As many as 80% of women regularly experience some premenstrual symptoms, with 20-30% of women suffering from clinically significant PMS. So what’s a girl to do? Instead of turning to OTC drugs or even worse, prescription pills, try managing your symptoms with one of these free, all-natural remedies!
Try yoga and meditation. In a recent study, regular practice of yoga was found to reduce symptoms of PMS – 72% of the women reporting a reduction in irritability, mood swings, crying spells, and depression. 57% of women reported decreases in dysmenorrhea (painful periods), and the study reported an 87% reduction in the incidence of severe menstrual ﬂow. Meditation has also been shown to help with PMS by relieving stress, which often makes symptoms worse.
Hot baths and heating pads are some of the oldest, most effective tricks in relieving painful menstrual periods. You don’t even need a heating pad – just heat up a wet towel in the microwave, or poor hot water in a water bottle. And of course, nothing beats a relaxing, hot bath when cramps hit.
When that time of the month hits and you’re dealing with cramps, the last thing you probably want to do is hop on the treadmill, but regular exercise can really help ease cramps. Try low to moderate intensity cardio, like walking or jogging, or jump on the elliptical or bike. You’ll feel much better afterwards!
Get in bed…with your man! Sex triggers the production and release of serotonin, endorphins and other natural ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain. You’ll forget all about those cramps.
Eat more calcium-rich foods. Studies suggest that calcium levels are lower in women with PMS and that calcium supplementation may reduce the severity of symptoms. A large study looked at 1057 women with PMS and 1968 women without PMS. Women with the greatest intake of calcium from food sources had the least PMS symptoms. So, don’t feel so guilty about that pint of Ben & Jerry’s!