Our Guide to PMS and Hormone Imbalance
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS or PMT) is very common amongst women. Nearly all women report feeling different in the days leading up to their period, though symptoms tend to peak amongst women of childbearing age (around 20 to 40.) Some of the most common premenstrual symptoms are:
- Breast pain
- Mood swings
- Loss of libido
But that's not an exhaustive list - over 100 different symptoms have been associated with PMS.
The good news is that for most women, these symptoms are mild and disappear within a few days of her period starting. However, for the unlucky minority, premenstrual symptoms can drag on for weeks and cause real discomfort. If your PMS symptoms are getting in the way of your daily life, it would be worth chatting to your GP about your symptoms as you may have a more severe form of PMS.
What is PMDD?
The most severe cases of PMS interfere with daily life - and are referred to as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).
Women with PMDD experience many of the same symptoms that are associated with PMS, though these tend to be more severe and include some psychological symptoms as well.
What can be done about PMS and PMDD?
So, it all sounds a bit bleak to be told that it's 'normal' to feel PMS for 2 weeks before your period - especially if you have a 28-day-cycle. But it's not all bad news - however severe your symptoms are, there are steps you can take to help ease them.
Top tips for dealing with the symptoms of PMS:
1. Stick to a healthy, balanced diet - in particular:
- Avoid salty foods
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
2. Get into the habit of taking regular exercise.
We know, you're unlikely to feel like it, but exercise can really help. You should aim for about 2 hours 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. If you struggle to motivate yourself to go, sign up for a class or agree to go to the gym with a friend.
3. Reduce stress where possible.
Learn some techniques to help you deal with stress - yoga, meditation, and Pilates are popular options.
4. Get plenty of sleep.
5. Natural supplements.
Natural supplements such as Perfect Harmony may help to relieve the symptoms of PMS. Perfect Harmony uses natural ingredients that have been around for centuries, such as red clover, natural vitamin E and spirulina to help keep hormones in balance throughout the month.
6. Medical options.