What is Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS?

What is PMS?Believe it or not but not every woman suffers from premenstrual syndrome. Unfortunatly, I am not one of those lucky girls. If you are studying how to become a nutritionist, here are some important things to know about PMS. It seems only about 40% of women suffer with symptoms such as irritability, depression, headaches, fluid retention, sore breasts, emotional instability, and swelling of the abdomen and ankles.

Fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone, low levels of calcium, and the increased production of cortisone and aldosterone can cause premenstrual nervousness, cramps, edema and depression. The exact causes of severe premenstrual tension are still unknown.

Here are a few suggestions to help reduce premenstrual symptoms:

1. Eat more alkaline foods such as fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates and calcium rich foods. Reduce your intake of fats, protein, alcohol, high sugar foods and salt. I know this does not sound like much fun but PMS is no fun either and just think of all the other benefits that come from improving your diet. You will feel better and most likely look better in your jeans.
2. Exercise really does a body good. You can avoid a lot of health related problems simply by exercising. Studies have shown that regular exercise can help reduce premenstrual symptoms and shorten periods. Being upright and exerting yourself can help the uterus to expel the uterine lining that builds up each month.
3. Increase your intake of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and B, about 10 days before menstruation. Calcium rich foods are: Alfalfa, chamomile, cayenne, chives, cleavers, dandelion, nettle, parsley, plantain, raspberry, rosehip, shepherds purse, and watercress. Always use a complete B complex supplement.
4. Diuretic herbs such as dandelion, can relieve fluid retention, swelling abdomen, and sore breasts.

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