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Understanding Premenstrual Syndrome and How to Treat the Symptoms Naturally

Every woman experiences her menstrual cycle a bit differently, and the monthly cycle is far easier for some women than others. One reason for this is premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which has a wide range of symptoms that range from mildly annoying to downright excruciating.

PMS symptoms are very common and very real, but fortunately, they can usually be treated 100 percent naturally with at-home remedies. Here is some information about PMS and what you should know about easing the PMS symptoms that you suffer from each month.

Photo credit: tipstimes.com/menstrual via Flickr

Symptoms of PMS

While there are many different symptoms associated with PMS, most women only experience a few of them on a regular basis. Before your period, you may feel bloated, anxious, or have changes in your appetite. You may also have food cravings, feel more emotional, notice that your breasts are tender, or be irritable with other people. Other common symptoms include libido changes, poor concentration, headaches, fatigue, and acne flare-ups.

Distinguishing PMS and PMDD

Many people have heard of PMS, but you might be less familiar with PMDD. PMDD, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder, is a type of PMS that affects up to five percent of premenopausal women. PMDD is caused by hormone fluctuations, but the symptoms are much more severe than those of standard PMS. Women with PMDD find their symptoms so severe that it is difficult to function in daily life and may need to seek professional medical attention to keep their symptoms under control.

What Causes PMS?

When a woman’s body prepares to menstruate, her hormones fluctuate by varying degrees. Researchers and doctors aren’t entirely certain what causes PMS or why some women experience it more intensely than others, but this hormone fluctuation is believed to be a major component. Also, chemical changes in a woman’s brain may lead to PMS because of fluctuating serotonin levels that affect moods and mental states. Furthermore, women who are depressed tend to have more PMS symptoms than their peers.

Photo credit: Uday Dileep via Flickr

Natural Treatments for PMS

But fortunately, PMS is often very treatable by natural means and at home with sensible remedies. Aromatherapy with an essential oil diffuser is a great practice to try if you suffer from PMS. Stock up on chamomile to aid relaxation and lavender for a calming effect when you’re shopping for essential oils. Drinking Olive Leaf Mint Tea is also a wonderful way to relax and soothe symptoms with natural ingredients.

You can also soak in a warm bath with essential oils to sooth your PMS symptoms and get a good night’s sleep. Yoga is great for stretching out abdominal cramps, and mediation is excellent for easing anxiety and a scattered mind when PMS symptoms strike.

What you eat the days leading up to your period also makes a big difference in how you feel during this time. You should avoid processed carbs, salty foods, and alcohol to prevent excess bloating and abdominal discomfort. Instead, focus your diet on natural fruits and vegetables, high-protein foods like fish and lean meats, and eat several small meals throughout the day. You may also benefit from eating foods rich in magnesium, calcium, and vitamin E during your premenstrual phase.

Meanwhile, many women swear by herbal remedies that include gingko, evening primrose oil, and St. John’s wort to ease their PMS symptoms. For more severe symptoms, you may want to discuss the options of acupuncture or cognitive behavioral therapy. Reducing daily stress levels can also go a long way in keeping PMS symptoms at bay.

A new approach that appears to have some merit is applying CBD infused cream to the skin over the lower stomach area. Reports are indicating that the pain level can be substantially improved.

Do you suffer from PMS symptoms before your monthly period? What helps your monthly symptoms go away better than anything else?

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