As more and more women embrace self-empowering choices and healthy lifestyles, there is increased interest in finding natural ways to control the symptoms of PMS and PMDD without dependence on medications.
San Francisco, California (PRWEB) October 12, 2011
85% of women will have PMS symptoms during their lifetime, and 20-40% of all reproductive-aged women have PMS or PMDD symptoms so severe that they interfere with meeting responsibilities and with life fulfillment.
As more and more women embrace self-empowering choices and healthy lifestyles, there is increased interest in finding more natural ways to control the symptoms of PMS and PMDD without dependence on prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Many women prefer to avoid the potentially unpleasant or harmful side effects that might result from the two main classes of drugs prescribed for PMS and PMDD: the SSRI anti-depressants and hormonal birth control. Also, many women have found these medications ineffective for their symptoms.
Dr. Daniel Heller, founder and chief medical officer of PMS Comfort, a woman's health organization dedicated to educating, informing, and empowering women on the subject of PMS and PMDD, as well as to providing natural alternatives for the relief of premenstrual symptoms, reveals the five most important self-care strategies to avoid and overcome premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Five Essential PMS & PMDD Self-Care Tips
1. Take it easy: stress is the number one PMS trigger.
* PMS often results in feeling stressed, tense, on-edge, and overwhelmed. But stress itself aggravates PMS and PMDD. (Journal of Women’s Health, 2010, Gollenberg et al.)
* Manage stress through exercise: human beings are meant to respond to stress with the “fight or flight” reaction, so just sitting still when you’re upset and angry is unhealthy. Discharge stress instead with any kind of exercise available to you—remember, every little bit helps. Opening up the fridge or sitting down at the computer, even if they distract you, don’t discharge stress.
* Keep things in perspective. Excessive worry about what you don’t and can’t control is hard on you, but does little or nothing to change the situation. Try not to “sweat the small stuff.”
* Cut back on caffeine: caffeine increases the stress hormones in your body. Cut your caffeine dosage in half, switch to decaf, or stop drinking caffeine after 1 PM.
* Counseling can help you manage stress and put things in perspective. Talking to someone trained in listening and helping can make life feel less overwhelming.
2. Another reason to quit, or not start, smoking.
* Like stress, cigarette smoking makes PMS worse, particularly in adolescents and in young women (American Journal of Epidemiology, 2008, Bertone-Johnson.)
3. Another reason to stick to that diet, go to the gym, and say no to junk food.
- Women whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is in the overweight range have more PMS symptoms than women whose BMI is in the normal range. (Journal of Women’s Health, 2010, Bertone-Johnson.)
- This is particularly true for PMS cramping, bloating, and backaches.
4. A healthy diet overall, not just a weight loss diet, is the beginning of prevention.
- A healthy diet will do more than take off some pounds: it actually lowers your stress level and reduces toxic inflammation in your body. A healthy plant-based diet with high quality proteins and fats will not only help with PMS and PMDD symptoms, but will also lower your risk of chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
5. Nutritional and Herbal Supplementation
- Among the supplements that show promise for addressing PMS and PMDD symptoms are calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and the herb Vitex agnus-castus. Correct use of dietary supplements for premenstrual symptoms perfectly complements dietary and lifestyle therapies.
Dr. Heller has created pmscomfort.com to help women find the answers they're looking for on the subjects of PMS, PMDD, and natural relief for premenstrual symptoms.