Health
7 Home Remedies For PMS
Try these home remedies for PMS so that you can be your best self, no matter what time of the month
Erin Russell
07.03.17

Women live on a cyclical schedule—dreading the ever looming menstruation and pervasive symptoms that preclude it. According to womenshealth.gov, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that approximately 85 percent of women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and at least one, if not more, PMS symptoms. So rest assured, if you have PMS, you are not alone.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has a comprehensive list of physical and mental PMS symptoms. Some of these symptoms include depression, irritability, changes in libido, food cravings, headaches, bloating, cramping, acne and breast tenderness. According to medlineplus.gov and WebMD, PMS can start affecting you five to ten days before your menstrual period even starts and can even last a few days into your period.

Unfortunately, these symptoms can begin to affect everyday life if not kept under control—making it hard to work and be productive. The following at-home remedies may have the potential to help manage PMS symptoms and reduce their effects.

Flickr/Anne Combes
Source:
Flickr/Anne Combes

Heating pads

Cramping occurs because the uterus contracts as it expels the old lining from the body. A useful hack which alleviated cramps for many of past generations was to make a heating pad from rice and a sock.

Simply find an old, single crew sock, pour uncooked rice into the sock—enough to fill up the foot area—and then tie it at the end. With most microwaves, you will only need to heat it up for two minutes, which is enough time so that it gets warm, but not hot enough to burn the rice. When used over time, these may need to be replaced.

Helpful Herbs

Saffron and ginkgo have been noted by two studies from the National Center for Biotechnology Information to have been somewhat effective in alleviating PMS symptoms. Both studies agree that more research needs to be done.

Dong Quai and Black Cohosh were noted in this study to have some benefit to women who experience PMS symptoms. Dong Quai reduces cramping or muscle pain during menstruation, and black cohosh is believed to help with behavioral symptoms and regulate sleep.

Food

Flickr/Fit Fathers
Source:
Flickr/Fit Fathers

Medical information sites like WebMD and the Mayo Clinic recommend that women avoid caffeine, alcohol, sodium-rich foods and chocolate before and during their menstrual cycle. The body retains fluid during menstruation, and that is why many women experience bloating as a PMS symptom. Avoiding those foods will reduce the sensation of bloating.

Increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They have complex carbohydrates which provide the body with the energy and fiber it needs. Eating smaller and more frequent meals throughout the day help make you feel full and more energized.

Magnesium

One recent study published this spring revealed improvement in PMS symptoms when participants took magnesium daily. Magnesium particularly improved emotional and behavioral symptoms such as depression, anxiety, fatigue, and irritability. There is also significant potential for normalizing different hormone levels, progesterone especially, by taking this supplement.

Another study tested Magnesium taken at 200 mg daily paired with 50 mg of vitamin B6. Together they reduced anxiety-related symptoms more effectively than magnesium alone.

Exercise

Flickr/Jerzy Sobkowicz
Source:
Flickr/Jerzy Sobkowicz

Having a balanced life can help ease you through the transition your body goes through every month. WebMD and the Mayo Clinic recommend aerobic exercise for 30 minutes, at least three times a week to support a positive mood and energy and restful sleep.

Calcium

Calcium can reduce the muscle cramping during your period when taken daily. According to the Mayo Clinic, the effective dose is 1200 mg per day. Low-fat yogurt, fruits and vegetables are also other sources of calcium you can incorporate into your meals.

Homeotherapy

Max Charping
Source:
Max Charping

Some people recommend using evening primrose oil to help alleviate PMS symptoms by applying it directly to the skin of the lower abdomen. However, studies that have reviewed this method find there is no effect on PMS symptoms when compared to the placebo group.

However, acupressure and acupuncture have been reported by women to ease cramping and severe pain caused by endometriosis and menstruation. A study conducted in 2012 found that acupuncture to treat premenstrual syndrome can be considered an effective treatment.

Most of these treatment methods have the potential to alleviate one or more symptoms. To determine which one works best, start with one or two of these ideas and try them for one month and then reevaluate whether or not they were effective. Keeping a period journal can also help you pinpoint your symptoms and keep track of your progress.

As always, consult a physician if you feel that your symptoms are severe and do not improve after most general treatment methods or with traditional over-the-counter medications.

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Sources: [The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Healthline, John Libbey Eurotext, Mayo Clinic, Medicine Plus, National Center for Biotechnology Information, NCBI, NCBI, NCBI, WebMD, WebMD, Women’s Health]

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By Erin Russell
hi@sbly.com
Erin Marissa Russell is a contributing writer at Shareably. She is based in Denton, TX, and can be reached at erin.russellgibsoncontent@gmail.com.
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