Do you at a certain time of the month find your temper uncharacteristically flaring? Becoming upset at the slight thing? Behaving irrationally? Are you having intense mood swings and generally feeling out of control? There is a good chance you are not going mad but experiencing the joys of a severe form premenstrual syndrome. Some women are lucky enough to sail through their menstrual cycles without experiencing any fluctuations in mood or encountering any physical changes. However between 75%-90% more often than not woman can experience slight to extreme changes in their emotional and physical well- being during the lead up to their period. Approximately one in 20 women experience changes so severe that it affects their quality of life and their relationships. The few days leading up to and during a woman’s period can be an emotional rollercoaster that changes a woman from a rational, calm person to an emotional wreck. This intense type of P.M.S is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
If you are experiencing intense changes in mood for no apparent reason it’s worth spending some time tracking your cycle and keeping a mood diary to see if there is a link. The symptoms usually start to appear 5-7 days before the period and their intensity increases until the period arrives, sometimes these symptoms can continue until the period has finished.
There is between 100-150 symptoms identified that are used to diagnose P.M.S
Emotional changes include tearfulness, mood swings, and irritability, flaring of temper, irrational behaviour, loss of concentration, a need to withdraw from others, more sensitive and loss of confidence. Changes in sleep patterns and a loss of interest in sex can also occur.
Physical symptoms include poor concentration, headaches, constipation and/or diarrhea, skin breakouts, bloating, breast tension, back ache, cravings and breast distention.
There is no known cause for P.M.S but it is believed to be linked to fluctuations in hormones after ovulation – low progesterone, high oestrogen levels can cause P.M.S. Other factors that can contribute to P.M.S is a lack of exercise, poor diet, being overweight, stress, low serotonin, and magnesium levels. It is important to be mindful that a woman’s cycle can change every few years and with it, hormonal changes can occur which means P.M.S could potentially appear in a women’s life but it is more common in adolescence or in mid to late 30’s.
What can you do to relieve your P.M.S symptoms?
- Exercise regularly
- Lose weight if required
- Change in diet including cutting out sugar, alcohol, and caffeine, salt
- Eat more food containing EFA’S nuts, seeds, sardines, and salmon are good sources
- See Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, by Christiane Northrup, M.D., Chapter 5, “The Menstrual Cycle” and Chapter 17, “Nourishing Ourselves with Food.” for dietary advice
- Manage your stress levels
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Acupuncture and Reflexology are non-invasive natural therapies that are becoming more recognised in supporting women to manage their P.M.S. Reflexology treatments for P.M.S focuses on the reflexes that support the endocrine system, the uterus, ovaries, the spine, chest/breast, head/brain and lymphatic are also manipulated during the treatment. Usually, a course of 6 sessions is recommended initially followed by a monthly session in the week before a period. Acupuncture can be used to stabilize hormonal imbalances, reduce stress and emotional symptoms but stimulating specific points in the body. Everybody’s reaction to acupuncture is unique is different and people’s responses can vary sometimes woman can find immediate relief but often it can take a couple of cycles to resolve the cause.
- There are a lot of supplements that can help manage the various symptoms of P.M.S
- Evening Primrose Oil
- Agnus Cactus
- Vitamin B complex
- Vitamin E can help with breast distension
- Calcium and Magnesium supplement – 400 mg-800mg
It is important to ensure that you source good quality supplements and use them in the right quantity.
You might need to speak to your G.P about medical treatments if it is affecting your overall quality of life.
If you want to know more about how acupuncture and reflexology can alleviate you P.M.S symptoms contact me on 0876226798
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for information purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a medical practitioner. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine.