The first step in dealing with PMS is to understand oneâ€™s monthly cycle better and to know when to expect ovulation and premenstrual changes to take place. Women with regular menstrual cycles can note symptoms that occur in the days leading up to their periods and also note the days on which their periods begin. This information is used to calculate the approximate ovulation date and to help prepare mentally and emotionally for the onset of PMS.
There are some lifestyle changes that help reduce PMS symptoms and reduce the risk for these symptoms in women who arenâ€™t currently suffering from PMS. Regular exercise helps fight PMS symptoms in several ways. Exercise releases endorphins, which help elevate the mood and reduce pain sensitivity. Exercise also has many other beneficial health effects on the body. Daily calcium supplements, alone or combined with vitamin B6 supplements, can also help reduce PMS symptoms. Cutting down on caffeine, chocolate, salty foods, alcohol and smoking also brings relief to many women.
Knowing what to expect and being prepared can go a long way in reducing the discomfort of PMS. If bloating or breast tenderness is a problem, wearing loose-fitting clothes or a more supportive bra can help. Relaxation techniques, such as yoga and massages, can help reduce stress and create a sense of well-being. Recent research suggests that sleep deprivation for one night in the premenstrual phase and exposure to fluorescent light in the mornings and evenings may improve PMS symptoms in some women.
While simple lifestyle changes and home remedies can help alleviate many of the symptoms of PMS, medication may be necessary to deal with more severe symptoms. A physician should be consulted if severe pain is experienced, if symptoms are severe enough to interfere with daily activities, or if psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety are pronounced.