The days or weeks leading up to a woman’s period can be hell. Overwhelming. Debilitating. Confusing. Depressing. You can call it PMT, or pre-menstrual tension. It occurs when the hormone progesterone goes into overdrive mid-way through the menstrual cycle, causing mood changes and other symptoms that can be hard to manage.
Unfortunately, scientists don’t yet know exactly why women get PMT, or why some women get a severe dose of symptoms. Although research suggests it’s all down to the link between hormones and brain chemistry. All they know is it happens, and it’s real.
So, what’s the solution? How can you tame the PMT beast, naturally? We’ve done some digging to bring you these top 4 tips to naturally manage PMT:
1. Get moving
Exercise is beneficial to our health and wellness in countless ways. And one huge benefit is that it can help calm the mind and keep us balanced, when we’re right on the brink of breaking down.
How? Those good ol’ trust endorphins. They’re released during exercise, which help us feel better about ourselves – and even help us manage our moods better.
Of course, the catch is that in the days leading up to your period, working out is sometimes the last thing you feel like doing! So be sure to listen to your body and what it can handle. You might need to swap your usual weights routine for some yoga, or lighten your running routine by adding a few long strolls into the mix. Whatever works for you.
2. Add supplements
A recent study published in Reproductive Health journal, found that vitamin E, could be a woman’s best friend during PMT. In fact, the study found that women who took multivitamins with vitamin E saw incredible improvements in their symptoms.
Vitamin B6 and essential fatty acids are the two other supplements to try. You can also find B6 in meat, vegetables and nuts. And vitamin E is present in avocados, milk, spinach and oil. These have been shown to slow down cell deterioration. It can be hard to get big enough doses of these essentials in your diet, though. So chat with a healthcare professional about supplements.
3. Try acupuncture and herbs
If you visit a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner for herbal medicine, you might also find they recommend acupuncture for your PMS symptoms. They’re not playing a guessing game. Acupuncture has been shown in multiple studies to help up to 80% of women who suffer from severe PMT. Bear in mind, however, that the effects of acupuncture can take up to a day to realise. So book yourself a session the week before your period is due.
Speaking of herbal medicine, your practitioner may recommend a variety of herbs that appear to show good results. In particular, chaste berry and Agnus Castus have been shown to rev up the endocrine system and balance out the production of progesterone. Other herbs include valerian (to soothe and relax you), and evening primrose (for bloating, cramps and anxiety).
Topic: Wellbeing, PMS