Alternative Medicine and Premenstrual Syndrome

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The idea of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is sometimes controversial but in the last decade it has become a more accepted diagnosis and researchers have recognized over 150 different signs and symptoms of PMS.

Doctors have found it difficult to diagnose women with PMS because there are so many different symptoms and women can experience more than one of these symptoms each month and they can vary each month and even chance from mild to moderate or severe.

The pattern however is the same with symptoms starting at ovulation and ending with the flow of blood each month. There is no cure for PMS nor is there any single treatment plan that will work for all women with PMS. Each woman must have her own treatment plan that is based upon her own set of symptoms.

Many women find that treatment plans that include drugs can leave them with unpleasant side effects so they turn to alternative medicine for more natural ways to deal with the symptoms of PMS.

The natural method of treating PMS is more effective than traditional treatment plans that include drugs and it is safer. Research seems to point to imbalances of hormones, prostaglandin, vitamins and minerals that are the possible cause for PMS. This means that dietary and supplements can help with the symptoms that are a result of these imbalances.

Exercise can also help with these imbalances. One supplement has been most promising, amino acid DL-phenylalanine in helping with the mood swings that are so common in women with PMS.

Common PMS symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, weight gain, bloating, breast tenderness, tension, and food cravings and diet seems to be the answer for relieving these symptoms. Especially the sugar cravings that are reported by many women experiencing PMS can be decreased when taking certain supplements.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially a deficiency in chromium, can contribute to sugar cravings. Eating on a regular basis and getting enough protein in your diet such as chicken, fish and turkey can help with sweet cravings. Taking chromium supplements can stablelize blood sugar and eliminate sweet cravings.

Individuals who participate in regular exercise, avoid caffeine and get plenty of sleep report a decrease in PMS symptoms.

Women who take in too much salt and who eat salty foods can experience more fluid retention than other women. They can also realize weight gain, and breast tenderness or breast swelling and abdominal bloating. It can also make a woman feel irritable and weak.

Certain PMS symptoms have been linked to too much estrogen and fiber plays an important role in increasing the intestinal clearance of estrogen. Women who increase the intake of fiber in the two weeks before the period is due to occur can see a decrease in the symptoms of PMS.

Caffeine also plays a significant role in PMS symptoms. Caffeine can fluctuate blood sugar leading to food cravings, fatigue, weakness, headaches, and irritability.

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