Symptoms of PMS are no laughing matter. The mood changes, food cravings, bloating, joint aches, and breast tenderness can make the week before a menstrual period a real challenge. How widespread are the symptoms of PMS? They’re surprisingly common with over three-quarters of women experiencing at least a few symptoms during the week prior to onset of menstruation. While over-the-counter pain relievers such as Advil can help with some of the generalized aches, it doesn’t treat the irritability or mood swings. Occasionally, the symptoms can be so severe that doctors prescribe anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications, but these often bring more side effects than they cure. Is there a way to relieve PMS naturally?
Relieve PMS Naturally – The Study
According to a large study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology calcium may help to relieve PMS naturally. When over a thousand women took 1,200 milligrams of supplemental calcium for ninety days, it helped to relieve premenstrual symptoms, essentially reducing them by half. Other studies have shown that women who experience significant PMS symptoms may have abnormalities in calcium metabolism which play a role producing their symptoms. Calcium appears to be an important mineral when it comes to the symptoms of PMS.
Which Form of Calcium Is Best?
With so many calcium compounds available, which is best to help relieve PMS symptoms? In this study, calcium carbonate was used. Calcium carbonate can be purchased at most drugstores and health food stores. Another option is to use Tums Extra Strength tablets which contain 750 milligrams of calcium carbonate. Two of these taken daily are enough to provide the necessary benefits.
Are There Other Ways to Relieve PMS Naturally?
The use of calcium to relieve PMS symptoms should be part of a larger plan to relieve premenstrual discomfort. Avoiding salt and high carbohydrate foods help many women reduce the bloating, weight gain, and cravings that are experienced during the week before menstruation. Aerobic exercise can also help to offset many of the mood changes. Other ways to relieve PMS symptoms are to avoid nicotine and caffeine, both of which can alter mood and increase tension and anxiety. Adequate sleep time is also critical.
Although calcium may not cure all of the symptoms of PMS, it appears to have significant benefits for many women. Keeping a symptom diary is another important step to help pinpoint factors that make the symptoms worse so they can be corrected.