Combating PMS

PMSing

Got those moods a swinging, tears a slinging, nothing fits me, when it hits me, ranting, raving, misbehaving, PMS blues.     

Dolly Parton

It is prevalent among people with menstrual cycle to experience PMS, which is Premenstrual Syndrome. This is a generalized notion and doesn’t affect everybody the same. For the lack of creativity, people think that a female is behaving in an aversive way because she is “pmsing” – this topic should be left for another day. Today let’s understand what PMS is, how to detect it, and what can you do about it.
PMS, like the full form suggests, are the symptoms you experience a few days before your period arrives. It includes mood swings, irritability, depression, anxiety, fluid retention, bloating, breast tenderness, sugar cravings, headaches, and sleep disturbances. For a small number of people, these symptoms are even more drastic and need medical treatment, whereas an even lower percent witness extreme symptoms. It is called premenstrual dysphoria disorder.
No particular research can tell us the actual cause of PMS. The symptoms are apparently caused to the change in hormones. The estrogen level of the body is at peak two weeks before the period and is at the lowest two days after the period begins. So, if the symptoms start 1-2 weeks before your monthly cycle, then it is safe to assume the cause is the hormones. The estrogen level starts rising after the end of the period and is at its highest after two weeks. The same pattern keeps on persisting that results in the PMS symptoms. Life stress doesn’t trigger PMS, but it sure worsens the symptoms.
If the problem is that common, it must be widely known and treated. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Like many other things, most people are not aware of it and dismiss it, thinking it is a mild inconvenience. People tend to blame themselves because of the things they cannot control as they have very little to absolutely no knowledge. Imagine being in this situation. An individual suffers on average, five days due to periods. Then slowly their estrogen level rises after two weeks and remains the same way for two weeks due to which they suffer constantly. Now the case I have taken is the most typical and generalized case whereas not everyone experiences the same situation.
Now, that you know the cause we must discuss how to treat them. You can either take up prescribed medications, but they are proven to have harmful side effects, or you make some changes in your lifestyle.

1.    Clean up your diet

One can cut down sugar and processed food. Stop consuming an excessive amount of caffeine and alcohol. Your diet should include luxurious fibre and omega-3 fats. Try not to skip your meals and break them down in more than three smaller portions.

2.    Track your symptoms

You should be focusing on your symptoms, what are they, when do they start and how severe they are. It is possible that you don’t experience PMS at all, or you might have severe symptoms. Every period is different, and hence you should take time to understand yours.

3.    Exercise

It is such mundane advice, yet the most effective one. Your most problem will solve you can get moving. There is no need to take gold gym membership. You can take baby steps like going for a walk and doing light exercises at home. You find yourself more aversive as you’re just slacking off. Exercise has proven to generate high energy in your overall day.

4.    Know your stress

As discussed above, stress is not the leading cause of your terrible symptoms. You get PMS due to rise in your estrogen level. But stress can worsen your mild symptoms. Hence, it is necessary to understand the level of stress your witnessing in your life. It will be superficial on my part if I say your only option is to remove the cause of the stress. You can try different ways such a Yoga, meditation, or just plain deep breathing.

5.    Check for bloating

 Bloating is the most common symptom. The first step is to understand whether or not it is frequent. If you experience bloating each month, then it is time to start exercising and eliminating your salt intake.
These few ways will help you combat the terrible symptoms of PMS. Of course, these can only be achieved through trial and error. You can try and understand what works for you. Those few days are anyway frustrating, and they are not going anywhere for a while, so it is futile that you suffer for half a month because you’re not pregnant. My advice? Understand your body, learn about it, and give it the care it deserves. I hope you have a happy period.

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