Emotional, irrational, sensitive or undecided – we’ve all been there. The “am I hungry, am I thirsty, do I want to laugh, cry or spend my rent on a new toaster”.. No, you’re not crazy, (and no, you don’t want a new toaster.) You’re just hormonal… ‘Just’ may make a few women scoff, as there is nothing ‘just’ about it. PMS is real, so is PMDD – a more severe version of PSM that affects 8-10% of women who report the symptoms of this hormonal tidal wave to their healthcare practitioners. Symptoms are similar to those of PMS, just more severe.Appetite fluctuations to pretty noticeable mood-swings can make days 18-29 a little piece of hell. But because PMDD won’t stand up in a court of law, you can take some steps to alleviate the symptoms and make the joys of being a woman, more joyous.
- Hormonal induced fluctuations of your ‘normal’ condition can benefit greatly from Acupuncture and also Homeopathy.
- Regular massage is also effective for reducing fluid retention, stress and increasing circulation.
- Natural supplements for PMS and PMDD include Vit B, Calcium, Magnesium and Folic Acid. A good daily multivitamin is great for overall health and supporting a healthy balanced diet. For more severe PMDD symptoms, L-Tryptophan has been known to reduce the anxiety, depression and mood-swings. Consult your healthcare practitioner for more information.
- Herbal remedies have been found to minimise the physical effects of hormonal fluctuations: Chasteberry is known to significantly decrease premenstrual symptoms of irritability, anger, headache and breast fullness. Gingko biloba was found to improve PMS symptoms, particularly breast tenderness and fluid retention.
- Low intensity exercise will help regulate your body and improve circulation. It will also ease tension and improve sleep for those that turn into night owls – or werewolves.
- Meditation will help you remain zen, while there are specific yoga poses designed to support the reproductive system, reduce pain and reduce the symptoms of PMS and PMT.
What are the symptoms of PMS, PMT & PMDD? Symptoms usually occur 10-14 days before the next menstrual cycle (before your period starts). A ‘cycle’ is the number of days from the day you get your period to the day the next one starts. Cycles vary from 28-32 days. Generally, symptoms of PMS occur after ovulation and last for 1-5 days, while symptoms of PMDD occur 10-14 days before the next cycle with symptoms lasting for up to 2 weeks.
- Swollen or tender breasts
- Feeling tired
- Trouble sleeping
- Upset stomach, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
- Headache or backache
- Appetite changes or food cravings
- Joint or muscle pain
- Trouble with concentration or memory
- Tension, irritability, mood swings, or crying spells
- Anxiety or depression
If you are experiencing these symptoms keep track of how you feel and when the symptoms worsen or if they get better. Consult your Naturopath, GP or healthcare practitioner for an accurate diagnosis and nutritional or treatment-based support program.