definitions of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) vary, it is generally
described as a cyclic problem, followed by a period of time with
no symptoms. Symptoms are generally seen 7 to 10 days before the
menstrual period begins and can vary in severity from cycle to
cycle. These symptoms usually go away soon after the onset of
the period. premenstrual syndrome symptoms include headaches, mood disturbances,
constipation, food cravings, weight gain, and breast tenderness.
In fact, it seems that women in traditional societies don't suffer
from it, however it is common among women in industrial societies.
This suggests that a large part of the syndrome is culturally
mediated and the result of certain lifestyle factors. Some evidence
suggests that stress may also be a factor in premenstrual syndrom (PMS). Another hypothesis
is that it is related to dietary factors, such as calcium intake.
Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) include menstrual cramping which results because
of drop in the level of blood calcium. When blood calcium levels
drop symptoms include muscle cramps, headaches, body aches, sleeplessness,
water retention and depression. In menstruating women, blood calcium
levels can begin to fall off about 10 days prior to the start
of the menstrual period. Calcium supplements or foods containing
calcium and herbs are important ways to prevent PMS.
Diet and Premenstrual Syndrom (PMS)
Your diet causes a great influence on your body and your physical
and emotional balance before your periods. As stated earlier PMS
symptoms include headaches, mood disturbances, constipation, food
cravings, weight gain, depression, sleeplessness and muscle cramps.
Most experts recommend that women with premenstrual syndrome start
by avoiding caffeine and alcohol, which can aggravate headaches,
anxiety, and depression. It's also a good idea to drink at least
eight glasses of water each day. Some studies have found that
eating more carbohydrates in the middle of your cycle can help
relieve depression, tension, confusion, and fatigue. Eating starchy
foods like potatoes and crackers can boost your level of serotonin,
a brain chemical linked to mood. Calcium intake is also important
to reduce cramps, body ache, headache, sleeplessness, water retention
and depression. Some foods and herbs that have a good amount of
easily assimilated calcium are yogurt, sesame seeds, spinach,
parsley, alfalfa, oat straw, and nettle.
Exercise and Premenstrual Syndrom (PMS)
A few studies have found that regular exercise can ease some of
the pain and stress that you may have each month during the week
or two leading up to your period. Exercise boosts your metabolism
and improves your circulation. When you get your blood moving,
it carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells more efficiently,
so you feel less sluggish. But don't go overboard; extremely vigorous
workouts (such as doing step aerobics for two hours a day) may
aggravate rather than relieve some symptoms. Aerobic activity
can also produce brain chemicals known as endorphins that boost
your mood and which will help ease the anxiety, depression, and
mood swings you may experience each month. Moderate aerobic activities
like walking, jogging, biking, and swimming for about 30 minutes
five times a week may be your best bet. Yoga can also be helpful
and can help ease muscle tension, focus your mind, and decrease
moodiness. See our Yoga section for Asanas
that will help you deal with menstrual problems.
The contents of this Web site are for informational purposes only
and are not intended to be used for medical advice. You should
consult your physician or your family doctor immediately with
any problem about which you are concerned.