We can all agree pretty much agree that periods are the worst. PMS symptoms can vary from mood swings to bloating, or worst of all, cramps. Here are a few tips to ease menstrual cramps.
Prevention is Key
One of the first treatments for PMS symptoms is preventing them from even happening in the first place. You can decrease symptoms by limiting your intake of alcohol, fat, caffeine, sugar, and salty foods, as well as eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. You should also exercise regularly, avoid smoking, and reduce your stress levels as much as you can. More research required for these next two PMS symptom cures, but some women benefit from doing acupuncture or yoga.
The Classic Pain Relievers
Perhaps the most well-known cure for PMS symptoms is over-the-counter pain relievers. Medications like Motrin IB and Advil contain ibuprofen, while others like Aleve contain naproxen sodium. We recommend taking the dose of whichever pain reliever you choose right before your period starts as it can help control the pain of menstrual cramps. You can also try prescription medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. After taking the pain relievers at the beginning of your period, continue taking them as directed for two to three days or until your cramps are gone.
Try Some Home Remedies
Home remedies are another of the more common PMS symptom cures, and they don’t require medication or other drugs. Many women find that soaking in a hot bath or applying heat to the lower abdomen where your cramps are located is soothing and effective. You can use a hot water bottle or towel, or a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). Also known as a heating pad, a TENS unit could cause burns, so make sure not to sleep with one.
Other PMS symptom cures include drinking tea, like ones with relaxing chamomile. You can also opt for taking herbal and vitamin supplements with ingredients like fennel, lavender, and pycnogenol. While minimal risk is associated with these supplements, their efficacy as a cure for PMS symptoms is debated. You should also definitely be cautious when taking these supplements as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate herbs and supplements for purity or quality.
Don’t Forget to Hydrate!
Cramps aren’t just the only thing that comes with PMS symptoms. Bloating is extremely common as well, and some women even experience diarrhea or vomiting. Drinking plenty of water to keep your body hydrated is key to bloating, and it’s especially necessary for those struggling with diarrhea or vomiting.
Hydrating your body will replenish all the fluids your body lost, and laying off of salty foods will ease bloating caused by fluid retention. As a general rule of thumb, drink six to eight glasses of water a day. If plain water is too boring and bland for you, drink alternatives like tea (which is made mostly of water) with ginger or chamomile. You can also drink fruit-infused water, flavored mineral water, or water with hints of lemon, cucumber, or mint.
Seek Medical Treatment if Necessary
The most important of our PMS symptoms cures is to seek medical treatment if your cramps or other symptoms are seriously hindering your day-to-day activities. Depending on the severity of your pains, you could be dealing with an underlying medical condition, so always get regular checkups with your OB/GYN and pay attention to your body. Abnormally painful menstrual cramps characterize conditions like endometriosis, adenomyosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease.
Don’t let PMS symptoms worsen your everyday life, schedule an appointment at Dr. Susan Fox’s Center for Women so we can help you!