What are the Most Effective PMS Solutions?

B. Miller

The most effective PMS solutions depend on the symptoms that one experiences. Some women find that taking a supplement such as evening primrose oil or vitamin B6 helps to relieve many of their symptoms, such as moodiness, irritability, and fatigue. Others find that more traditional, over the counter treatments such as pain killers and diuretics are more effective PMS solutions against cramps and bloating.

Oral contraceptives can reduce the severity of PMS symptoms.
Oral contraceptives can reduce the severity of PMS symptoms.

Many women will experience premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, during their lives; it is common to experience at least some PMS symptoms every month. Symptoms include water retention and bloating, abdominal cramps, fatigue, and sporadic mood swings or irritability. Appetite changes are common as well; some women experience a greater appetite, while others lose their appetite. Respectively, the most effective PMS solutions may be different for everyone, depending on individual symptoms and body chemistry.

An afternoon nap may help with PMS.
An afternoon nap may help with PMS.

One of the most often recommended PMS solutions is to get some aerobic exercise. Though it may be unappealing, even going for a brisk walk can help to relieve menstrual cramps. In addition, exercise causes endorphins to be released into the brain, which helps to boost the mood and prevent irritability. Taking a quick nap in the afternoon, if possible, can help to combat feelings of fatigue. Some women also find that making dietary changes, such as cutting back on sugary, starchy foods, can help to prevent mood swings and help boost energy levels.

A hot bath may be an effective PMS solution.
A hot bath may be an effective PMS solution.

Many over the counter drugs for PMS contain a combination of painkillers, diuretics, and caffeine. The caffeine may be helpful both to combat fatigue as well as to help with a headache or migraine; painkillers can help with cramps and headache; and diuretics can help with bloating. Cutting back on salt while one has PMS can also help to prevent bloating, as well as drinking more water than usual. Some women find that for severe PMS, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), certain brands of birth control pills or antidepressants can be very helpful, but this is something that should be discussed with a doctor and weighed against the risks.

Over the counter medications may be helpful in reducing menstrual cramping.
Over the counter medications may be helpful in reducing menstrual cramping.

Heat applied to the abdomen can be one of the more effective PMS solutions for cramps. A heating pad is a great, inexpensive option; a hot bath or shower can be very helpful as well, in addition to being relaxing and mood-boosting. Gentle stretching such as yoga can also be helpful. If none of these seem to work, it may be a good idea to have a conversation with a doctor about other PMS solutions to try.

An ice pack may help relieve pain associated with menstrual cramps.
An ice pack may help relieve pain associated with menstrual cramps.
Some women find yoga helpful when dealing with PMS.
Some women find yoga helpful when dealing with PMS.
Water weight gain, bloating and irritability are among the symptoms leading up to menstruation.
Water weight gain, bloating and irritability are among the symptoms leading up to menstruation.
Evening primrose oil capsules, which can help with PMS.
Evening primrose oil capsules, which can help with PMS.
Painkillers might be used as a combination with other treatments to help relieve PMS.
Painkillers might be used as a combination with other treatments to help relieve PMS.

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