PMS is one of those annoying and unavoidable things women must deal with in life. Imagine how much men would complain if for 5-7 days every month they felt cranky, irritable, cramping and bloating and then spent another 5 days menstruating. As it stands, PMS and menstruation are unique to women. Many women consider this a blessing, something that sets them apart from others. However, how you personally feel towards your period is your decision. What we all need to work towards is managing our symptoms as best we can, and learning to accept the inevitability of menstruation.
Tips to Manage PMS
1. Track Your CycleLearn the ins and outs of your menstrual cycle. Keep track of it wherever you want - in your date book, in a journal or just on some paper. Track the onset of PMS symptoms, the severity of symptoms and how long they last. Be sure to track the progress of actual menstruation as well. Over time you may be able to learn to predict certain things, like the onset of menstruation and possible onset of PMS symptoms.
2. Take Care of YourselfTaking care of yourself can include any number of factors. Be sure to take extra caution around the time of menstruation each month to keep your body healthy and comfortable. Don't put undo physical or emotional stress on yourself. Yoga can be a great way to deal with the symptoms before they get to severe.
3. Sleep WellBe sure to get plenty of sleep before and during your period. If you are especially prone to irritability, sleep is that much more important.
4. Eat WellDiet is another important aspect to consider if you experience any PMS. Diet can also ease or prevent symptoms of menstruation including bloating and mood swings. Stay away from caffeine, sugar, fat and salt (all the things we crave during our periods) as much as you can. These will only make your symptoms worse.
5. Take a Day OffIf you experience severe PMS symptoms on a particular day, consider allowing yourself one day to stay at home and take care of yourself. Tracking symptoms is a great way to identify if you have one especially bad day, and will allow you to adjust to it.
6. Take CalciumCalcium is an important supplement for women at any time, but especially during menstruation. It has been linked to a reduction in PMS symptoms for many women.
7. NSAIDsNSAIDs or no steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen work to reduce inflammation and ease cramping. Many women take NSAIDs regularly during menstruation to keep symptoms at bay. Be careful however, NSAIDs can cause stomach upset in some women.
8. Reduce StressReduce stress as much as possible when you have PMS. If you have especially strong symptoms of PMS, stress can make everything that much more difficult to deal with.
9. Talk about ItPMS is a common discussion topic among women; talking about PMS allows us to vent our frustrations and get support from knowing that others feel the same way we do. PMS can lead to depression so it is important to get the help you need as soon as you start to get the blues .
10. Tell Your DoctorIf you are worried your symptoms aren't normal, be sure to talk with your doctor. Some women experience a condition called PMDD (pre-menstrual dysphoric dysfunction), a severe form of PMS. Your doctor may prescribe medication to take during these times. Whether you have severe PMS or not at all, it is a condition millions of women face every month, for at least forty years of their lives. It is an unavoidable, but necessary part of being a woman that we all must face.