Chase away those PMS blues….

Of course you know what I am talking about, rite? Not many would choose to speak or discuss about this topic but I chose to speak write about it. I know many silent sufferers who go through the premenstrual blues but are really clueless as to what to do. Many a times I have fallen prey to this too.

Here is a simple guide that you may want to try to see if you can really chase away those blues. Please note that this is not a medical advice and I have just gathered information for the benefit of those ‘silent sufferers’. If the symptoms persist or suffer from any other medical condition do consult your physician.Also you need to follow these for a couple of months to see the results...

First let us see what PMS is all about..Premenstrual syndrome or PMS  is a set of symptoms that women experience prior to getting their menstruation/ peroids. It may be as early as two week and mostly subside within a day of getting the period.

Two third of the women across the globe experience these premenstrual blues and only a small percentage seek medical help. In the clinical side, Physicians are taking a closer look at a suitable change in diet to help women and in severe case recommend medications.

Symptoms range from

•    Bloating
•    Irritability
•    Binging / food craving
•    Depression
•    Mood swings
•    Back ache
•    Sore breasts
•    Change in appetite etc.

I just read that there are almost 200 symptoms! Can you believe that!!

In severe conditions there are behavioral changes and really bad emotional changes that may interfere with the daily functioning. In such cases its best to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Though researchers are still trying to figure out what exactly is happening, one reason is that it has something to do with the ovulatory cycle. There are a major hormonal disturbances / imbalance in the body leading to the above said symptoms.

We can make a positive change during PMS by altering the diet. This diet aims at

•    Reducing the intake of salt, thereby reducing the incidences of bloating.

It is advisable to reduce the intake of salt. This does not mean just avoiding salt at the table but also to keep a watch on processed foods / any packaged foods , pickles or any food stuff that may have ‘hidden ‘ salt.

•    Intake of healthy fats

Omega -3 fatty acid is said to be beneficial in reliving the symptoms of PMS. Good sources include- Oily fishes like Salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and tuna. Munch on some pumpkin seeds or walnuts. Use Flaxseed oil , linseed oil , canola oil for cooking.

•    Reduce the intake of foods laden with sugar

Instead of reaching out for some chocolates / desserts / fruit juices when you crave for something sweet, try a fruit, low fat yogurt with fruits, nuts etc. This means you have to opt for a snack that has Low Glycemic index, thereby it prevents the rapid increase in blood glucose.

Also select foods with Low Glycemic index like, whole grains, vegetables and other foods that are high in fiber. Avoid processed foods.

•    Increasing the intake of Calcium and Vitamin D

Intake of Calcium and Vitamin D is said to reduce the symptoms of PMS but be sure to consult your Physician before you take any supplement. For a healthier and safer bet, try to include Calcium and Vitamin D rich foods in your diet through out the month.

 You can consider including the following. Blackstrap molasses, Swiss chard, yogurt, kale, mozzarella cheese, cow's milk, and goat's milk[use the low fat version] are excellent sources of Calcium. Basil, thyme, dill seed, cinnamon, and peppermint leaves ,Indian cottage cheese[paneer], fortified cereals and breads, green vegetables like spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens and collard greens , romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli, sesame seeds, fennel, cabbage, summer squash, green beans, garlic, tofu, Brussel sprouts, oranges, asparagus and crimini mushrooms, Oregano, rosemary, parsley, kombu, and kelp are also good sources of calcium.

Food sources of Vitamin D include salmon , which is an excellent source of the Vitamin,while very good sources include sardines, shrimp and vitamin-D fortified milk,cod and eggs.

•    Improve the overall nutritional status

Eat healthy throughout the month and try to exercise regularly.

•    Avoiding the foods that aggravate the PMS symptoms

Although a link between caffeine and PMS symptoms are not proven, it is said that limiting or avoiding caffeine approximately 7 days prior to your periods helps in the relieving the symptoms. [This may not work for some though.].Try sipping green / herbal tea instead of coffee or tea.

Avoid deep fried foods, full fat milk and cheese, Alcohol, Red meats ,sugary foods prior to the periods.

That’s pretty much how food helps to deal with PMS.

So the next time you cry for no reason or shout at someone you love, you sure know is going on and what you need to do. Cheer up and go pamper yourself with a spa treatment, get your nails done by a professional, go window shopping or buy some nice stuff for yourself. But if you are depressed or elated you may tend to lose money on this than ending up feeling better! If you feel these ideas are silly just do anything that will brighten your mood.

And guys, if you are reading this be sure to be supportive [Of course you are supportive but a little more than what you usually are] towards your irritable wife, girl friend, sister or daughter. A proper diet and psychological support from family members are sure to brighten their day.

We,Srivalli of Srivalli ,Reva , Monika and myself, are doing a blogging marathon this month.Peek into their kitchen to see what's cooking there..

Healthy Living...

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