Premenstrual syndrome (or premenstrual tension) and painful periods. It continues to be a surprise meeting many young women in our practice who think that painful periods or premenstrual tension symptoms are “normal” and they feel they just need to put up with and live with these symptoms.

This is certainly not the case with so many fantastic natural medicines at our disposal. We are assuming here of course that other health conditions such as endometriosis and infection, ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids have been ruled out.

Premenstrual syndrome” (PMS) is the cyclic recurrence of a group of symptoms that peak usually 7 to 10 days before menstruation and may disappear a few hours after the onset of the menstrual flow.

There are multiple symptoms accompanying PMS, including:

  • Breast swelling and / or tenderness
  • Temporary weight gain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Sleeping problems
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Sugar cravings
  • Poor concentration
  • Confusion
  • Acne

The severity of these symptoms vary from mild to severe and may also include cramps to the point of pain killer medication needing to be used.

PMS is due to unbalanced hormonal fluctuations. Depending on individual requirements, a mixture of correct diet, adequate exercise, stress management, nutritional supplements and medicinal herbs can correct imbalances and bring long-term relief.

Prescribing painkillers that offer only temporary relief, or oral contraceptives that can have serious side effects especially long term, without treating the underlying cause, the problems can persist for years and may get worse.

The earlier these problems are addressed with natural medicines, the quicker the results.

Good nutrition and avoiding foods that exacerbate PMS is one measure you can take. Avoid caffeine drinks and alcohol, sugar and salt and animal fats.

Exercise plays an important role in the treatment of PMS. Thirty to forty-five minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least three times per week improves blood circulation and significantly helps reduce symptoms.

In addition to diet and exercise, some form of meditation can be very helpful. Our emotions and hormones influence each other, since they are registered in the same part of our brain. Stress can cause hormonal imbalances and therefore worsen the symptoms of PMS. Some quiet time everyday helps bring emotional and physical equilibrium.

Women do not have to accept and live with premenstrual syndrome. When the symptoms of PMS are reduced or eliminated, women feel more energetic — physically, mentally and emotionally.