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How to deal with PMS?

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) refers to a combination of certain symptoms that women usually experience a week or two prior to the beginning of menstruation.

Research suggests that these symptoms start after ovulation phase when the levels of estrogen and progesterone start falling dramatically. The symptoms go away when women get their periods as the level of these hormones start rising. Symptoms of PMS: PMS comprises of both physical and emotional symptoms. Some of which are mentioned below: Bloating Tenderness and pain in breasts Back pain Headache Constipation Mood swings Irritability Fatigue Anxiety Depression or feeling of sadness Change in appetite The intensity and combination of symptoms differ from individual to individual. How to deal with these symptoms? Doing regular aerobic activity throughout the month: Aerobic exercise specifically has shown improvement in symptoms like fatigue, depression, decreased cognition (1). Getting enough Sleep: Lack of sleep is associated with mood related issues like anxiety and depression that can worsen the PMS symptoms (2). Coping with Stress: Stress management with practices like yoga, meditation, massage etc. may be helpful (3, 4, 5) Micronutrients suggestions for treating PMS symptoms: Calcium: It can be helpful in reducing PMS symptoms like fatigue, depression and cravings (6). Milk, cheese, paneer, yoghurt are some good sources of calcium Vitamin B6: It may help in reducing irritability, anxiety, forgetfulness and bloating. Fish, poultry, fruits, potatoes are good sources of vitamin B6 Essential fatty acids: Supplementing 12 g/day polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega 3 and 6) has shown improvement in cramps and other PMS symptoms (7). Content by Akshita Arora References: 1.El-Lithy, A., El-Mazny, A., Sabbour, A., & El-Deeb, A. (2015). Effect of aerobic exercise on premenstrual symptoms, haematological and hormonal parameters in young women. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 35(4), 389-392. 2.Jehan, S., Auguste, E., Hussain, M., Pandi-Perumal, S. R., Brzezinski, A., Gupta, R., ... & McFarlane, S. I. (2016). Sleep and premenstrual syndrome. Journal of sleep medicine and disorders, 3(5). 3.Tsai, S. Y. (2016). Effect of yoga exercise on premenstrual symptoms among female employees in Taiwan. International journal of environmental research and public health, 13(7), 721. 4.Hernandez-Reif, M., Martinez, A., Field, T., Quintero, O., Hart, S., & Burman, I. (2000). Premenstrual symptoms are relieved by massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 21(1), 9-15. 5.Arias, A. J., Steinberg, K., Banga, A., & Trestman, R. L. (2006). Systematic review of the efficacy of meditation techniques as treatments for medical illness. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 12(8), 817-832. 6.Ghanbari, Z., Haghollahi, F., Shariat, M., Foroshani, A. R., & Ashrafi, M. (2009). Effects of calcium supplement therapy in women with premenstrual syndrome. Taiwanese Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 48(2), 124-129. 7.Rocha, E. F., Lima, J. C., Pinho, J. N., & Montarroyos, U. (2011). Essential fatty acids for premenstrual syndrome and their effect on prolactin and total cholesterol levels: a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study. Reproductive health, 8, 2-2.

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Karishma Aggarwal

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