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More than 85% of menstruating women experience premenstrual syndrome.

PMS or premenstrual syndrome is no joke. I am sure most of you girls out there know what I am talking about. Those days when all you feel like is either crying your heart out or simply indulging in a bucket full of ice cream for no apparent reason – you know for a fact that your monthly guest is right next door. Most women tend to resort to painkillers to get relief from the symptoms of PMS. However, there are natural cures for this condition. To know all about them and more, read on.

What Is Premenstrual Syndrome?

Premenstrual syndrome is a condition that is associated with the onset of a woman’s menstrual cycle. A woman’s physical health, emotions, and even behavior may be affected during certain days of her menstrual cycle, i.e., just before the onset of her periods. These changes are collectively termed premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome often surface 5 to 11 days prior to menstruation and typically subside once menstruation begins. A more severe and disabling form of premenstrual syndrome that is known to affect 3-8 % of menstruating women is called the premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Although the exact cause of premenstrual syndrome is yet to be determined, many researchers are of the opinion that it is related to changes in the sex hormone as well as the serotonin levels at the beginning of the menstrual cycle.

Let us now look at the causes and risk factors for premenstrual syndrome.

Causes Of And Risk Factors For Premenstrual Syndrome

Just before the onset of your periods, the levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone increase in your body. An increase in these hormones can result in mood swings, irritability, and symptoms of anxiety.

Serotonin is another chemical (neurotransmitter) present in your brain and gut that can affect your mood, emotions, and thoughts. A decrease in the levels of this chemical is also attributed to mood changes.

Premenstrual syndrome is believed to be caused by the changes in the levels of these sex hormones and chemicals.

Other factors that can increase your risk of developing premenstrual syndrome are:

  • A family history of premenstrual syndrome
  • A family history of depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Emotional or physical abuse or trauma (e.g., domestic violence)

Premenstrual syndrome is also associated with other conditions like:

  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Schizophrenia
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Major depressive disorder

The symptoms associated with the premenstrual syndrome can be mild to moderate. Also, the severity of the symptoms varies from individual to individual.

Some of the most common symptoms that surface due to premenstrual syndrome are listed below.

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Signs And Symptoms

Physical Symptoms

  • Soreness of breasts
  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Acne
  • Muscle/joint ache
  • Headache
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Fluid retention, leading to weight gain
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Intolerance to alcohol

Emotional And Behavioral Symptoms

  • Food cravings, especially sweets
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Spells of crying out of the blue
  • Mood swings that lead to irritability or anger
  • Changes in appetite
  • Social withdrawal
  • Changes in one’s libido
  • Decrease in concentration
  • Insomnia or trouble in falling asleep

Let us now find out how your doctor can diagnose if you are suffering from premenstrual syndrome.

Diagnosis

There is no specific test to find out whether an individual is suffering from premenstrual syndrome or not. Your doctor is likely to rely on the signs and symptoms that surface right before your periods and make a record of them in a calendar before confirming your condition.

Premenstrual syndrome can often be managed naturally, especially if the symptoms are mild to moderate. Any of the remedies listed below can help you in the treatment and management of premenstrual syndrome successfully.

13 Home Remedies To Treat Premenstrual Syndrome

How To Treat Premenstrual Syndrome Naturally

1. Black Cohosh

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of black cohosh root
  • 1 cup of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of black cohosh root to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. Simmer for about 5 minutes and strain.
  4. You can add some honey to the tea to enhance its flavor.
  5. Drink it.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink black cohosh tea at least twice daily.

2. Ginkgo Biloba

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of ginkgo biloba dried leaves
  • 1 cup of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a tablespoon of ginkgo biloba dried leaves to a cup of hot water.
  2. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes and strain.
  3. Consume the hot tea.
How Often You Should Do This

Have 1 to 2 cups of ginkgo biloba tea daily.

3. Vitamins

Vitamins B6, D, and E help in relieving symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. These vitamins proved to be effective in treating the overall PMS symptoms such as anxiety, breast tenderness, and so on (3), (4).

Hence, it is important that you incorporate more of these vitamins into your diet by consuming foods like fish, poultry, eggs, soy products, mushroom, dairy, nuts, and green leafy vegetables. You can take additional supplements for any of these vitamins but only after consulting your doctor.

4. Essential Oils

a. Lavender Oil

You Will Need
  • 6 drops of lavender oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or any other carrier oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Add six drops of lavender oil to a teaspoon of coconut or any other carrier oil.
  2. Mix well and apply it to your lower abdomen and behind your neck.
  3. Massage gently for a few minutes and leave it on.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1 to 2 times daily.

b. Ylang Ylang Oil

You Will Need
  • 6 drops of ylang ylang oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut or any other carrier oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Add six drops of ylang ylang oil to a teaspoon of any carrier oil.
  2. Mix well and apply it to your lower abdomen, behind your ears, and your temples.
  3. Gently massage for a minute and leave it on.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 2 to 3 times daily.

5. Chasteberry

You Will Need
  • 2 cups of water
  • ½ tablespoon of chasteberry
What You Have To Do
  1. Add half a tablespoon of crushed chasteberry to two cups of hot water.
  2. Steep for 10 minutes and strain.
  3. Drink the tea hot or cold as per your choice.
How Often You Should Do This

You can drink this tea 1 to 2 times daily.

6. Ginger

You Will Need
  • 2 inches of ginger
  • 1 cup of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add the ginger to a cup of hot water.
  2. Steep for 10 minutes and strain.
  3. Drink the tea.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink this concoction twice daily for best results.

7. Green Tea

You Will Need
  • ½ teaspoon of green tea
  • 1 cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add half a teaspoon of green tea to a cup of hot water.
  2. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes and strain.
  3. Consume green tea.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this twice daily.

8. Pickle Juice

You Will Need

2.5 ounces or 5 tablespoons of pickle juice

What You Have To Do

Keep sipping on small amounts of pickle juice when you experience PMS.

How Often You Should Do This

Follow this remedy only as and when required.

9. Kombucha

You Will Need

½ – 1 cup of store-bought kombucha

What You Have To Do

Consume half to one cup of kombucha.

How Often You Should Do This

You can drink kombucha once daily until your PMS symptoms get better.

10. Omega-3

You Will Need

250-500 mg omega-3 fatty acids

What You Have To Do

Incorporate omega-3s into your diet. You can either consume natural sources of omega-3s like fatty fish, green leafy veggies, walnuts, and flax seeds or take supplements.

How Often You Should Do This

You must do this on a daily basis.

11. Raspberry Leaf Tea

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of raspberry leaf tea
  • 1 cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Steep a teaspoon of raspberry leaf tea in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes.
  2. Strain and allow it to cool for a while.
  3. Drink the warm tea.
How Often You Should Do This

You can drink raspberry leaf tea twice daily.

12. Black Pepper

You Will Need
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix a pinch of black pepper powder with a tablespoon of aloe gel.
  2. Consume the mixture.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily until your symptoms subside.

13. Sesame Seeds.

You Will Need

2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

What You Have To Do

Roast two tablespoons of sesame seeds and add it to your favorite salads or smoothies.

How Often You Should Do This

You can consume these seeds 1 to 2 times daily until your symptoms get better.

Best Diet For Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

What To Eat
  • Vitamin B-rich foods like beans, legumes, turkey, chicken, and salmon.
  • Anti-inflammatory foods or foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and beans.
  • Calcium-rich foods like dairy, sunflower seeds, kale, spinach, and soybeans.
  • Diuretic foods that are high in water content like cucumbers, onions, watermelons, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
What Not To Eat
  • High sodium foods like fast foods and canned foods as they increase water retention in the body.
  • Sugary foods like pastries, chocolates, and artificial sweeteners.
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine

Most cases of the premenstrual syndrome will show improvement by following the remedies and diet tips mentioned here. However, for more severe cases, such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder, your doctor may ask you to avail medical treatments like the ones mentioned below.

Alternative Medicine

The following medications might be prescribed for women suffering from severe episodes of premenstrual syndrome:

  • Antidepressants like fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), and sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve)
  • Diuretics
  • Contraceptives

You can follow the tips mentioned below to prevent recurrence of the condition.

Prevention Tips

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Try yoga to relieve stress and anxiety.
  • Indulge in deep breathing and meditation exercises.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Manage your stress.

Premenstrual syndrome can affect a woman’s life in more ways than one could imagine. Hence, a little extra care and understanding will make things far better for her and those around her.

However, if the symptoms of PMS persist or worsen over time, it is best to avail medical help.

Did you find this post helpful? For any suggestions or advice, please use the comment box below.

 

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