By Dt. Manoli Doshi,
Founder of Tattvum & Diabetes Educator
Premenstrual syndrome, known more commonly as PMS, can be used to describe a broad range of symptoms related to the menstrual cycle. These symptoms can be emotional or physical, and can manifest themselves in a variety of ways. In any case, if you’re a woman who’s had her period, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced some of the negative effects of PMS – trust me, I get you.
PMS can affect each of us differently. Common symptoms include: acne, fatigue, irritability, bloating, confusion, mood swings, breast tenderness, fluid retention, cravings, anxiety and weight gain.
The good news is that with a few nutritional and lifestyle changes, PMS symptoms can be relieved!
Here are my top tips to help you ease out naturally the next time PMS symptoms knocks you out:
- No dairy before and during your period. I also recommend swapping to organic versions of dairy when you do eat it. I love organic Greek yoghurt. People seem to have less hormonal issues with organic dairy compared to conventional.
- No refined sugar at all. I also suggest you to be cautious with your fruit intake too – I recommend 2 fruits a day and preferably low sugar versions.
- Vitamins (under guidance of a health practitioner) B6, magnesium citrate and primrose oil/fish oil. These can really help!
- No more than 1 coffee/day – caffeine can really trigger PMS and period pain/cramps. Avoid adding milk to your coffee. Try soy/almond/coconut milk instead.
- Ensure you get enough essential fatty acids in your diet – oily fish, walnuts, seeds, fish oil supplements, flaxseeds, olive oil, eggs, dark leafy greens.
- Alcohol- My suggestion is to not drink before and during your period. Keep alcohol to a treat on the weekends and my golden rule is no more than 2 drinks at a time.
- Apply heat- Heat helps to relax the contracting muscles in your uterus, which is the cause for your pain. There are many over-the-counter heating patches and pads.
- Exercise- This might sound a little crazy and you might be thinking to yourself, I can barely move, let alone exercise. However, brisk walking, or any type of physical activity, can help to ease your belly pain. When you’re doing any type of aerobic exercise, your body is pumping more blood; this helps to release endorphins to counteract the prostaglandins and reduce your cramps.
- Drink water- If you drink water, you can actually help prevent your body from retaining water and avoid painful bloating. Aim to consume warm or hot water, which is better for cramps. That’s because hot liquid increases blood flow and may help relax cramped muscles.
- Avoiding certain foods- During menstruation, it’s a good idea to avoid foods that cause bloating and water retention. Some of the biggest culprits include: