Exercising and eating right can control the bloating, depression, irritability and mood changes associated with PMS
- Exercise. Physical activity can lift moods and improve depression. It’s believed that endorphins — feel-good brain chemicals that are released during exercise — may help counteract some of the hormone changes that may trigger severe PMS
- Reduce salt: Eating less salt is particularly recommended for patients with bloating, breast tenderness or swollen hands.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables: focus on leafy greens
- Drink plenty of water: water daily to help reduce bloating, aids in digestion
- Eat more calcium/low–fat dairy. Some studies suggest that eating more calcium can reduce a variety of PMS symptoms.
- Get your vitamin D:vitamin D can help reduce PMS symptoms.
- Snack on nuts. Nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and help you feel full longer.
- Complex carbs. Foods that have complex carbohydrates consist of three or more natural sugars and are rich in fiber. These foods enter the bloodstream gradually, causing only a moderate rise in insulin levels, which can help stabilize your mood and keep your cravings under control.
- Eat whole grains. Shifting levels of estrogen and progesterone can decrease amounts of serotonin in the brain, which can affect your mood and trigger depression, anxiety, or irritability. Eat whole grains when in a depressed mood, rather than using sugar to boost mood.
- Eat iron-rich foods such as lean meats: Increase iron intake before and during your period to replace what you lose each month. A diet that includes iron-rich foods may help you avoid anemia.
How to manage PMS Symptoms
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sweets. Staying away from coffee and other caffeinated drinks for two weeks before your period may make a difference in your mood because caffeine can increase anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia.
- Stress management. Stress can make severe PMS symptoms worse, so finding ways to give stress the slip can help treat PMS. Try relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga.
- Antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that change serotonin levels in the brain have been shown to be helpful for women with severe PMS and PMDD.