Mood swings, increased fatigue, swelling, breast tenderness, acne, headaches or pelvic pains, as well as thirst, increased appetite, taste changes, depression and aggression – this is not a complete list of symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. According to statistics cited by American sociologists, about 40% of US women are exposed to it. Meanwhile, Russian sociologists argue that almost 90% of women aged 13 to 50 are faced with the concept of PMS in one way or another. Moreover, 10% of them have especially pronounced symptoms. Simply put, 10 out of 100 women experience real physical or mental anguish. Moreover, on average, for 70 days a year. This is, considering that their duration does not exceed 5-6 days. In fact, for different women, it ranges from 3 to 14 days.
But, the most amazing thing is that most of them do not fight this condition in any way, mistakenly considering it natural. But doctors say that many of the symptoms of PMS can be easily eliminated by simply adjusting your diet.
PMS: causes and mechanisms of development
PMS is a combination of mental, emotional and hormonal disorders that occur on the eve of menstruation and subside with its onset. The reasons for their appearance have not yet been established by science. Most scientists are inclined to believe that it’s all about hormones.
During this period, the level of prostagladins in the body sharply increases, the amount of which determines the intensity of contraction of the uterine muscles and, as a result, the strength of pain. In addition, this condition is characterized by an increase in appetite, the appearance of headaches and dizziness, disturbances in the work of the gastrointestinal tract, as well as high fatigue.
In addition to prostagladins, fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels can also affect, which lead to mood swings, the appearance of irritability and feelings of anxiety. Along with this, during this period, the level of aldosterone may increase, which leads to an increase in body weight, the occurrence of edema and soreness in the mammary glands and nausea. In turn, fluctuations in androgen levels are characterized by tearfulness, depression, or insomnia.
According to A. Mandal, MD, “during this period, fluctuations in serotonin levels can also be observed in the body, which also lead to mood swings, and can be mistaken for PMS.”
In addition to the above factors, PMS is affected by:
- 1 malnutrition;
- 2 frequent stress;
- 3 lack of regular physical activity;
- 4 heredity;
- 5 and even chronic inflammatory processes that occur in the body. Indeed, in fact, prostagladins are hormone-like substances that are produced by the body in response to tissue damage or inflammation. At the same time, a high level of prostagladins can cause the appearance of profuse bleeding, pain and high fatigue – the very symptoms of diseases similar to those of PMS.
Nutrition and PMS
Did you know that:
- Deficiency of vitamin B is the reason for the appearance of such PMS symptoms as mood swings, high fatigue, swelling, high sensitivity of the mammary glands, depression. Vitamin B is found in grains, nuts, red meat, and green leafy vegetables.
- Magnesium deficiency is the cause of dizziness and headaches, pain in the pelvic area, as well as the appearance of acne, depression and … craving for chocolate, sweets and starchy foods. Magnesium is found in nuts, seafood, bananas, dairy foods, grains, and green vegetables.
- Deficiency of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids causes fluctuations in prostagladin levels. These substances are found in fish, nuts and vegetable oils.
- A deficiency in carbohydrates, minerals, and fiber causes a decrease in serotonin and estrogen levels and leads to PMS symptoms such as irritability and nervousness. These substances are found in bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and legumes.
- Isoflavone deficiency is the cause of fluctuations in the level of estrogen in the body and, as a result, the appearance of severe PMS symptoms. Isoflavones are found in soy foods like tofu, soy milk, etc.
- Zinc deficiency is the cause of PMS acne. Zinc is found in seafood, beef, nuts, and seeds.
Top 20 foods for PMS
Green leafy vegetables. For example, cabbage, spinach, arugula, etc. They are a source of magnesium, calcium, iron, vitamins E and B, which together can help get rid of the symptoms of PMS.
Avocado. It is a source of fiber, potassium and vitamin B6. Its consumption helps to balance hormones, reduce blood sugar and swelling, improve digestion, and get rid of irritability, depression and depression.
Dark chocolate (from 80% cocoa and more). It is a source of magnesium and theobromine, which dilates blood vessels, improves circulation and, as a result, relieves headaches. And also a natural aphrodisiac, which is able to increase the level of serotonin in the body and, thereby, make a woman relaxed, calm and happy!
Broccoli. It contains calcium, magnesium, iron, fiber and B vitamins to help balance hormones.
Goat milk and goat kefir. It is a source of protein, calcium, potassium, and tryptophan, which contributes to the production of serotonin and improves mood. Goat milk differs from cow’s milk in that it contains more nutrients, thanks to which the general condition of the body and digestion are improved. Interestingly, according to recent studies, “women who regularly drink milk, goat or cow milk, suffer from PMS symptoms less often than women who drink it from time to time.”
Brown rice. It contains B vitamins, magnesium, selenium and manganese, which, when combined with calcium, suppresses PMS symptoms. And also a huge amount of tryptophan, which helps to improve digestion.
Salmon. A source of protein, B vitamins and vitamin D, as well as selenium, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids. It normalizes blood sugar levels and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Raw pumpkin seeds. They contain magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. You can replace them with sunflower seeds. These foods help relieve breast tenderness as well as irritability and depression.
Bananas. They are indispensable for PMS, as they are a source of carbohydrates, vitamin B6, manganese, potassium and tryptophan. This product is especially valuable in that it reduces swelling and bloating in PMS.
Asparagus. It contains folate, vitamin E and vitamin C, which have anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, it is a natural diuretic that gently removes residual fluid from the body.
Wheat germ. It is a source of B vitamins, zinc and magnesium, which can help prevent mood swings and bloating. They can be added to cereals, muesli, baked goods, soups or salads.
Pearl barley. It contains vitamins A, E, B, PP, D, as well as potassium, calcium, zinc, manganese, iodine, phosphorus, copper, iron and other useful trace elements. It differs from other cereals by a low glycemic index, which contributes to its faster absorption by the body and, as a result, faster relief from PMS symptoms. Barley porridge helps, first of all, to cope with mood swings, drowsiness and high fatigue. You can replace barley with oatmeal.
Sesame seeds. The product is extremely rich in B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and zinc. You can use it alone or as part of other dishes.
Blueberries or blackberries. In addition to a huge amount of vitamins and minerals, they also contain antioxidants that can alleviate the symptoms of PMS.
Turmeric. It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
Ginger. It fights inflammation and helps normalize blood sugar levels.
Garlic. Natural antibiotic that has anti-inflammatory properties and also helps to normalize blood sugar levels.
Green tea, in particular chamomile tea. It has antioxidant and sedative properties. It also allows you to get rid of irritability and anxiety and relieve muscle spasms.
Yogurt. Research from the University of Massachusetts has shown that women who have enough calcium in their diets (obtained from at least 3 cups of yogurt) are much less likely to suffer from PMS symptoms than others.
A pineapple. Among other things, it contains manganese and calcium, which can help relieve PMS symptoms such as irritability, mood swings, fatigue and depression.
How else you can relieve and even get rid of PMS symptoms
- 1 Lead a correct lifestyle. Obesity, bad habits such as smoking and drinking, a sedentary lifestyle and lack of regular exercise are the main factors that trigger the onset of PMS symptoms. By the way, it is alcohol that increases the sensitivity of the mammary glands and is often the cause of mood swings.
- 2 Limit the consumption of excessively salty and fatty foods during the period of PMS symptoms. This is explained by the fact that it provokes the appearance of edema and bloating, thereby only aggravating the situation.
- 3 Avoid caffeinated drinks. Since caffeine is the cause of increased sensitivity of the mammary glands and irritability.
- 4 Limit your intake of sweets. Glucose, which is found in sweets and cakes, increases blood sugar levels and causes a woman to become irritable during this period.
- 5 And finally, sincerely enjoy life. Scientists have shown that irritability, self-dissatisfaction and stress also lead to PMS.
Interesting facts about PMS
- Our ancestors did not suffer from PMS, as they were constantly in a state of pregnancy or breastfeeding. The term PMS was first described in 1931.
- Identical twins tend to experience PMS symptoms at the same time.
- Scientists know about 150 PMS symptoms.
- The risk of PMS increases with age.
- Constant hunger with PMS is considered normal. In order to prevent it from becoming a cause of excess weight gain, you can drink plenty of fluids. This will create a feeling of fullness and fullness in the stomach.
- Inhabitants of megacities, as a rule, suffer from PMS much more often than residents of rural areas.
- PMS most often occurs in women whose activities are related to mental work.
- Women make the most rash purchases during the PMS period.
- Scientists have identified several forms of PMS. One of the most unusual is considered atypical. It is manifested by an increase in body temperature up to 38 degrees, the appearance of stomatitis, gingivitis, attacks of bronchial asthma, vomiting and even the so-called menstrual migraine (migraine that occurs on the days of menstruation).
- Statistically, thin, irritable women who are overly concerned about their health are more likely to suffer from PMS than others.
- It is with PMS that a woman becomes more active sexually.