Premenstrual Syndrome

I was surprised to learn that not every woman experiences premenstrual syndrome (PMS). I assumed that all women felt the way I did when I get my period.

Headaches

Bloating

Irritability

Foggy Brain

Extra Tired

Cravings

But it turns out that it is not the case.  I feel like we as women are misinformed growing up, thinking that PMS is just something that comes with the territory. The fact is, there are lifestyle changes that can be made to decrease your PMS symptoms, or get rid of them altogether.

What causes PMS?

Doctors and researchers are still not 100% certain what causes some women to experience PMS symptoms 5-7 days before their periods begin. They believe that it is most likely due to the sensitivity to the rising and falling levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone that occur prior to getting your period. The changes in the levels of these hormones may influence brain chemicals, such as serotonin (the happy neurotransmitter), leading to many of the emotional symptoms.

What lifestyle changes should we make?

  1. The first thing we should be doing is making sure we get regular exercise all throughout the month. This will help with relieving depression, and fatigue. There are many ways you can get regular exercise. You can join a gym, get a personal trainer, sign up for group fitness classes, or do at-home workouts. All of these are great ways to make sure you get in exercise 4-6 days out of the week.
  2. Be cautious of what you put in your body. Your body really is your temple, and if you do not treat it that way it will let you know. Try to avoid eating foods with high salt and sugar content, and decreasing the amount of caffeine you put in your body. Caffeine works by binding to the adenosine receptors in the brain, which blocks the adenosine from binding, therefore increasing the amount of adrenaline in your body. As you can probably imagine, putting a synthetic substance into your body, especially right when you wake up, is not the best thing you can be doing. It can cause you to have problems sleeping, or actually cause you to be more tired because you are not allowing your body to work in its proper rhythm.
  3. Find healthy ways to cope with stress. One of my favourite ways is to start my day off with journalling and meditating. This routine primes me for the day and helps me get out anything that is bothering me before I enter the world of social media. This way I am not bringing my insecurities into work with me. Other ways you can cope with stress are through massages, getting your nails done, talking to friends etc.

These three tips are probably the most important things we can be doing throughout the month to ensure our PMS symptoms do not knock us down. It can be challenging to focus and get work done when all you want to do is sleep, or your body feels like it has been hit by the truck. If we all become more aware of just how we can prevent these symptoms, we will not only be able to live a happier life, we can be more productive as well.

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