Occurrence of premenstrual syndrome is considered as very common among most of the women. For some women, it’s not a big deal; but for others, it is much harder to tolerate. If you feel the days before your period as a disaster, you might have “Premenstrual Syndrome”.
What is Premenstrual Syndrome?
Premenstrual syndrome, often referred as PMS is a condition that affects the physical health, emotions and behaviour of a woman before and during certain days of her menstrual cycle.
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Which Symptoms Come Under PMS?
PMS is a set of changes that can affect women on many levels. Most women may have at least one sign of PMS every time. The changes can be experienced before one or two weeks before the menstruation and they stop once period starts.
But not every woman experiences the same symptoms as others. The symptoms and severity vary from woman to woman. It can be difficult to know if one just has a few symptoms before their period or PMS. The list of possible signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome include:
- Depressed mood
- Mood swings
- Abdominal Bloating
- Food cravings
- Muscle cramps
- Breast tenderness
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Emotional outbursts
- Abdominal pain
How Diet Can Manage PMS?
Though the cause of PMS is unknown, the fluctuating levels of hormones and chemicals of the brain play an important role. It is evident that a woman’s diet contributes the development of PMS and the severity of the symptoms she experiences. So, here are some changes which can be made to a woman’s diet that help her to ease the symptoms of PMS.
- Include calcium-rich foods: Usually, women are suggested to take enough calcium in order to reduce the risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis. But most of us are unaware that calcium even helps to manage and prevent the symptoms of PMS. Vitamin D is essential for proper absorption of calcium and the symptoms commonly seen due to calcium deficiency and PMS are very similar. So from this time, make sure to increase calcium and vitamin D intake in order to avoid and reduce the severity of PMS.
- Don’t skip meals: Food cravings are one of the common symptoms of PMS. This often results if women skip their meals and lead to many of them reaching for processed foods as a quick fix for their hunger. To avoid cravings, one need to take their regular meals as skipping a meal will only make them irritable due to rapid fall of blood sugar levels.
- Eat Healthily: Eating well few days before the periods to manage PMS is not advisable. It is better to eat healthy all the time which can prevent PMS. Watch what you eat and include plenty of nutritious food like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. The vitamins from the food contribute much to avoid PMS when compared to that from supplements.
- Lower the intake of Salt & Sugar: Overload of sugar can worsen the symptoms of PMS. Taking regular meals can avoid sugar cravings and therefore reduces the intake of sugary foods and sweets. On the other hand, almost all the packed foods are loaded with salt. So, focusing on whole foods instead of processed and packed foods can lower the salt intake which in turn reduces the water retention from PMS that leads to bloating.
- Watch what you drink: Alcohol is the most common thing in women who experience PMS. Apart from alcohol, aerated and caffeine containing drinks can worsen the symptoms of PMS by affecting already unstable hormones and fluctuating blood sugar levels. This can cause stress, mood swings, breast tenderness and fatigue. Aerated drinks irritate the stomach lining that causes severe cramps and excessive gas production leads to bloating.