PMS or Pre-Menstrual Syndrome is a common complaint of women during their adolescence to middle adulthood years because of the effect of hormones during the onset of the menstrual cycle.

When a woman approaches her next menstrual phase, there is an increase in the hormones specifically estrogen to ripen the egg cells for possible fertilization. This increase in the estrogen levels usually lead to a set of symptoms called the Pre-menstrual Syndrome symptoms. Also, after the ovulation of the woman, the luteal phase sets in in preparation for fertilization and implantation. In this phase, progesterone also increases, which leads to other PMS symptoms. These symptoms can either be physical or emotional in nature and may include:

Physical PMS Symptoms

• Headache
• Fatigue
• Changes in libido
• Bloating
• Constipation
• Abdominal cramps
• Acne
• Breast tenderness
• Myalgia or muscle pains
• Arthralgia or joint pains
• Food cravings

Emotional PMS Symptoms

• Tension
• Mood swings
• Irritability
• Unhappiness
• Insomnia
• Anxiety and stress

Some symptoms may be a part of the changes in the hormone levels in the body; however, some women experience severe symptoms that greatly interfere with their activities of daily living. In this line, reducing PMS symptoms is very important for women for them to continue with their daily activities without regards to their menstrual stage. The following are the common natural ways to deal with PMS to reduce discomforts:

• Regular exercise
Exercise has been very beneficial for the body in reducing PMS symptoms. Regular exercise reduces the feeling of moodiness and anxiety and also reduces bloating feelings. Contrary to popular belief, exercise such as walking will also greatly reduce abdominal cramping. Exercises beneficial for PMS include walking, stretching, yoga and even swimming.

• Follow a healthy diet
PMS may cause you to crave for unhealthy foods such as chocolates, chips and too much sweet. In this line, sticking to your healthy diet may help you reduce other symptoms such as irritability and acne. You can also substitute sweets for fresh fruits. You must also consume low glycemic starches or those that are not converted to glucose rapidly such as whole grains, yogurts, and smoothies.

• Get enough sleep
Sleep helps you become energized and avoid those lazy and sluggish days. PMS may cause insomnia so to ensure that you get the right amount of sleep, you may cut your caffeine intake or take afternoon naps.

• Use hot water bags
Hot water bags help your abdominal muscles become relaxed to reduce cramps.

• Increase magnesium and Vitamin B6 in the diet
Studies found that magnesium reduces PMS symptoms. Magnesium may be found in milk, beans, fish, seeds and whole grains. In addition, Vitamin B6 helps reduce water retention, breast tenderness, mood swings and food cravings.

• Consider herbal remedies for PMS

There are also a lot of herbal remedies to help reduce PMS naturally. These herbs include:

• Black Cohosh- Black Cohosh is a Native American herb used to reduce physical as well as emotional PMS symptoms. However, make sure not to take the herb if you have a family history of breast cancer because it may intensify your risks for developing one.

• Chaste Tree Fruit- Chaste Tree Fruit contains an anti-inflammatory substance and also inhibits the prolactin secretion to significantly reduce breast tenderness and pain. It can also reduce headache, constipation, bloating, and emotional PMS symptoms.

• Wild Yam- Wild yam contains a substance called diosgenin known to stabilize the progesterone levels; thereby, reducing the major PMS symptoms.

PMS is a usual occurrence among women and it cannot really be prevented as hormonal changes cannot be controlled. Instead, make sure to cope with these symptoms by employing natural remedies.