Natural Treatment Options For PMS And PMDD

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a type of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It causes irritability, anxiety, and fatigue. And oh boy can I relate! Your doctor will be quick to prescribe medications to treat the disorder. In many cases medication alone works very well.

However, for those who prefer natural treatments or would like to add holistic methods to their prescribed treatment this blog post is for you!

I'm going to break down ways to reduce stress, enhance relaxation, and alleviate PMS and PMDD symptoms. #BOOM

1. Sleep

Lack of sleep can contribute to low mood, fatigue, and increased sensitivity to pain. To reduce PMS & PMDD symptoms:

  • go to bed the same time each night and get up at the same time each day

  • aim to sleep for 7 to 9 hours a night

  • avoid prolonged daytime naps

  • do not have caffeine or high-sugar foods and drinks in the hours before bed

  • limit alcohol intake, especially close to bedtime

  • turn off the TV and computer at least an hour before bedtime

  • ensure bedroom temperatures are between 60-67°F

  • take a warm bath, listen to relaxing music, or read a book before bed

2. Diet

You can manage PMS & PMDD symptoms with a healthful diet.

It is likely that PMDD symptoms, such as anxiety and bloating, will also improve through dietary changes. Basically, eat whole foods and greatly decrease processed or packaged foods. Increasing your vegetable intake dramatically help.

Eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels on an even keel. Drinking plenty of water will also help reduce bloating.

3. Supplements

It's often not possible to get the recommended levels of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from food, which is why taking dietary supplements can be so helpful.

People with premenstrual symptoms may benefit from taking supplements of:

  • Ashwagandha (stress & anxiety)

  • Magnesium (cramps and sleep)

  • Maca (balances hormone levels, decrease PMS symptoms)

  • Wild Yam (relaxes uterine wall, decreases cramps)

4. Exercise

Research suggests that regular exercise is beneficial for premenstrual symptoms. One study showed that regular exercise for PMS decreased pain and increased mood.

For best results, engage in a mix of aerobic activities and strength training each week. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that all adults aim for at least:

  • 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity weekly

  • strength-based activities that work all the major muscle groups, 2 or more days a week

5. Different menstrual products

Some menstrual products can worsen PMDD symptoms in some people.

Tampons may cause more cramping and lower abdominal pain. Scented pads and pantyliners might irritate those with sensitive skin.

It might help to experiment with different menstrual products.

Try changing to organic cotton pads and pantyliners, for example, or use menstrual cups.

6. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses fragrant plant oils to provide physical and psychological benefits. Evidence showing the benefits of aromatherapy is mixed, but many people claim it helps them deal with stress, pain, and sleep problems.

Some of the most popular oils for PMDD include:

  • chamomile

  • clary sage

  • geranium

  • lavender

  • neroli

  • rose

Add the diluted oils to bathwater, place a few drops in an oil diffuser, dilute in a carrier oil and use as a massage oil, or inhale the scent directly from the bottle.

7. Acupuncture

Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific parts of the body. It is thought to increase blood flow and promote the body’s innate self-healing process.

An analysis of randomized controlled trials on acupuncture for PMS reports that the therapy shows promise for symptom relief. More high-quality studies are needed to confirm this.

Acupuncture is, nonetheless, a low-risk treatment option that may provide benefits for some people with PMS. Acupuncture is recognized as an effective approach to treating many conditions according to the World Health Organization.

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