“You are moody! You must be PMSing!” “Are you about to start your period?” I have been rudely asked these questions many times in my life. If a woman is irritable or moody, sometimes people assume she must be dealing with PMS. There is a negative stigma that has surrounded women and their periods, especially with women who suffer from PMS.
PMS has been used as a legal defense for murder trials, destroyed relationships, led to divorce and child abuse and created horrible stereotypes about the behavior of women.
According to the Mayo Clinic, PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome affects as many as 3 out of 4 menstruating women.
I personally suffer from PMS or premenstrual syndrome. I have suffered with PMS since I was a teenager but was given the impression that I just have to deal with it. I was told it was not a true medical condition, just a “woman’s trouble”.
PMS is a legitimate medical condition.
The diagnosis involves the following list of symptoms:
- Breast tenderness
- Weight gain
- Carbohydrate craving
- Crying easily
These symptoms must occur for at least 4 days prior to the onset of menstruation. Only one of these symptoms is required for diagnosis of PMS. Sometimes the premenstrual symptoms are more prominent during the preovulatory and perivolulatory phases of the menstrual cycle. This is referred to as “reverse PMS”.
What is a woman to do? How does one find relief?
8 Ways to Eliminate Suffering from PMS
Improve Your Diet
Salt, Alcohol, caffeine, and high sugar foods can worsen PMS symptoms. Foods high in sugar and salt such as processed foods can contribute to bloating and destabilize your blood sugar and moods. Alcohol can worsen depression while caffeine can aggravate irritability and anxiety.
Try to focus on eating more fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates.Stay away from highly processed foods that contain a lot of sugar, salt and unhealthy fats. Avoid or limit alcohol and caffeine, especially around the time you usually experience PMS.
I find that when I focus on eating healthy, well-balanced meals, my PMS symptoms have lessened. It is not always easy to do, especially when I am so busy running from activity to activity, but it is so worth it.
Exercise can combat both the emotional and physical effects of PMS. A study researched the effect of exercise on PMS reported that conditioning exercise decreased PMS symptoms over a six-month period. The gradual initiation of a running exercise program over a six-month period resulted in a decrease in the overall PMS symptoms.
Pick an exercise routine that raises your heart rate. Be consistent and aim for exercising 3-4 times a week and incorporate strength training when possible. Both cardio and strength training are needed for a healthy body.
I can attest to how difficult it can be to establish and exercise routine when you are suffering from PMS. I would rather take a nap or press the snooze button.
Consistent exercise has really helped me with my energy levels. I never regret doing the exercise, but I always regret when I miss a workout.
Find the best exercise and workout time that works for you. Everyone is different. Pick something that you will stick with. Set a goal. Choose an accountability partner. Get started today! You will be glad you did!
First of all, it is crucial that you get adequate rest and plenty of sleep. Try to get as much sleep as you think you need. It may be more than you think.It is recommended that adults get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
Your body needs time to repair itself and to rest. Make an effort to reduce your stress. Spend time in prayer, read a book or journal. Get a monthly massage. Take a nap.
I am constantly battling stress. It is hard not to be stressed with kids, a business, school, and activities. I try to take time out each day for myself, even if only for 15-30 minutes. I spend time in prayer and journal. Sometimes, I just take a nap. I call it “Mommy’s time out.”
A girl’s night out or a date night with my husband are sometimes all I need to destress. If you can, hire a babysitter or have your husband watch the kids and spend the day doing something that interests you.
Vitamins can be beneficial for PMS. There is no hard evidence to prove these supplements work. Still, they are worth trying, especially if you are trying to avoid medication.
Some NaProTechnology doctors recommend Optivite. It has been used for many years to help combat PMS. Here are some suggested daily doses for supplements from the Mayo Clinic:
- Calcium – 1200 mg/day
- Magnesium – 400 mg/day
- Vitamin B6 – 50 to 100 mg/day
- Vitamin E – 400 IU/day
Chart Your Symptoms
The chart below can be used to document the duration and severity of the premenstrual symptoms each cycle. With the help of this charting system, the severity and frequency of the symptoms can be accurately recorded to aid in diagnosis.
PMS Monitoring Chart (Developed by Dr. Peter Denis)
I have found the PMS Monitoring Chart to be extremely helpful in recording my PMS symptoms. I took this information along with my Creighton Model FertilityCare chart to the NaProTechnology physician for diagnosis and treatment.
Chart Your Fertility Cycle
The Creighton Model FertilityCare System is a scientific proven method of charting your fertility cycle. The FertilityCare chart allows a woman to learn her body and her fertility signs. These signs help her and her Practitioner note things that are clinically relevant.
The Creighton Model FertilityCare chart is also used as a medical tool by the NaProTechnology doctor to help diagnose and treat the PMS. By pairing the PMS Monitoring Chart with the Creighton Model FertilityCare chart, a complete picture of PMS can be obtained.
I can personally attest to the usefulness of the Creighton Model FertilityCare chart. I have been charting for 14 years. In the last 2 years, I have been able to pick up irregularities in my chart based on my fertility cycle history. Those irregularities along with my documented PMS symptoms helped the NaProTechnology doctor evaluate my situation.
Have a Targeted Hormone Evaluation
NaProTechnology uses a targeted hormone evaluation to assess for a progesterone deficiency in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, which is a frequent cause of PMS. This targeted hormone evaluation is made possible through the FertilityCare charting of the menstrual cycle and fertility.
Dr. Thomas Hilgers found that women with PMS had a decreased estrogen and progesterone late in the cycle. Treatment is based on correcting these hormonal abnormalities that may be detected in the FertilityCare chart and properly timed blood tests.
Take Cooperative Medical Treatment
If through NaProTechnology, hormonal deficiency is confirmed, cooperative medical treatment is recommended after a woman has ovulated. This treatment may include natural progesterone replacement therapy, targeted HCG support and/or use of naltrexone.
This treatment can have dramatic results. The NaProTechnology cooperative medical treatment has been reported to have over 90% success rate in the treatment of PMS.
I am currently in the process of my targeted hormone evaluation. Once this is complete and if my hormones are confirmed to be low, I will be given one of these treatments by my NaProTechnology doctor. I am looking forward to the cooperative medical treatment. I can finally get the relief I desperately need.
Do you suffer with PMS? You can find relief!
Contact me today to find out more about how the Creighton Model FertilityCare System with NaProTechnology can help relieve your PMS.