|Until the 1970s, few experts in medical care were knowledgeable about treatment for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Women often suffer symptoms like cramps and mood swings, with the severity depending on the individual. For women who have severe side effects, a number of alternative therapies exist to alleviate discomfort.
During PMS, many women will notice that their clothes fit tighter and their fingers swell. Most people have referred to this as water retention, but in fact it is likely water redistribution. Water redistribution usually impacts parts of the body such as the abdomen and the breasts, along with the hands and feet. Face swelling also occurs in some women. Women who experience feet swelling should elevate their feet on a pillow each night for relief.
Oftentimes women will feel bloated and uncomfortable. Bloating occurs during PMS due to fluctuating hormone levels, which affect the body’s electrolytes. Electrolytes control the flow of water in the body’s cells.
The best way to limit water redistribution is to regulate the body fluids, which is accomplished through a series of minor lifestyle changes. Although most experts recommend limiting salt intake during PMS, the major problems generally stem from sugar intake. Reducing sugar intake has historically produced the best results. This includes eating fruit in moderation—even better with a side of low-fat cheese or Greek yogurt. In fact, many women have lessened the impact of PMS symptoms by taking calcium supplements. A leading calcium supplement is ProCycle PMS, which is sold at Women’s Health America.
Certain medications have been culprits in PMS symptoms as well, so women are encouraged to consult with their doctors in order to find the right solution. Discuss adjusting the dosage or the type of medication if the pain is unmanageable.
Exercise is another great therapy for those suffering from PMS symptoms. Even a simple routine like taking a daily 30-minute walk will reduce symptoms. If a busy schedule prevents this type of physical activity, a simple habit such as walking through the office in short intervals will have a pronounced effect.
Most importantly, drinking water allows the body to stay hydrated and will drastically reduce the effects of bloating. Doctors recommend that all adults drink between six to eight glasses (48 to 64 ounces) of water each day.
Although these alternative therapies are not designed to fully cure the symptoms of PMS, adding them to a daily routine prevents PMS from dictating a woman’s schedule.