When it comes to lady business, it feels like PMS falls somewhere between a cliche attempt at misogynist humor and a totally taboo topic. PMS is the butt of many a joke, but for women who do struggle with serious PMS symptoms, there’s not much about it that’s funny.
Not all women suffer from severe PMS, but about 75 percent of women deal with at least some form of PMS symptoms. They can range from a few cramps before your cycle to symptoms that are so severe that they disrupt your day to day routine. Here are the common symptoms of PMS:
- Mood changes like anxiety, depression, and difficulty concentrating.
- Food cravings. Chocolate, anyone?
- Pain. Headaches, muscle pain, and stomach aches are common among PMS sufferers
- Physical discomfort such as bloating, breast tenderness, and insomnia.
You don’t have to suffer from all of these to have PMS. Even one or two of these symptoms can throw you off of your game, and if they’re severe they can even cause you to miss work or duck out of social obligations. No fun! Luckily, there are some habits, vitamins, and herbs that can help take the edge off of your PMS.
Change your Habits to Fight PMS
Taking good care of your body can go a long way in fighting PMS. Some of these habits are lifestyle changes that you should try to incorporate all the time, and others are just for the few days or week before your period.
1. Exercise. Getting moderate exercise a few times a week can go a long way towards alleviating your PMS woes.
2. Get plenty of sleep. Listen to your body. That period-related fatigue means you need your rest. If you can, work your schedule so that you can get those extra Z’s when PMS hits. That could mean going to bed early, if you work a regular 9-5 job or sneaking in a nap, if your schedule is more flexible.
3. Tailor your diet. When you start experiencing PMS symptoms, try cutting back on caffeine, alcohol, and salty foods. If you get stomach pain, try eating smaller meals more frequently, rather than three large meals each day. It will reduce pressure on your abdomen.
Vitamins for PMS
There are quite a few studies suggesting that some PMS symptoms are your body’s way of telling you it needs more of certain vitamins and minerals. Add these vitamins to your daily routine to help curb your PMS symptoms.
4. Calcium. PMS symptoms and calcium deficiency symptoms have a lot in common. Make sure you’re getting 1200 milligrams of calcium a day from food sources of from supplements.
5. Vitamin E. You want to take 400 IUs of vitamin E per day to alleviate PMS symptoms.
6. Magnesium. Do you retain water during your period? 200 milligrams of magnesium daily can make a difference!
7. B-6. That magnesium will pack an extra punch if you pair it with vitamin B-6. Take 100 milligrams per day to not only give your magnesium supplement a boost but to help fight PMS-related depression.
Herbal Remedies for PMS
On top of vitamins, there are some herbal remedies that can help with your PMS symptoms.
8. Black Cohosh. It can help with insomnia and depression. 40mg of black cohosh extract is a common dosage. If you’re new to this herb, keep an eye out for stomach upset, since some women experience this as a side effect.
9. Chasteberry. Women have been using chasteberry to fight PMS for thousands of years. Try to find a 6 percent chasteberry extract that’s 4 milligrams per pill.
10. Evening Primrose Oil. This herb can help with breast tenderness if you take 3-4 grams daily during your period.
Have you found other natural remedies that help fight PMS? Share your experiences in the comments!