PMS Definition: Premenstrual syndrome or PMS are symptoms in females that occur in the first half of their menstrual cycle. Symptoms may include irritability, depression, crying, mood swings, and over-sensitivity.
Almost 85% of women regularly struggle with mood swings, migraines, and bloating. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are some ideas on how to stop and or alienate PMS symptoms for once and all.
Natural and home remedies, Natural Therapies, medications, and lifestyle modifications may help PMS symptoms.
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Natural Therapies for PMS and PMDD
There are a significant number of women in their reproductive years who experience PMS symptoms, however, there are other women who experience even more debilitating symptoms. This severe PMS condition has been classified as PMDD or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.
If a woman suffering from either PMS or PMDD symptoms is looking for a natural treatment method, the following have been proven for being effective natural solutions.
Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine believe that PMDD can be treated. After all, it is not a disease that cannot be cured, it is a condition whose symptoms can be managed and alleviated.
According to Chinese practitioners, women with PMDD have a syndrome characterized by a predictable pattern of dysfunctions. These symptoms are caused by Liver Qi Stagnation.
The liver plays a major role in the rise and fall of a woman’s hormonal levels in her endocrine system. Thus, any imbalance in her liver can bring about premenstrual symptoms. These imbalances in the woman’s liver Qi can also be brought about by poor diet, excess stress, emotional strain, etc., which disrupts the smooth flow of Qi.
During the initial phase of the acupuncture treatment, the aim is to identify which inner physiological patterns are involved in each symptom. Once these patterns have been identified, specific acupuncture points are then used to alleviate, if not eliminate, the recurrence of these symptoms.
The Archive of Obstetrics and Gynecology published a research paper which showed that acupuncture can significantly treat women who suffer from insomnia, breast tenderness, gastrointestinal problems, and anxiety during their pre-menstrual period. The record shows that acupuncture has a high success rate in treating PMS and PMDD.
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Homeopathy – Homeopathic Medicines
If using homeopathy from a practicing therapist as your treatment method, you are required to undergo a detailed analysis of your mental and physical symptoms. This is done to determine what homeopathic medicines may be helpful. For this reason, it is always best to consult with a qualified homeopath before taking homeopathic remedies.
The homeopathic remedies that have been proven effective in treating PMDD symptoms include:
- Lycopodium – For treating depression and for women who have difficulty concentrating, headaches, hot flashes, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, and breast tenderness.
- Nat mur – This medicine is used for headaches and to help with food cravings. It is also helpful for women who feel sad and depressed.
- Lachesis – This is administered for breast tenderness, palpitations, backache, bloated abdomen, dizziness, and aching hips.
- Calcarea – This is used when a woman tends to feel extremely depressed. It is also used to treat irritability and cravings for salty and sugary foods.
- Pulsatilla – Joint pain, fatigue, and muscular pains are alleviated by using this remedy.
CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to help you identify your own thought patterns and negative behaviors. CBT helps a woman suffering from PMS or PMDD to deal with her mood swings, depression, and anxiety.
It assists a woman to be more mindful and to focus more on the present situation, rather than dwelling on past problems. Through CBT, a woman can become more capable of finding practical ways and effective coping methods to improve her state of mind.
This treatment usually lasts for a few weeks and involves multiple sessions.
Research has shown many times over that CBT can work just as effectively as antidepressants in quelling the symptoms of depression, that usually worsen when women have PMDD.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapists believe that some of the behavioral symptoms experienced by women with PMDD are usually caused by extreme thought patterns. These destructive thought patterns can become habitual and automatic, which is why they are not recognized initially for what they are.
Through cognitive restructuring, using the techniques acquired in CBT, women learn to examine their thought patterns. They learn how to become better at controlling their anger, stopping negative thoughts and getting rid of negative emotions.
As you can see, there are a few natural therapies to help relieve PMS and PMDD symptoms. As everyone is different, consult with your healthcare professional to determine your best options.
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Herbal Remedies for PMS and PMDD
Many women suffer from PMS and PMDD symptoms, however, there are plenty of herbal remedies readily available. Here are a few herbal remedies and supplements that have provided relief to others.
Holistic doctors such as naturopaths will always look at the underlying cause of any ailments. In many cases, they discover that a person’s liver health plays a role in the body’s inability to overcome the condition.
In the case of PMDD, it may be that the liver is lacking the ability to metabolize a woman’s hormones which may lead to several PMDD symptoms. If the liver is not functioning efficiently it cannot detoxify the bloodstream efficiently either.
When this happens, the accumulation of toxins occurs, which will can then exacerbate several symptoms of PMS and PMDD.
Milk thistle is a plant that contains several components collectively known as silymarin that can help protect the liver against damage caused by free radicals. Silymarin helps prevent toxins from entering the liver and neutralizes the toxins that have already penetrated the liver.
Milk thistle increases the levels of glutathione in the liver, which is another important antioxidant that has liver-protective benefits.
Chasteberry Fruit Extract
Preliminary results from several studies reveal that chasteberry can relieve some PMDD symptoms such as breast tenderness, irritability, and headaches. Research has shown that women who have used chasteberry have experienced up to a 50% reduction in their symptoms.
Chasteberry contains active compounds that help suppress the release of certain hormones such as prolactin. Having high levels of prolactin have been linked to cyclic breast tenderness and many other symptoms of PMS and PMDD.
The fruit extract of chasteberry has also been found to be helpful in balancing the hormones that are released from the pituitary gland. This gland is the part of the brain responsible for regulating overall hormone function. Studies have shown that more than 5,000 women confirmed its effectiveness in treating many PMS and PMDD symptoms.
An important note to make about chasteberry is it has been found to increase the likelihood of falling pregnant. So either rejoice or be prepared.
Chamomile tea contains certain properties that are effective in treating muscle spasms, thereby reducing the pain caused by menstrual cramps. Chamomile tea is also used by many people as part of their relaxation regimen. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea can rapidly reduce, if not eliminate irritability and mood swings as it calms the mind and body.
Chamomile tea does not contain caffeine so PMS and PMDD sufferers can drink this tea as a replacement for their caffeinated beverages.
A 10-25 mg decoction of reishi mushroom can be taken daily in divided doses. This can help boost the immune system while it helps regulate blood sugar levels. Reishi mushroom can be used to counteract feelings of fatigue and weakness.
In addition, this mushroom can have calming and relaxing effects that are useful for combating difficulty sleeping, feelings of nervousness and irritability.
Take this decoction in the morning and in the evening to experience relief from the many symptoms of PMS and PMDD. You may also opt for the capsule form of red reishi extract or its dried tea form depending on your preference.
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This is also called “female ginseng” because of its ability to attenuate several gynecological problems. This herb works incredibly well for treating cramps. Dong Quai quickly provides relief from cramps in as little as thirty minutes after taking the herb, and relief may last for up to four hours.
Another wonderful herb for women who are battling against irritability and sleeplessness. However, taking this herb for more than a year can harm the liver so this herb must not be used without the advice of a qualified herbalist.
St John’s Wort
This is a popular herb due to its potent medicinal properties. This herb is so powerful it can help ease more than fifteen symptoms of PMDD and PMS. Some of the symptoms that are subdued by St. John’s Wort include fatigue, anxiety, depression, irritability, breast tenderness, aches, and insomnia.
Agnus Castus is one of the best herbs for PMS as it is a hormone precursor. It can be taken as a tea or in a capsule and available at your local health food store.
Parsley or Dandelion Tea
To ease bloating and puffiness, diuretics such as Parsley or Dandelion tea can be effective. It is said that diuretics are best taken during the last week of the menstrual cycle.
This herb is aptly named and is a wonderful herb for helping ease the tummy. A cup of Chamomile tea, Peppermint tea or Ginger tea can also be helpful for relieving spasm, cramping, and gas.
Valerian or Skullcap
These two herbs are excellent for helping to calm extreme nervous excitability. Valerian is also used to help with those restless nights.
Herbal remedies are effective in providing PMS and PMDD relief, although the right precautions must be taken when using these herbs. It’s important to consult your physician or herbalist for any extreme PMS symptoms.