There’s no doubt that PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) is something all us ladies wish we could avoid. Each month many of us experience the joy of mood swings, depression, bloating, fatigue, cramping, anxiety, painful breast tenderness and everyone’s favorite, weight gain. Unfortunately, such symptoms are a reality of life for many women.
Thankfully, there are ways to decrease the severity of or even eliminate these symptoms.
- Get lots of sleep – As mentioned above, mood swings are a major symptom of PMS. Think about how you feel when you don’t get enough sleep: irritable, anxious and fatigue. All are symptoms of PMS and will only make this time even more awful. While sleep won’t cure you of your mood swings entirely during this time, getting between 7-9 hours each night help level them out.
- Be healthy- While you should act and eat healthy all the time, this is a very good time to kick it into gear. Eating a balanced diet and exercising can truly help to reduce PMS symptoms. For the best management of your symptoms:
- Increase water intake to a minimum of 64 oz. per day to help bloating
- Exercise 30-60 minutes most days of the week to manage stress levels and reduce depression
- Eat 2-3 servings of calcium each day or take 500-600mg calcium supplement to minimize symptoms
- Avoid caffeine to reduce irritability, anxiety and sleep disturbances
- Stop smoking! – In general, smoking is extremely damaging to your health. In addition to that, studies have shown that women who smoke have a much higher chance of experiencing moderate to severe PMS symptoms.
- Try over-the-counter medications – Over-the-counter pain relievers can be a great way to help reduce some of the pain of cramping and body aches experienced during PMS. Start to take them as soon as symptoms start.
- Get support – Many women go through the exact same thing you do each month. Talk to someone about it! Share tips and secrets for managing these symptoms. Simply talking through your experience can help.
Do you have questions or concerns about your PMS symptoms or how to manage them? Call (920) 885-6090 or make an appointment to talk with one of our doctors.
About the Author:
Andrea Bushaw, MSN, WHNP, APNP
Andrea is the clinic’s Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. Originally from Bismark, North Dakota, Andrea attended the University of North Dakota where she received her BS in Nursing and then moved to Wisconsin and earned her Masters of Science in Nursing at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. As a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, she specializes in everything from contraceptive management, urinary incontinence, menstrual complications, to general disease prevention and diagnosis. In addition to her knowledge and experience in the medical field, Andrea is also excellent at relating to her patients on a personal level and making them feel comfortable throughout their healthcare experience.