Overcome horrible PMS

Overcome horrible PMS

Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) affects many women like me but not many women understand it. So, what is PMS and how can we overcome the mood swings associated with it? Are there treatments for the mood swings? You bet there is...

Overcome horrible PMSDid you ever find yourself becoming moody and grumpy before your menstrual cycle begins? Have you felt mixed and contradicting emotions in just a short span of time? Were relationships  strained due to your mood swings? Your answer is probably yes to all of the above.

Just recently, I have had a roller coaster of emotions before my menstrual period began and at the start of my menstruation cycle. I did not understand my feelings which affected the people I love and the people who love me. Finally, I realized I had the symptoms of  what they call pre-menstrual syndrome or PMS. I have read that it affects many women like me but not many women understand it. So, what is PMS and how can we overcome the mood swings associated with it? Are there treatments for the mood swings? These are questions I will try to explore in this article.

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome or menstrual cycle changes include symptoms of depression, irritability,  anger, oversensitivity, anxiety, sadness and rage that come and go during the last phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle and usually disappear at the start of menstruation. At this time, hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone fluctuate which influence mood swings. These hormones especially estrogen are believed to have an effect on the serotonin level in the brain which regulates a person’s mood, sense of humor, appetite, sleep, memory, sexual desire  and social behavior. Research studies also indicate that a low level of serotonin in the brain can affect mood that may lead to depression.

Fortunately, there are 3 approaches by which PMS can be treated. These are the following:

Changing of lifestyle. This means getting rid of bad habits and keeping good ones such as  avoiding caffeine, improving your diet, spending time with loved-ones and exercising regularly. Caffeine is known to stimulate the nervous system that can cause your mood to be unstable. So, it isn’t a good idea to consume so much coffee, tea and other food products that has caffeine. Improving your diet  means eating food rich in carbohydrates and fruits such as dates, papayas and bananas which are known to increase serotonin levels. Spend time with family and friends who make you feel good to fight off mood instability. Moreover, exercise regularly by jogging, walking or going to the gym not only to keep you physically fit and healthy but also to help release and / or keep stress at a minimum level. Changing your lifestyle is the safest approach you can take to remedy moods swings.

Taking alternative treatments. This includes taking herbal medicine which can provide needed estrogen by the body or which can induce the body to produce estrogen efficiently that will treat hormonal imbalance. Herbal treatments that contain phytoestrogens which are similar to estrogens are called phytoestrogenic herbs  such as black cohosh, dong quai (angelica sinensis), gingko biloba, ginseng, and red clover. On the other hand, herbal treatments that stimulate the body to produce more estrogen to create balance are called non-estrogenic herbs. These herbs are Macafem and MacaActive. Treating hormonal imbalance that cause mood swings with this approach should be done with caution as some herbs may have side effects. Learn more about these herbs before taking any of them.

Undergoing hormonal replacement therapy (HRT). This is the least that you should consider among the 3 approaches because this is the most risky and the most expensive. Only if the 2 other approaches won’t help at all that you can talk to your physician about HRT. Two research studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicate that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases the risk of breast cancer. In other words, this should be the last resort.

To effectively combat mood swings that come with menstrual cycle changes, the first 2 approaches can be used in combination. Make necessary lifestyle changes and take herbal supplements. But if the mood swings are severe due to high hormonal imbalance then the third option can be taken with precaution and with your doctor’s prescription.

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Written by

Karen Mira

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