You hope it will be different this month. You miraculously will escape PMS symptoms even though you have been frustrated by them since puberty.
And then it begins again. You wake up with “the blahs”, feeling like you need another eight hours of sleep. The car in front of you fails to put on its turn signal and you long to roll down the window and scream, “Go back to driver’s ed!” The barista at your usual coffee shop is overly perky and grates on your nerves. If only you could alleviate this irritability.
Here are a few tips to consider:
A Healthy Diet Can Help Reduce PMS Irritability
Remember what you learned as a child. Eating three meals a day is good for you. It prevents you from being “hangry” (“hungry/angry”) and having foggy thoughts, which are often the result of low blood sugar. During PMS, many women experience a craving for sugary or salty foods, which may only exacerbate symptoms. Be sure to plan meals that include fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Avoid the tempting cycle of eating salty snacks, and then turning to the cookie jar.
Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water, and reduce your consumption of alcoholic beverages and caffeine.
Make Exercise a Part of Your Daily Routine
It’s not always easy to squeeze in time for exercise, but it can help reduce PMS irritability and lift your mood. Taking an exercise class is great, particularly if the energy in a group environment gives you a boost. However, doing some stretches at home or going for a brisk walk can also help.
Exercise is not only good for your body, but it’s good for your mind, too. It can help reduce stress, which is known to aggravate PMS symptoms.
Some physicians recommend supplements, such as calcium, vitamin B6, evening primrose oil, folic acid and magnesium, to help women coping with PMS symptoms.
Another option is Serenol™, a non-prescription herbal supplement developed specifically to relieve the emotional symptoms of PMS.* Serenol doesn’t contain any hormones, nor does it act like a hormone. In a clinical study, the ingredients in Serenol were shown to relieve PMS emotional symptoms such as irritability and mood swings.* Clinical trials have also shown that these ingredients are as safe as a sugar pill.
Put Down the Cigarettes, Please
Smoking cigarettes has many harmful health effects, but did you know it also plays a role in PMS? According to the Reuters article, “Cigarette Smoking May Worsen Premenstrual Woes” by Anne Harding, findings show there is a clear link between smoking and PMS symptoms, including PMS irritability.
“Women 27 to 44 years old who smoke are twice as likely to develop premenstrual syndrome…., especially hormonally-related symptoms,” according to Dr. Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Bertone-Johnson also referenced studies stating that “smoking may alter levels of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and other hormones, many of which may be involved in the development of PMS.” Given this information, it makes sense to eliminate smoking from your daily regimen and find an alternative de-stressor.
Find Your Calm
Life can be hectic, and when the pressure is on, PMS symptoms can seem even worse. Allow yourself some quiet time. Relax with a good book. Share lunch with a friend. Immerse yourself in your favorite hobby. Put on your favorite tunes and take a long bath. Make sure you find time to take care of yourself and quiet your mind. This will help reduce PMS irritability.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates that at least 85 percent of menstruating women experience at least one premenstrual symptom per monthly cycle. If you are one of these women, consider the above tips to help control your PMS irritability and feel more like you.