4 Simple Ways to Ease PMS – Without Hurting Anyone

Around 80% of women report suffering from pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) to some extent. For some, it’s a slight discomfort; for others it’s almost debilitating. So, what can you do to get some relief from this monthly event if it tends to knock you onto your backside?

Although there are many pleasantries to becoming a woman, having a period every 28 days or so is not one of them. You gain weight, your skin breaks out and if looks could kill, most everyone around you would have perished a long time ago.

While there’s not much you can do to stop your body from trying to keep itself fertile and ready to bear children (short of a hysterectomy which I’m sure most of us have considered), there are things you can do to make those 3-7 days of torture less intense.

They include:

Watching your sugar consumption

pretty woman eating a cake

Sugary sweets are great any day, but put chocolate close to a woman with PMS and you better pull your hand back quick or you’ll just be left with a nub. It will be devoured quicker than a bear just out of hibernation tending to its first fresh kill.

Although you think that giving in to this craving will make you feel better, it may actually make you feel worse. Once you ingest sugar that enters your blood stream quickly, you’re bound to get that dreaded blood sugar crash soon enough. The result is that you’ll be more irritable and less energetic than you were to begin with.

Also, some women experience a greater sensitivity to sugar when they are premenstrual. They notice the highs and lows much more readily than other times of the month so, keeping your blood sugar as stable as you can will help tremendously when it comes to keeping yourself on an even keel.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to give up sweets altogether. Your period is torture enough; there’s no need to deprive yourself at the same time and risk making yourself certifiably insane.

Just try to choose healthier options that carry some sweetness as well. For instance, you could slice up an apple and sprinkle it with artificial sugar and cinnamon. Or, you could make toast and cover it in honey. Foods like these will satisfy your sweet tooth without making you feel worse than you already do, and give you some nutrition in the process.

Easing up on the salt

Just as sugar can have a more noticeable effect on a premenstrual woman, so too can salt. Although you do need some sodium in your diet, have too much and you’re going to feel it…not to mention see it.

One of the primary complaints of PMS is the dreaded bloating. You go to put on your favorite pair of jeans just to find it near impossible to zip or button them up. And, even if you can, your belly cascades over the top band like a tidal wave about to crash on the ocean below. It isn’t pretty.

Too much sodium is an irritant to your body. Therefore, in an attempt to relieve the irritation, it holds on to water so as to dilute the salt. The result is water retention and an expanded waistline. Add that to the fat that’s often present in salty processed foods and you have a recipe for weight gain and bloat.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to crave salty snacks like chips and crackers in addition to the chocolate, cakes and donuts when it’s that time of the month. However, giving in to those cravings will also make you feel worse. Again, that doesn’t mean that you can’t satisfy your salty taste buds with other great lower salt and healthier options.

You can make kale chips for instance. Just clean kale leaves, put them on a baking pan with a little bit of sea salt (which is better for you than regular salt) and throw them in the oven until they’re as crispy as a baked potato chip, or crisp depending on where you live. You could also eat a couple olives or a pickle for a little bit of that salty flavor without all of the fat. Just don’t overdo it.

Limiting alcohol

blond female fashion model holding wine glass

It may be enticing to get through your PMS by putting yourself in a drunken stupor (certainly it would be more entertaining), but fighting the urge to pound down a six pack is going to be more beneficial in the long run. Not only does alcohol bloat you and pack on the pounds, but it also intensifies emotions which is never a good idea with a premenstrual woman.

Sadness can turn into crying fits and disappointments can lead to temper tantrums when just enough alcohol is introduced into the system. You lose the ability to retain control and keep your emotions in check, causing you to do things you likely will later regret (when the PMS leaves and you’re rational again).

You can avoid all of this by not letting a drop of “the good stuff” hit your lips, because sometimes it’s hard to stop after just one taste. Or, you may want to at least limit your availability by asking a good friend to help you stay in check during this very emotional time of the month.

Getting (and staying) active

Although you most likely just want to lie around on the couch during this time period (no pun intended), getting active will benefit you so much more. It helps to reduce cramps, improves mood by releasing endorphins and keeps you healthier so your body doesn’t get sick or fatigue quite as easily.

A lot of women have a greater susceptibility to colds and illnesses when they’re premenstrual. Perhaps it’s due to the changing hormones, or maybe it’s because of the stress and tension that is more apparent when your fuse is short. No matter what the cause, staying physically active can help combat any virus or bacteria that wants to take you out (and not in a good way).

If you’re an avid exerciser, keep at it when you’re about to start your period as you’ll benefit from pushing through the workouts as opposed to giving them a rest. And, if you’re not a regular exerciser now, it will do you good to start. Not only to ease PMS but also to enjoy greater overall health well into the future.

Aim for 30 minutes on most days. It doesn’t have to be strenuous either. If you’re not into working up a major sweat, go for a walk or garden. Just get, and stay, active.

PMS isn’t fun, but couple it with too much sugar, salt, alcohol or inactivity and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Or, at least a lot of unhappiness. Do yourself a favor and take care of your health so you can enjoy peace and tranquility all month long.

About the author

Christina DeBusk

Changing careers mid-life from law enforcement to writing, Christina spends her days helping others enrich their businesses and personal lives one word at a time.

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