For some women, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can be debilitating and interfere with their day-to-day life. You can’t avoid PMS, but there are steps you can take to better manage the symptoms that show up ahead of your monthly period.
At Salem Women’s Clinic, Inc., we specialize in the ongoing management of PMS and the more serious premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Our experienced gynecologists customize a care plan to ease the worst of your symptoms and reduce their frequency.
Understanding PMS and PMDD
PMS describes symptoms that affect women in the days leading up to menstruation, including:
- Mood swings
- Crying episodes
- Reduced sex drive
- Persistent fatigue
- Difficulties concentrating
You may experience physical symptoms like bloating, breast tenderness, skin breakouts, and headaches. You might also have abdominal pain and gastrointestinal issues before your period begins.
PMDD describes a condition where PMS symptoms are severe. The severity of symptoms can lead to problems in your relationships, work, and ability to meet your responsibilities.
Strategies for managing PMS and PMDD symptoms
There are several treatments our gynecologists can recommend, including medications, to relieve PMS and PMDD symptoms based on your medical history and current health.
They also recommend the following strategies to support your wellness and keep your symptoms well-controlled:
1. Exercise regularly
Engaging in daily aerobic exercises like walking, swimming, and cycling can prevent the onset of PMS symptoms. Aerobic activities also boost your heart rate and improve lung function to protect your health.
Aim for 30 minutes of exercise every day to fight off fatigue and lower your risk for mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
2. Research relaxation techniques
Being stressed out and overwhelmed can worsen your PMS symptoms. Incorporate mindful practices into your life to lower your stress levels and help your full body relax.
Check out relaxation therapies like therapeutic massage, yoga, meditation, and breathwork to see which techniques work best.
3. Eat better
Dietary changes can make a big difference in your health and prevent the gastrointestinal upset of PMS.
Incorporate more whole grains, brown rice, and beans into your daily diet. You should also eat calcium-rich yogurt and leafy greens. Limit or avoid caffeine, sugar, fats, and salt, and use alcohol in moderation.
4. Stay hydrated
If you’re not drinking enough water each day, it can worsen PMS symptoms like bloating and menstrual cramps. Dehydration can also cause a decrease in focus and concentration.
Ensure you drink 8-10 glasses of water daily and even more during exercise and other high-impact activities.
5. Get a good night’s sleep
Sleep is how your body recharges itself. If you’re not getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night, you may be at increased risk for PMS-related insomnia, irritability, and anxiety.
Establish and follow a good sleep schedule where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day of the week, including the weekends. Create a healthy sleeping environment by removing the television from your room, keeping the temperature cool, and ensuring the room is dark.
If you need a personalized care plan for PMS or PMDD, schedule an evaluation online today or call Salem Women’s Clinic, Inc. in Salem, Oregon.