Being a woman comes with great advantages. But there are some things-namely PMS-that can make it not so great on certain days. No one enjoys those days, at least no one I know! As women, we can all sympathize with each other and some of us more than others. Two reasons I've found that make PMS symptoms good-and only two!-are because you get to play the "PMS" card to your friends, hubby, co-workers and parents. Come on, a little extra sympathy or space never hurt anybody! And the other reason would be that you're not pregnant. Whew! Another month to breathe easy! That said, there are many other reasons to hate PMS.....And here they are!
Don't you just love waking up to find that you're late for work and your favorite jeans won't button? Yup. Blame it on BLOATING. I never had to deal with bloating until I turned about 17 and now it's a monthly occurrence. If you don't suffer from bloating monthly, you should count yourself lucky! I've found that drinking lots of water and avoiding salty foods help a lot. I also try to wear clothes with more elasticity in them for comfort around the house and looser-fitting clothes when I go out so it's not as noticeable.
2. Mood Swings
Laughing one moment, crying the next, extreme irritability, even uncontrollable laughter-yep. I've dealt with it all! My guess is that most women have. I'm not one of those girls who cries often or easily but it never seems to fail during PMS I will be bawling about something, no matter how trivial it may be! There's really not a lot you can do for mood swings, just cut yourself some slack and play the PMS card as much as you can! Try to find ways to relax and unwind, bubble baths, chocolate, massages, a good book-whatever works for you.
Yikes! Another fun part of PMS. I tend to crave salty things all the time, but especially during PMS! (maybe that explains the bloating! ) Some women crave sweets, others crave dairy products and others crave everything! Again, there's not much you can do about the cravings. Just try to limit yourself, and balance out your cravings with exercise. If you feel to tired or worn out to squeeze in that run, you can always make up for it after your period is over and you're back on track!
4. Tender Breasts
I suffer from severe breast tenderness about a week before my period starts. It's so annoying and I'm sure other women would completely agree! Breast tenderness is caused by the hormonal imbalance rushing through your body. A few of the things that I've found to partially reduce and relieve it are making sure you wear a supportive bra and taking plenty of vitamin E. A supportive, padded bra will cushion your breasts from any accidental pokes and bumps and keep them from painfully bouncing around during the day. I even wear a sports bra to bed when my breasts feel extra tender! Vitamin E capsules also reduce the tenderness and swelling.
Fatigue is not one of MY major PMS symptoms, but I know women who complain of it. I do deal with it occasionally, and especially when I'm on my period, but not as a normal PMS symptom. For those of you that do suffer from it, try and eat a little something to give you energy throughout the day. And exercise can work wonders to give you a little boost of energy! Just remember, it's OK to feel sluggish and take a quick nap every now and then!
Strange as it may sound, some women do cope with cramps BEFORE their period ever starts! More often than not, it's ovulatory pain, but in a few cases it's just crampy, icky, no good pain. When it happens to me, I take pain killers right away so they set into effect soon and keep the rest of my day from being ruined. A hot compress or some hot tea are also great remedies and will relieve a lot of the pain and pressure from your abdomen.
This is another PMS symptom I don't suffer from much, but I know there are quite a few women who do! There's nothing worse than a migraine at any time of the day! They put us in a terrible mood, aggravate stress, and can even cause throwing up. If you feel a migraine/headache coming on, take a pain killer right away. Often you can catch them and stop them before they get really bad. If the migraines persist and seem t get worse over time, talk to your doctor about prescription pain killers.
Nothing like a terrible nights sleep eh? We all love laying in bed staring at the ceiling until 2 am, counting sheep till 3 am, tossing and turning until 4 am, then dozing off just in time to hear the alarm at 6 am. NOT. While restlessness is a common PMS symptom, it's usually not a very dominant or long-lasting one. I've found that drinking warm tea or milk and making sure I'm in a totally relaxed state of mind helps. Talking to a close friend, family member or sweetheart is a good way to get your mind relaxed and ready for sleep. If you've tried all this and nothing helps, you may want to talk to your gynecologist or family physician about what may be keeping you from sleeping at nights.
As I said before, if you don't suffer from severe PMS symptoms, count yourself lucky! But for those of us that do, sympathize with us! One thing to remember: Try not to take it out on those around you. No matter how icky you feel, it's not their fault! Evening Primrose Oil is an excellent herb sold in any drugstore or pharmacy that helps treat PMS symptoms. I take it before and during my period to ease pain and pressure. Try it out and you may find your new best friend!
Top Photo Credit: S.o.L.e