My PMS cure came after years of struggling with PMS symptoms such as moodiness, bloating, breast tenderness, depression and food cravings.
I was able to overcome PMS by losing weight the healthy way. I did not try to fight the less disturbing PMS symptom: an intense craving for chocolate.
Experts say PMS symptoms, which occur a week to 10 days before menstruation begins, is not something women invent.
My PMS problems were serious, but not severe enough to be categorized as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). PMDD, according to experts, occurs in 3 to 5 percent of women compared to 33 percent or more who suffer with PMS. Women with PMDD show marked anger, sleep problems and the other problems that women with PMS experience.
An imbalance of estrogen and progesterone and changes in serotonin (the feel-good chemical in the brain) can result in PMDD and PMS symptoms.
Since experts are so divided on what causes PMS and the best way to cope with symptoms, I had given up. But my weight loss and exercise plan cured my PMS.
Here are my five tips for coping with PMS:
Reduce caffeine consumption
I suffered with caffeine withdrawal symptoms for a month, but it was worth it. By reducing caffeine, my worn-out thyroid had a chance to recover, which revved up my metabolism. Caffeine can contribute to fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which increases PMS cravings.
By exercising more often I was able to raise my serotonin levels for a brighter mood to beat the PMS depression. I exercised six days a week, making sure to raise my heart rate to the right fat-burning zone for my age.
Increase potassium in diet
I did not know at the time that I had found a PMS cure, but I began drinking coconut water to restore electrolytes after exercise. I also used bananas in my smoothies. Turns out potassium, found in coconut water and bananas, has a diuretic effect that helps beat PMS bloat.
Count on calcium
I began eating more yogurt as part of my weight loss efforts. According to a study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women who consumed 1200 milligrams of calcium reduced their PMS symptoms in half. Calcium is associated with reduced bloating and food cravings associated with PMS.
Add flaxseeds to your diet
While dieting, I made sure to eat high fiber foods and included flaxseeds in my diet. Researchers with the University of Toronto found flaxseed could reduce PMS breast pain. Flaxseed helps the body absorb calcium. And flaxseeds contain hormone-balancing ligans to help with that delicate estrogen-progesterone balance.
For me, the best side effect of a healthy diet and exercise plan was saying goodbye to PMS!
More from this contributor:
Yogi Woman’s Moon Cycle Tea for PMS review
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Coconut Water for PMS relief
Cleveland Clinic: ” PMS and PMDD”
Potassium: A New Treatment for Premenstrual Syndrome
CNN Health: Coping With PMS
TargetWoman: “Flax seed”