Coping with PMS – 8 Tips to Help Prevent & Reduce the Symptoms of PMS

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Did you know that your period should just arrive with no tenderness, cravings, mood swings or spotting leading up to it? How many people would say this is accurate for their cycle?


Many women experience some level of PMS (Premenstrual  Syndrome) leading up to and during their period, with symptoms including pain and discomfort, cramping, headaches, mood changes, irritability, cravings or spotting. In fact, PMS is becoming more and more prevalent in today's society. 


There could be a number of different reasons for PMS, including:


  • Anxiety or stress

  • Hormonal imbalances – Including progesterone and estrogen

  • Thyroid dysfunction

  • Inflammation

  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies

  • Poor diet

  • Environmental toxins

If you experience PMS around your periods, the good news is that you don't have to live with the symptoms. Here are 8 simple tips that can help to reduce the symptoms of PMS:


1. Mindfulness


The practice of mindfulness and grounding helps us to stop and get in touch with what is going on in our body. Try to be present as much as possible, and get those bare feet connecting with the earth on a daily basis by walking in the grass, on the beach or in the bush. 


It's from this place that we can be in touch with what it is that our body actually needs. If you feel exhausted, it's because your body is trying to tell you to slow down and get a little rest...because this is what it NEEDS.  If your lower back is aching, your body is probably telling you to pay a little attention to that area - do some gentle stretching, apply a little warmth and send some love to that area of your body.


The point is, try to get in tune with what your body is trying to tell you and then don't try to soldier on and push through it like society says we should!! Listen to it. Give yourself some TLC. Your body deserves to be loved and respected.  


2. Deep breathing 


Deep breathing is a powerful tool that helps to reduce our stress levels...which in turn reduces the cortisol levels in our bodies. Reducing stress is a major part of supporting our hormone regulation as persistent stress keeps us in "fight or flight mode", affecting all the systems and their functioning in our body. Dr Jolanta has made a video to guide you through a deep diaphragmatic breathing exercise here.


3. Eat plenty of green leafy vegies


Green leafy vegies are great anti-inflammatory foods so include lots of these into your diet. They also help to balance estrogen levels and regulate our hormonal system. Vegies such as kale, spinach, coriander, beetroot leaves (yes add the leaves to your salad too!) should take centre stage on your plate as often as possible.


4. Increase your essential fatty acid intake


Our hormones are actually made from these beautiful fats and so replenishing them in our bodies helps to reduce side effects such as weight gain, fatigue, irregular periods, mood swings and those hard to fight sugar cravings! Include nuts, seeds, oily fish like salmon, avocados and healthy oils such as flaxseed and avocado oil in your daily diet. In fact, these fats are vital for our whole body, not only our hormonal system. 


5. Epsom salt baths


Epsom salt baths are great for increasing your magnesium intake which is important for healthy hormone regulation.  Because magnesium is a muscle relaxant, it also helps to relieve cramping and discomfort in the lower back and abdomen. Also, the ritual of having a warm bath allows you to stop and have some time out and give your body some TLC - which is hugely important for your emotional wellbeing.


6. Avoid processed sugar


Yes it's that sugar thing again! Processed sugars are highly inflammatory and put simply, wreak havoc in our bodies, including disrupting our hormone regulation. Sugar also causes fluctuations in moods which is not what you want around menstruation time.


Here is a great article that breaks down exactly how sugar affects our hormone regulation and contributes to the symptoms of PMS. 


7. Getting a good nights sleep


Our hormone production and regulation are closely related to our circadian rhythms so getting enough good quality sleep every night is vital for managing symptoms of PMS. 


8. Regular chiropractic care


Regular chiropractic care is crucial in enabling your body to work the way it is designed to. Chiropractic adjustments remove interferences in the spine so that messages can run freely between the brain and the different parts of the body.


Our whole body is controlled by our nervous system, including all of our systems and functions. If there is a disruption in the communication pathway between the brain and the organs and parts of the body that regulate and control our hormonal system, no amount of tips and tricks will help bring unbalanced hormones back into balance.


We can mask the symptoms and support our bodies of course to alleviate discomfort, but getting to the underlying cause of the problem is always the most effective way of managing any challenges we are experiencing in our bodies. You can learn more about chiropractic care works here :)


There you have it, our 8 tips for managing symptoms of PMS. We hope you find these helpful. Remember though that if your symptoms are severe or chronic you should seek professional advice as they may be an indication that something deeper is going on. Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss at any time on 07 544 1133.