It's that time of the month again, PMS, when your alter ego makes her monthly appearance. Instead of dreading this time of the month, face it head-on with a few simple remedies.
But first, a little background on PMS. PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) usually occurs between the time a woman ovulates and a few days into her period cycle. It has a wide variety of symptoms. The most common mood-related symptoms are irritability, depression, crying, oversensitivity, and mood swings with alternating sadness and anger. The most common physical symptoms are fatigue, bloating, breast tenderness (mastalgia), acne, and appetite changes with food. For the lucky some, these symptoms are barely noticeable; for the rest of us, they can run the gamut—from a mild nuisance to a major annoyance, where they affects your daily activities.
A more severe form of PMS, known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), also occurs in a smaller number of women and results in significant loss of function because of unusually severe symptoms. For these women medical attention is needed.
For those who suffer from mild to moderate PMS symptoms, get creative. Here are five unique ideas to help deal with PMS:
- Turn on your favorite tunes and dance in your bra and underwear—don't forget to draw the shades ... or not. ;-) Exercise helps release your natural endorphins, brain hormones that stimulate the "happy" center in your brain.
- Cuddle up on the couch with a box of tissues and watch a tear-jerker. Having a good cry just might make you feel better. And a sad movie is the perfect excuse!
- Have a watermelon eating contest with your girlfriends, who, if you spend a lot of time with them, may be "PMSing" too. Watermelon has a natural diuretic effect and may help with the bloating and curb your sugar craving.
- Take an excursion to your local aquarium. Watching fish swim in a tank has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and even your blood pressure. It is pretty mesmerizing.
- Take an extra-long lunch and "rendezvous" with your sweetie. Sex could also stimulate your pleasure center and make you feel more desirable.
Dr. Christine Ko is a Board Certified Family Practice physician with more than 15 years of medical experience. Her interests and focus are in women's health, integrative medicine, and sports medicine, and her approach to clinical care centers on knowledge of the disease process as well as the individual. Dr. Ko is a champion of integrated and holistic medicine, and in addition to her traditional medical training, she is trained in both medical acupuncture and mesotherapy.