Q. I always have really bad PMS, during and before my period. What can I do to relieve this as much as possible?

There are a couple of things you can easily do yourself to relieve this.

At first improve your diet. In the week of your period it is best to have regular meals and because you need 500 extra calories a day during the premenstrual week, make sure you eat healthy snacks. By giving your body a constant supply of nutrients, you can beat the irritability and fatigue, but stay away of junk food, sweets, cakes and biscuits. Include more wholefoods such as brown rice, wholemeal bread, oats and beans, yoghurt, nuts, seeds and at least five portions of fruit and vegetables. Eat oily fish such as mackerel, sardines or salmon three times a week or, if you are a vegetarian, include more nuts, sesame and sunflower seeds. A diet of this kind should increase your levels of essential fatty acids, magnesium, iron, zinc and the vitamins E and B. These are the nutrients most likely to be lacking in women with PMS.

It is best not to drink any tea, alcohol or coffee because this aggravate the symptoms of PMS. Drink instead water, fruit- and vegetable juice and herbal teas. There are herbs that are very beneficial for PMS like Calendula officinalis, Alchemilla Vulgaris, Rubus Idaeus (Red Raspberry). In the newsletter of February, page 9, is the basic explained how you can make a herbal tea and how many dried or fresh herbs you need. For this herbal tea you’ll be needing the standard dosage.

Make sure you exercise at least three times a week. Swimming, brisk walking, tennis, aerobics and yoga can all help to improve your health, hormone balance and mood and increase your energy level and tolerance of pain. It is proven that this benefit women with PMS. Try to find a type of exercise that you like.

Relaxation is equally important for relieving the stress and tension that hinders healthy mind and body function. Practising a relaxation technique daily, especially in the premenstrual period, can greatly relieve symptoms.

When you also take homeopathic remedies, avoid using pure peppermint, eucalyptus or tea tree essential oils, or taking strong herbs, which may interfere with the effects of the remedy.

When you have tried this for a couple of months and there seems to be no improvement, it’s best to see a professional therapist. Nutritional therapy, aromatherapy, acupuncture and Chinese and Western Herbalism are all recommended.

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