First thing’s first…..don’t take it out on those around you. Premenstrual symptoms are the result of a hormone imbalance and usually precede menstruation. Believe me, there are more imbalances and symptoms to come during perimenopause and postmenopause. If you are a woman, you know that they sometimes also last through your period and after your period. Symptoms include moodiness, breast tenderness, bloating, fatigue, and blemishes. It’s not easy to accept all that we, as women, have to go through. And that’s exactly what we have to do. This is a part of us. Accept it, do what we can to alleviate symptoms naturally and move through the emotions. Clearing emotion is a big key.
Gotta tell a story here….I was sitting in a lecture with Christiane Northrup, internationally known for her empowering approach to women’s health, who was speaking on menopause and all the symptoms of it. When she started talking about the emotional stuff that goes along with it, I had to ask…..”If a woman does her emotional work during her early years with PMS, will she still have the emotional stuff when she starts menopause”? This was at least 10 years ago, and her answer was, she didn’t know. However, now she does have the answer. Yes, it certainly will alleviate many of the pysical and emotional symptoms of menopause. My advice to you? Get your “work” done.
Emotions. I gotta start here. When the emotion arises, feel it. Resist the urge to deny, blame or project it on to someone else in your vicinity. I hate it too when someone asks me if I PMSing. Is that even a word? The fact is this….you feel something. It’s definitely more intense before your period, so deal with that. This can be a time to do some great personal work, especially if you have someone close to you who is willing to help you. Eckhart Tolle, in his book, The Power Of Now, says this about PMS, “When you know that the menstrual flow is approaching, before you feel the first signs….become very alert and inhabit your body as fully as possible. When the first sign appears, you need to be alert enough to “catch it” before it takes you over.”
Many experts believe that women should eat more foods that help balance hormones. Foods like soy, vegetables, fruit and seeds and nuts. A low fat, vegetarian diet may keep hormones stable, which in turn may reduce your PMS symptoms. Also, complex carbohydrates like whole grains, have been known to boost serotonin levels, which can help your mood. Excess estrogen causes breast tenderness and bloating. The isoflavones found in soy-based foods bind to estrogen receptors to block the body’s own estrogen from causing these symptoms. Cookies, chocolate and ice cream may feel good in the moment, but will only make the symptoms worse. (DARN IT) Cut back on sugar and fat and avoid alcohol and caffeine. Avoiding salt before your period will help reduce bloating and retaining water. Don’t think that not drinking water will help with bloating. The opposite is true. Drinking plenty of water may reduce bloating. Eat high water veggies like cucumbers and celery. Better yet, juice them! Vitamin B and potassium can help with many PMS symptoms. Foods that are rich in Vitamin B? Nuts, bananas, chicken, yogurt or eggs and fruits like cantaloupe and oranges are high in potassium. Check with your doctor if symptoms are so severe you cannot get through your day. And last, but not least, breathe. Try yoga and meditation. Get a massage. Be gentle with yourself.
My favorite resource, Louise Hay, says this about PMS: Allowing confusion to reign. Giving power to outside influences. Rejection of the feminine processes. Your mantra if you are suffering…”I now take charge of my mind and my life. I am a powerful, dynamic woman! Every part of my body functions perfectly. I love me.
The advice recommended here should not take the place of your primary care physician.