By Cody Frank
Photo via Nina Paley.
Not every woman experiences PMS (Premenstrual syndrome) however the women who do know it’s a discomfort. When you have to do a split or squeeze into a dance costume after being bloated? Or holding that pose while your cramps are aching? In addition, you’re having sleep disturbances or your T-zone is breaking out. Yikes, all of these symptoms and more are a pain especially when you’re more irritable as well. Below are some ways to reduce PMS symptoms and continue being the fly dancer you are.
– Eat frequent small meals to help avoid low blood sugar levels. Indulge in fruits, vegetables, Omega-3s, fiber, and whole grains. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine can increase anxiety and irritability. Alcohol can increase depression. Eliminate sugars as well because too much will enhance your crankiness.
– Exercise. Getting yourself to the gym or going for a run or to dance class may be the last thing on your mind. After your work out though you will feel better because it helps to balance your hormones. Exercise fights emotional and physical PMS symptoms.
– Deal with your stress. Make sure to get enough sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping try out deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or get a massage. These all soothe the mind and body. If your way to decrease stress is a girl’s night out, watching a movie/your guilty tv pleasure, writing in your journal, a hot bath or something else than do that. Figure out what works best for you and stick to it.
– Alternative therapies. If you’ve tried everything and your pain is still high, look into acupuncture and homeopathy. A clinical trial demonstrated that individualized homeopathy being effective for PMS>
– Record your symptoms. Chart your symptoms for several months to see if it is PMS. This will help you track your triggers and timing of your symptoms. You can then develop strategies to combat it.
– Cramp bark. The all natural way to cure the cramps. It’s been my life saver since I discovered it and I highly recommend it to gyal’s who don’t like taking over the counter meds, or who have tried everything else under the pharmacy sun. Cramp bark comes in liquid and tea form (I prefer the liquid because it gets right to the source much quicker than waiting for a cup of tea to steep). At the first sign of your period, fill a cup with about an inch of water (not too much), add 25-30 drops of cramp bark, stir and drink. It’s best to take on an empty stomach as it will hit your system much faster than if you had a full meal. Remember to always consult your physician before trying new products.
– Pain relievers. A pill does not cure anything but it can be a quick fix in this fast paced world. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers (NSAIDs) can provide relief for women with cramping, backaches, headaches, or breast tenderness. Which includes ibuprofen (Advil, etc.), naproxen (Aleve), and Midol/Pamprin. Midol and Pamprin are over the counter remedies that are a combination of a pain reliever and caffeine.
– Birth control can reduce symptoms of PMS and create less discomfort. Discuss with your doctor to see if birth control is right for you. A doctor can help you monitor which contraceptive will work best for you and your body.
Unfortunately there is not a magic cure for PMS. Every woman is different and will need to try several treatments before you find what works for you. Don’t get discouraged, keep trying until you find the way that works for you.