choose fruits, vegetables, and whole grains the week before your period instead, if bloating really bothers you. A number of foods like bananas, tomatoes, celery, watercress, citrus fruits, and fennel are also known stabilizers for the gut, alongside avocados and ginger, too.
To deal with mood swings:
Much any other normal day, make sure you’re eating at regular intervals to avoid major dips in mood. Manage your stress by creating routine with one thing that makes you happy, like going to yoga, writing in a journal, getting a massage, meditating, acupuncture, going out with friends, etc.
To deal with cramps:
Massage yourself with lotion and essential oils (lavender and geranium are best for this) for five minutes twice a day, on afflicted areas of the body.
Chart your symptoms! Know what is PMS and what isn’t!! 12 to 25 million million women in the U.S. have debiltating PMS. And, of course, using all natural menstrual hygiene products like these (wink) helps keep your vagina safe from harsh chemicals found in the synthetic stuff! Yay for happy reproductive organs.
Written by Emma Glassman-Hughes