Premenstrual syndrome is an unfortunate reality of many women out there. Sometimes, it evolves into premenstrual dysphoric disorder (think PMS but worse).
However, birth control pills and suffering through it don’t have to be the only responses to this struggle. There are also some natural ways to lessen, if not wholly discard, the symptoms.
Symptoms of PMS
Almost every woman went through at least some of the PMS symptoms at one point or another. These symptoms are common and, in most cases, not severe – still, they may interfere with women’s everyday lives.
What differentiates PMS from other conditions is that they take place just before or during the period. Most common include:
- Skin breakouts
- Mood swings and irritableness, sometimes even anxiety
- Belly cramps
- Bloating and constipation
- Breast tenderness
- Food cravings, especially for foods high in sugar and fat
Although many women share most of these symptoms, PMS is an individual thing. Some will only notice mild changes, while others will go as far as to visit a doctor to help them.
Birth control pills help some women handle more severe PMS indicators. However, some methods that don’t require prescriptions can help on an everyday basis.
During PMS, the body gathers excess estrogen, which leads to nasty symptoms. A way to eliminate it is through a bowel movement. As the digestive system grows sluggish during PMS, the liver sends more estrogen into the bloodstream.
Here are some natural ways to increase bowel movement during PMS to safeguard from this.
- Eat extra fiber by piling on the veggies
- Drink enough water to help the extra fiber move food through the intestines
- Drink apple cider vinegar before meals
- Add foods rich in resistant starch to support the microbiome
Proper digestion is vital to eliminating excess estrogen and keeping the hormone levels on a stable level.
Most Americans don’t take in enough magnesium. The reason for this lies in soil depletion, and it’s terrible news. Magnesium helps our cells function correctly. It’s especially crucial for women, as this mineral supports our hormones.
Research showed that women with severe PMS symptoms had a lower level of magnesium in their blood. Taking supplements reduced both the severity and the frequency of these struggles.
Magnesium has the most significant impact on headaches related to PMS. Besides, supplementing helps reduce mood swings.
Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to treat many ailments, including conditions related to hormones. Although very few studies took place to prove the positive effects herbs can have on PMS, many women claim it helps.
Common herbal supplements include:
- Chasteberry works to diminish most PMS indicators, including constipation and bloating
- Evening primrose oil helps mostly with mood swings and breast tenderness
- Medicinal marijuana has shown a positive impact on PMS-related nausea
- St. John’s wort affects fatigue and food cravings
These and many other herbal remedies exist in supplement forms. However, be sure you talk to your doctor before you try any of them.
The Bottom Line
Many women find PMS a part of their day-to-day life and don’t think about it too much. Still, if a woman experiences severe symptoms that interfere with her functioning, she should ask for help.
Remember, birth control isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to hormonal issues. There are other possible solutions, and giving them a try can help without harming the organism.