PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, affects most women during their menstrual cycle each month. While some women may experience minor PMS symptoms, which require little to no medical intervention for pain or discomfort, other women may find their PMS symptoms quite painful and look for ways to alleviate them. There are some practical ways to alleviate PMS symptoms at home which require no formal medical intervention such as:
Relaxing and laying back in a hot bath added with Epsom salts can help to alleviate PMS symptoms.
Certain foods can help alleviate PMS symptoms by helping to add specific nutrients to the body during the course of the menstrual cycle. Try adding bananas or strawberries to your diet as these fruits contain potassium which can help to alleviate the symptoms of PMS for some women. Calcium has also been used to alleviate PMS symptoms. Try adding cheese, milk and milk-based products to your diet during this time. Since anemia is sometimes a side effect of PMS, iron rich foods should also be introduced.
While certain foods can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of PMS, others can aggravate them. Limit the consumption of caffeine, excessive salt and alcohol during your cycle as these have been proven to increase many PMS symptoms.
Heat has long since been touted as one of the best and most immediate ways to help alleviate the symptoms of PMS. Applying a warmed towel, electric heating pad or over the counter heat patches directly to the lower abdomen for the duration of your PMS symptoms can offer some relief.
Many women use PMS medications to help alleviate their symptoms. While there are many over the counter medications readily available, choosing the right one for your particular PMS symptoms is suggested. Some PMS symptoms may be alleviated with the simple use of aspirin or other general pain medications. Other women find using medications specifically designed to alleviate PMS symptoms preferable. These over the counter medications work to calm the symptoms specific to PMS such as swelling, head and back aches and irritability.
If you cannot alleviate PMS symptoms by the above means, or if the PMS symptoms increase in frequency or become chronically painful, a professional consultation may be needed. Keep a diary of when your PMS symptoms are the worst. Include any foods you may have eaten and any medications you may have used to help alleviate any symptoms. Inform your doctor of any unusual issues such as increased pain in the lower abdomen or back and prolonged bleeding as these may be an indication of a more serious condition perhaps unrelated to the usual PMS symptoms.