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What is PMS?


The first step in dealing with PMS is to understand ones monthly cycle better and to know when to expect ovulation and premenstrual changes to take place. Women with regular menstrual cycles can note symptoms that occur in the days leading up to their periods and also note the days on which their periods begin. This information is used to calculate the approximate ovulation date and to help prepare mentally and emotionally for the onset of PMS.

There are some lifestyle changes that help reduce PMS symptoms and reduce the risk for these symptoms in women who arent currently suffering from PMS. Regular exercise helps fight PMS symptoms in several ways.

Exercise releases endorphins, which help elevate the mood and reduce pain sensitivity. Exercise also has many other beneficial health effects on the body. Daily calcium supplements, alone or combined with vitamin B6 supplements, can also help reduce PMS symptoms. Cutting down on caffeine, chocolate, salty foods, alcohol and smoking also brings relief to many women.

Knowing what to expect and being prepared can go a long way in reducing the discomfort of PMS. If bloating or breast tenderness is a problem, wearing loose-fitting clothes or a more supportive bra can help.

Relaxation techniques, such as yoga and massages, can help reduce stress and create a sense of well-being. Recent research suggests that sleep deprivation for one night in the premenstrual phase and exposure to fluorescent light in the mornings and evenings may improve PMS symptoms in some women.

While simple lifestyle changes and home remedies can help alleviate many of the symptoms of PMS, medication may be necessary to deal with more severe symptoms.

A physician should be consulted if severe pain is experienced, if symptoms are severe enough to interfere with daily activities, or if psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety are pronounced.

Natural Remedies for PMS:
Women have been treating their PMS and other menstrual discomforts with herbal remedies for centuries. Now in the western world we are now opening up to the idea that there may be herbal remedies that are more effective and safer than synthetic drugs. There is a lot of information available on herbal remedies, so stay informed about these remedies since new studies are being published on them regularly.

There is a large variety of herbal remedies available in the marketplace for PMS. Among them is viburnum (also known as "cramp bark") which can be taken in a mixture of 30 to 60 drops of tincture in warm water. It can help relieve cramps, relaxes muscle tension, reduces spasms, improves digestion, and can reduce anxiety. However, you should not take viburnum if you are currently taking medications for cardiovascular diseases.

Dandelion is an herb which is rich in vitamin A, potassium, and iron. Taken two cups a day, dandelion can reduce the effects of menstruation, including reduction or elimination of water retention, swollen breasts, spasms, anemia, acne, and inflammation, as well as other health issues. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has recommended that some herbal treatments can be beneficial to PMS sufferers.

Herbal sedatives such as valerian, passionflower, wild yam, motherwort and chamomile are great for treating anxiety, mood swings and depression related to PMS. A common garden weed called purslane contains omega-3 oils, which also help to relieve PMS symptoms. You can eat purslane raw or cooked, or in the supplement form if you don't have this garden weed at home. Both ginseng and Siberian ginseng can help to stabilize blood sugar and alleviate depression and fatigue, if these are some of the effects of your PMS.

Evening primrose oil, which contains a gamma-Linolenic acid (GLA), may also assist in reducing PMS symptoms, although a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia could not definitively determine its effectiveness where 466 PMS sufferers were given either evening primrose oil or a placebo. Other herbs that can help are chaste tree berry (also referred to as vitex) and dong quai.

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