PMS can be a really big nuisance in one’s life. Things may not go as planned, you get ticked off, your stomach hurts, you get terrible headaches etc.
It’s usually never fun!
Fortunately, there are things that you can have around to help during these times in your cycles. You will find out what the top ones are in this post so read on if you are interested in feeling better!
PMS or premenstrual syndrome comprises a bunch of symptoms that can occur before your period starts. It isn’t fun for anyone that experiences it- and many people do. The percentage of people with menstrual cycles that deal with PMS is said to be around 75%.
This syndrome typically starts around seven days before one’s period starts but some people are even more unlucky and have it start as long as 14 days before. It also can alternate from cycle to cycle as to when it starts.
Another thing that can alternate from cycle to cycle is the severity of the symptoms. One may have a cycle where their usual symptoms are mild and easy to control or get through. Then their very next cycle might involve severe symptoms that are really tough for them to deal with.
Some common PMS symptoms include the following (if you didn’t already know!):
- Mood swings
- Itchy skin
- Sensitive gums
- Loose stools or constipation
- Appetite increase
- Acne breakouts, increased oiliness
- Abdominal cramps
- Headaches and migraines
- Aches and pains
- Worsening allergy symptoms
- Worsening asthma symptoms
- Hot flashes and nighttime sweats
and quite a few more!
The cause of PMS is related to a drop in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) that occurs before one’s period starts. A lot of people are clearly sensitive to this drop. The ones that don’t experience PMS may not be sensitive to it. There also may be a genetic/hereditary component to it.
Top 10 things to have around for PMS
- Tea- Red raspberry leaf and chamomile tea are both really helpful. They are soothing to the GI system if you experience nausea, helps sore throats and can relieve cramps. The chamomile has the added possible benefit of calming one down mentally/emotionally as well. Peppermint tea is another good one to have around as it may also help with PMS stomach issues.
- Weighted and very warm blanket– Many people with PMS suffer from aches/pains, stress, anxiety and maybe even chills. A weighted and very warm blanket may calm all of those things at once. The one that is linked is a wonderful, cozy option that may just do a world of good for you during PMS.
- Mighty Patch– This is an amazing product for the zits that may crop up when you have PMS. You put it on at night and wake up to a zit that is reduced in size and appearance.
- Tylenol- If you get cramps and other aches/pains, Tylenol is something to have available at all times-unless you are allergic or sensitive to it. In terms of pain relievers, it is also easier on the stomach and kidneys than the other ones.
- Meclizine– If you deal with nausea during PMS or even during your period, Meclizine is the way to go. It is looked on favorably for many that suffer with this PMS symptom. Also, it is great to have around for when your stomach is upset for other reasons. These tablets do cause drowsiness so it is important to be aware of that when you take them.
- Anti-itch lotion- Many people get itchy skin during PMS. If you are one of those people, a good anti-itch lotion- like the one by CeraVe, would be a good idea to have around. Claritin (antihistamine) may also be helpful for the itchiness if the lotion isn’t enough.
- Journal/Diary- If writing is your thing, having one of these around that is dedicated to your PMS times may be a valuable option. It can help you get your thoughts out which in turn may calm your mind if you are prone to mental/emotional issues. It can be a fancy looking journal/diary or just a regular notebook.
- “Me time”- So this isn’t exactly a “thing” like the rest of the items on this list are but it is still important. Having time to be with yourself and do what makes you happy may help you get through any kind of stress you may feel due to your hormones and just life in general. These “me time” sessions can look like anything you want them to. I made a post from a while back showing an example of what can look like.
- Hot pack– Many people find that their cramps are bad one to two days before they start to bleed. Having a hot pack around may be helpful for these PMS cramps and if you get them when you bleed as well.
- Bloat relieving foods- Bloating is so common and dreaded. Fortunately, there are some foods to have around that can help reduce it. Some of the top ones include cucumbers, pineapples, lemons, bananas and ginger. You can put slices of cucumbers, pineapples, ginger and lemons in water to sip on. Also, the bananas work great when frozen and nibbled on.
What I keep around for PMS
My PMS has gotten worse since I had my son seven years ago. The amount of symptoms have increased and have disrupted my life. While things have gotten better due to my daily use of Claritin, I still get very uncomfortable in the days leading up to my period starting.
Here are the things I keep around for this part of my cycle:
- Red raspberry leaf tea- I really like this tea. It helps with my nausea and cramps. I love the way it tastes, too. I get the tea bags from Traditional Medicinals as it is a quality product (all of their stuff is!).
- Meclizine- This is a necessary thing for me to have around just in case my nausea is really bad and I can’t handle it. I am proud to say that I haven’t needed it for the last four cycles though.
- Hot pack- I get bad cramps the day before I start bleeding so my 15 year old hot pack is a must.
- Tylenol- Since the hot pack isn’t always enough for my cramps, I need to keep Tylenol around for a stronger pain reliever. I love that it is easy on my stomach.
- Frozen bananas- I keep these around to nibble/suck on for my bloat. It also has the added effect of relieving nausea which is something I learned while I was pregnant with morning sickness (possibly due to the vitamin B6 that is in it).
- My journal/planner- I keep one of my journals/planners around all the time so that I can keep track of how I am feeling and write down my overall thoughts about the day. For whatever reason, this makes me feel better.
I hope all of this helps!
If you have PMS, I hope that these top ten items will help you or least give you some ideas on how to help yourself. These hormonal symptoms can be a struggle, but as always- we can conquer them together!
Let me know in the comments what PMS symptoms you have and how you deal with them.
Thanks for reading!
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Medical disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. What I say should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice. You should check with your doctor before doing or taking anything that has to do with your health. Your health is your own and I am not liable for any consequences that occur because of the choices you make.
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