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For Women With PMS, Symptoms Are No Joke

By HERWriter
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for women who have PMS symptoms it's no joke Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock

The woman in the grip of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has been the butt of many jokes. She is seen as a screaming witch, an out-of-control harpy.

To some this is hilarious. To the women who suffer extreme PMS symptoms, and the people around them, it's no joke.

In the arena of fertile women, about 75 percent of them also live with some symptoms of premenstrual syndrome ranging from mild to excruciating.

About 1 out of every 20 women are hit with such extreme symptoms that they have moved up to premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD. This condition is accompanied by anger, agressiveness, depression and pain.

The fact that it only happens for a week to two weeks each month is little consolation. Looking ahead to years of this every month can add to the depression.

Premenstrual syndrome happens during the last two weeks of the menstrual cycle. Food cravings can get stirred up to a feverish pitch.

Your ability to control what you eat may seem to fly straight out the window every month. This chaotic state of affairs is the result of duelling hormones, specifically the sex hormone estrogen and the stress hormone cortisol.

Serotonin levels can plummet, which means your feel-good neurotransmitter levels are in the basement. It's enough to send you to the kitchen for solace.

This is in part because low serotonin equals high carbohydrate cravings, in an effort to manufacture more serotonin.

You can eat all the cake, chips and chocolate in the house or you can try to bring balance in healthier ways. There are some things you can do which may help to curb or eliminate your PMS symptoms.

If you have to have the carbs, go for complex carbohydrates, to avoid the unstable glucose levels that can enhance mood swings. Drinking plenty of water decreases bloating.

Supplements of calcium, magnesium and vitamin B complex can ease symptoms. Primrose oil is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory supplement that can relieve pain, inflammation, cramping and sore breasts.

The increase in endorphins that occurs during exercise can enhance your serotonin levels which elevates mood, and can also reduce cramping. Lots of sleep can help your ailing hormone balance.

Reducing stress levels and developing better methods of dealing with stress can also bring some relief. If you reduce your intake of alcohol, caffeine and salt, the symptoms of depression, irritability, breast pain and bloating can also decrease.


Five Tips For Taming PMS. Everydayhealth.com. Retrieved May 25, 2012.

8 Healthy Ways to Deal with PMS Cravings. Fitness.com. Retrieved May 25, 2012.

Visit Jody's website and blog at http://www.ncubator.ca and http://ncubator.ca/blogger

Reviewed on May 25, 2012
by Maryann Gromisch, RN

Add a Comment2 Comments


Great article. I'm laughing as I read it because I struggle with these symptoms and cravings. I've been taking the B Complex and that helps. The other thing I do so I don't pig out is exercise when I'm craving junk, and also chug water. I hang out more in my office or in my bedroom, furthest away from the kitchen! :)

May 31, 2012 - 7:09am

The best thing to take for PMS symptoms their is something called Agnus Castus 150 mg on the onset of your symptoms. Such product is very helpful and it's natural. It has been recommended by Dr. Oz. I'm thinking of getting them for myself. I do experience severe PMS once in awhile.


May 30, 2012 - 7:38pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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