What is PMS?
PMS refers to a group of physical and mental symptoms of uneasiness that occur about 1 – 2 weeks before the start of a period. They usually go away after you start to bleed. The symptoms of PMS are caused by the drastic changes in female hormones that occur after ovulation. Some researchers put the blame on the progestational hormone, but exact causes of PMS have yet to be discovered.
While you may feel pain during PMS, worry not as you do not suffer alone! About 40.1% of women claim that they "always" suffer from PMS, and about 51.9% of women "sometimes" suffer from it.
There are a variety of symptoms connected to PMS, but the Top 5 are:
- Abdominal pain
- Breast pain or swelling
Some girls also report acne breakouts, bloating, weight gain, and changes in appetite when going through PMS. Though PMS presents many discomforts, the good news is that these symptoms disappear about as soon as you start to bleed.
Dealing with PMS
There are various ways to make the PMS phase a little more bearable.
Studies have confirmed that stress worsens PMS symptoms. Therefore when PMS occurs, take a moment to slow down and relax. Ignoring unpleasant symptoms doesn't make them go away, rather they are likely to worsen as well as increase your levels of stress.
During PMS, cut back on items containing a lot of caffeine, such as coffee, as well as on sugar and salt. It also helps to get nutrients such as vitamins B6 and E, calcium, magnesium, and soy isoflavone from supplements.
Exercise can definitely help counter the effects of PMS. Yoga, for example, helps keep symptoms in check. Try these simple yoga poses that ease the PMS symptoms.
A side-stretching pose that controls anger
Being seated for a long time leads to muscle tension and interrupt blood circulation. Bad blood and lymph flows are amongst the causes of irritability. While facing forward, bend to each side while stretching your back and you will find that this will help you relax.
A spine-stretching pose that refreshes the spirit
At times when you are depressed or emotional, take a deep breath through your nose (abdominal breathing) and stretch your spine out. This improves blood circulation in your back, shoulders and arms, refreshing your spirit.
A Cat pose that eases lower abdominal tension
This is a great pelvis exercise and helps ease constipation and lower abdominal swelling. First, get on all fours. Then, arch your back, bringing your face towards the sky. Next, round your back, bringing your face towards the ground again. Do this in sets of 5.
A spinal twist helps the whole body unwind
Settling the blood, lymph and energy flows of the entire body easing premenstrual swelling and alleviating discomfort. While standing up, twist your upper body to the right, then to the left.