7 Ways To Reduce PMS Symptoms

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“Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). US Department Of Health And Human Sciences. It might seem like there is no way out of the whirlwind of symptoms that come with the premenstrual syndrome. However, these few tips can help make things a lot easier for you, especially if you stick with them for the long ha…”

We never truly get used to the “monthly call” from mother nature. Having to deal with pain, discomfort, cravings, breakouts, and wild mood swings can be difficult, to say the least. But do we have no choice but to put up with premenstrual syndrome? Turns out, there are a few ways to alleviate the symptoms of the dreaded PMS. Here are 7 such tips that you might not know of.

1. Try Light Exercise

Exercise throughout the month to prevent cramping and bloating

Exercises might be the last thing on your mind when you’re going through PMS. But, a few studies indicate that it could help reduce symptoms like pain and bloating. While certain yoga poses could help provide temporary relief when you’re doubling over in pain, the key to alleviating PMS symptoms with exercise is to do it regularly.[ref]Yang, Nam-Young, and Sang-Dol Kim. “Effects of a yoga program on menstrual cramps and menstrual distress in undergraduate students with primary dysmenorrhea: a single-blind, randomized

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controlled trial.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 22, no. 9 (2016): 732-738.[/ref] Both weight training and aerobic exercises have long-term and short-term benefits on PMS symptoms.[ref]Daley, Amanda. “The role of exercise in the treatment of menstrual disorders: the evidence.” (2009): 241-242.[/ref]

2. Munch On Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate might alleviate cramping and bloating and uplift your mood.

We’ve all been hit with those chocolate cravings when we’re experiencing the symptoms of PMS. Although there isn’t sufficient evidence to support the benefits of dark chocolate on PMS symptoms, they are a better alternative to the regular bar of chocolate, especially when you want to feel better.

This is because dark chocolate has been linked to a boost in the “feel good” hormone serotonin.[ref]Katz, David L., Kim Doughty, and Ather Ali. “Cocoa and chocolate in human health and disease.” Antioxidants & redox signaling 15, no. 10 (2011): 2779-2811.[/ref] It is also known to reduce stress by inhibiting the stress hormone cortisol.[ref]Martin, Francois-Pierre J., Serge Rezzi,

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Emma Peré-Trepat, Beate Kamlage, Sebastiano Collino, Edgar Leibold, Jürgen Kastler, Dietrich Rein, Laurent B. Fay, and Sunil Kochhar. “Metabolic effects of dark chocolate consumption on energy, gut microbiota, and stress-related metabolism in free-living subjects.” Journal of proteome research 8, no. 12 (2009): 5568-5579.[/ref] It is also rich in magnesium which might ease cramps and bloating.[ref]Walker, Ann F., Miriam C. De Souza, Michael F. Vickers, Savitri Abeyasekera, Marilyn L. Collins, and Luzia A. Trinca. “Magnesium supplementation alleviates premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention.” Journal of Women’s Health 7, no. 9 (1998): 1157-1165.[/ref]

3. Go For An Essential Oil Massage

Try An Essential Oil Massage

A massage might just be what you need to ease discomfort, cramps, and mood swings. Studies have shown that aromatherapy and an abdominal massage with essential oils like cinnamon, clove, rose, and lavender effectively reduces pain and stress.[ref]Marzouk, Tyseer MF, Amina MR El-Nemer, and Hany N. Baraka. “The effect of aromatherapy abdominal massage on alleviating menstrual pain in nursing students: A prospective randomized

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cross-over study.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).[/ref] These oils work by reducing uterine contractions. You could use them individually or together with a base oil like almond oil. Massage the mixture onto your lower abdomen regularly for benefits.[ref]Ou, Ming‐Chiu, Tsung‐Fu Hsu, Andrew C. Lai, Yu‐Ting Lin, and Chia‐Ching Lin. “Pain relief assessment by aromatic essential oil massage on outpatients with primary dysmenorrhea: A randomized, double‐blind clinical trial.” Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology research 38, no. 5 (2012): 817-822.[/ref]

4. Increase Your Vitamin Intake

Calcium, vitamin b 6, magnesium, vitamin E and potassium can alleviate PMS symptoms.

Popping pills might not be a bad idea if you’re suffering from PMS, especially if they are vitamin pills. Research indicates that minerals like calcium, vitamin B6, and vitamin E have a significant role in alleviating PMS symptoms.[ref]Whelan, Anne Marie, Tannis M. Jurgens, and Heather Naylor. “Herbs, vitamins and minerals in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome: a systematic review.” Can J Clin Pharmacol 16, no. 3

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(2009): e407-e429.[/ref] Magnesium, which reduces cramps, and potassium, which gets rid of excess salt and water retention in the body, are also linked to PMS symptoms.[ref]Ebrahimi, Elham, Shiva Khayati Motlagh, Sima Nemati, and Zohreh Tavakoli. “Effects of magnesium and vitamin b6 on the severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms.” Journal of caring sciences 1, no. 4 (2012): 183.[/ref] [ref]Gallen, Ian W., Robert M. Rosa, Daisy Y. Esparaz, James B. Young, Gary L. Robertson, Daniel Batlle, Franklin H. Epstein, and Lewis Landsberg. “On the mechanism of the effects of potassium restriction on blood pressure and renal sodium retention.” American journal of kidney diseases 31, no. 1 (1998): 19-27.[/ref]

Often, a deficiency in certain vitamins contributes to heightened PMS symptoms, so it’s best to get a blood test done and consult a doctor before you take supplements. You could also, alternatively, choose to eat foods rich in these vitamins and minerals instead.

5. Catch Up On Some Sleep

Catch Up On Some Sleep

While it might seem difficult

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to find a comfortable position to lie down in, let alone sleep, a good night’s rest might just be what you need. Most women face problems while sleeping due to a lowered response to melatonin, a hormone that controls your sleep cycle.[ref]Jehan, Shazia, Evan Auguste, Mahjabeen Hussain, Seithikurippu R. Pandi-Perumal, Amon Brzezinski, Ravi Gupta, Hrayr Attarian, Giradin Jean-Louis, and Samy I. McFarlane. “Sleep and Premenstrual Syndrome.” Journal of sleep medicine and disorders 3, no. 5 (2016).[/ref] Lack of sleep, in turn, causes stress, anger, irritability, and depression.[ref]Why Is Sleep Important? U.S Department Of Health And Human Services.[/ref] So, try and get some sleep whenever you can. You could also consider asking your doctor if you could take melatonin supplements to improve your sleep during this time.

6. Drink Red Raspberry Tea

Red raspberry tea might alleviate cramps

Herbal remedies are popular when it comes to easing menstrual cramps, but one that is worth a try is red raspberry leaf tea.[ref]

title="" href="https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_ruid.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">American Red Raspberry. United States Department Of Agriculture.[/ref] Certain studies have linked it to reduced pain in the abdomen, and most pregnant women are prescribed this tea to help with labor pain.[ref]Parsons, Myra, Michele Simpson, and Terri Ponton. “Raspberry leaf and its effect on labour: safety and efficacy.” Australian College of Midwives Incorporated Journal 12, no. 3 (1999): 20-25.[/ref] Besides, it makes for a good warm drink when you’re going through a lot of pain. Although this herb is not linked with any side effects, it might be a good idea to check for allergies before you incorporate it into your diet.

7. Switch To A Healthy Diet

Switch To A Healthy Diet

We could not miss out on emphasizing the importance of eating right to alleviate PMS symptoms. This includes adding certain foods to your diet such as complex carbohydrates as well as fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals. It also includes eliminating certain types of food from

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your diet that aggravate the symptoms of PMS. These include excessive salt, which is linked to water retention and bloating, and caffeine, which is linked to crankiness and breast soreness.[ref]Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). US Department Of Health And Human Sciences.

It might seem like there is no way out of the whirlwind of symptoms that come with the premenstrual syndrome. However, these few tips can help make things a lot easier for you, especially if you stick with them for the long haul.