Periods are always associated with PMS. It has a very bad reputation amongst anyone who has ever had a period for good reason. So periods are not just about bleeding and bloating- they come with even more unexpected and unpleasant side effects. Nausea, feeling irritable, and even those painful cramps.
None of us want PMS to impede our natural activities. We have 5 days (or more) of bleeding, who would want it coupled with more unpleasantness! The most unfortunate news is that PMS was barely recognized by doctors before the 1980s. Obviously, because all doctors have usually been men, the topic of periods has always been a taboo topic.
So what is PMS?
Premenstrual syndrome is caused by the surge in hormones in your body prior to your period. It may start as early as 2 weeks before your period and symptoms range from mild to the severe confined to bed symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of PMS are:
- Breast tenderness
- Feeling tired and lethargic
- Bloating usually in stomach and abdomen
- Some women even experience back pain
Although the exact cause is still elusive, researchers believe that PMS is caused by the fluctuation in levels of hormones progesterone and estrogen prior to menstruation.
Treating PMS at home
Most women turn to painkillers for relief. But the drug only takes care of the symptoms- not the cause of your problem. So using these simple hacks you can make that time of the month a breeze.
#1 The problem: Bloating
The culprit: Water retention
The solution: Try not to let yourself get dehydrated. If you are dehydrated, the body tries to hold on to what little water content it has. So keep yourself adequately hydrated and add lots of fruits and vegetables to your diet. Most fruits and veggies have high fiber content and are loaded with potassium which acts as a natural diuretic thereby absorbing excess sodium and fluid from the body which can reduce swelling and the bloating associated with PMS. Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruit also prevent water retention. It is also advisable to minimize your salt intake.
#2 The problem: Acne
The culprit: Excess oiliness
The solution: Pimples are known to commonly pop out right before your period. And these unwelcome guests are especially stubborn. Dark green leafy vegetables are a good source of vitamin A which will help to keep your skin healthy and glowing. Adequate hydration is also paramount for healthy skin. Eating peaches, plums, and apricots can also prevent your skin from breaking out and increase skin cell turnover. Adding cinnamon to your meals and beverages like tea can also help prevent pimples because it is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that helps stabilize blood sugar levels which may be the cause of your acne.
#3 The problem: Cramps
The culprit: Muscles of the uterus contract to expel blood
The solution: Cramps are basically muscle spasms. So pain relief can only be achieved by relaxing the muscles. A bowl of warm soup can do wonders for relaxing your cramps. You can also add grated ginger to your meals for its powerful warming and healing properties. Green vegetables contain both magnesium and vitamin K and can, therefore, be used as analgesics to relieve the cramps.
What not to do during periods
It is good having a list of what you can have but we also need to know what to avoid doing to keep PMS blues at bay.
Don’t have caffeine
While it may seem tempting to douse your pain with a cup of coffee, the acidity of it can lead to acidity which can, in turn, lead to indigestion and stomach pain. So instead of relieving your cramps, you are causing them to pile on!
Don’t miss breakfast or any meal
The surge of hormones can suppress your appetite. Sometimes you may just be suffering from indigestion and may want to skip a meal. But whatever be the cause, don’t miss any meals as that can cause your blood sugar levels to drop. What that means is that it will make you even more irritable and moody.
So the next time you feel the period blues hitting you, you know that the solutions lie in your kitchen.