According to the National Institutes of Health, 3 out of 4 menstruating women experience symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. Heightened stress and anxiety are common symptoms, as are mood swings, cravings, water retention and feelings of fatigue, depression and irritability. Consult a doctor regarding possible psychological disorders and prescription treatment if you experience particularly severe anxiety symptoms. However, for many women, simple diet and lifestyle changes, as well as natural remedies, can provide significant relief and even prevent future symptoms.
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Diet and Lifestyle Changes
Eat smaller, more frequent meals instead of large, heavy meals to stabilize blood sugar and control cravings for sweet and salty foods.
Replace high-fat, sugar- and sodium-laden foods with low-sodium alternatives and complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Avoid tobacco, caffeine and alcohol, all of which can increase feelings of anxiety and stress levels.
Engage in aerobic activity to combat depression and fatigue. Aim for at least 30 minutes of daily exercise such as walking, running, cycling, swimming or other cardiovascular activities.
Reduce stress with yoga, meditation and deep-breathing exercises. According to "Psychology Today," yoga not only reduces stress, but it also improves your immune system and lowers your blood pressure.
Consume 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily in either dietary or supplement form to reduce both the physical and psychological effects of PMS.
Take a daily multivitamin with adequate B vitamins, particularly 50 to 100 milligrams of B-6, and consider supplementing your diet with additional magnesium and vitamin E in order to combat hormonal imbalance and fluid retention.
Try herbal remedies, such as black cohosh, if symptoms persist or you require additional relief. Black cohosh root may help alleviate premenstrual symptoms; however, it is not regulated by the FDA, and may cause side effects. Consult your doctor before using medicinal herbs.