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Free Yourself from PMS

Take control of premenstrual symptoms

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Free Yourself from PMS

Pioneering late-19th-century feminist Margaret Sanger wrote, "No woman is completely free unless she has control over her own reproductive system." This statement is as true now as it was in Sanger's day, maybe more so.

Pioneering late-19th-century feminist Margaret Sanger wrote, “No woman is completely free unless she has control over her own reproductive system.” This statement is as true now as it was in Sanger’s day, maybe more so.

It remains true that three of the most defining points in a woman’s life revolve around menstruation: the onset of her period, pregnancy, and the initiation of menopause. The cute names we have given menstruation are often used to hide our frustrations with it: “the friendly visitor,” “aunt flo.” Even the term “period” signals the end to something. Does this sound confining? A regular and comfortable cycle is not only possible–it’s also natural.

Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, may affect up to half of the women in North America. PMS is difficult to define as it has such a wide variety of signs, but it is basically a series of physical, emotional, and behavioural symptoms that occur prior to menstruation.

Studies on nutrition and menstruation provide a solid foundation for a healthy cycle. A well-balanced diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and whole grains is very important. However, supplementing with vitamins and minerals may give additional control over symptoms.

Vitamin E

One such vitamin has been shown to significantly reduce some of the symptoms of PMS. Studies have shown that vitamin E can significantly reduce the pain associated with menstrual periods. In a randomized, double-blind study reported in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (2005), high school students were given vitamin E supplements for five days starting two days prior to the start of their cycle and followed for a period of four months. The duration of pain initially averaged 18 hours and did not change with placebo, but with vitamin E it fell to four hours at two months and two hours at four months.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil helps the body with stores of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). PMS is associated with low levels of GLA. This nutrient is needed to make anti-inflammatory prostaglandins which can help combat a variety of PMS symptoms, more specifically pain. A standard dosage for evening primrose oil is 500 mg, three times daily. Flaxseeds can also boost your intake of this vital nutrient.

Calcium and Magnesium

As two of the most researched nutrients involved in menstruation, calcium and magnesium are definitely a cornerstone to a PMS-free life. These two nutrients are directly influenced by ovarian hormones. Furthermore, estrogen adjusts calcium usage in the body during the menstrual cycle. With proper dosage, calcium and magnesium can help relieve the bloating and pain related to PMS. Studies have shown that the presence of these minerals are influential in a hassle-free period. Include 1,000 mg of calcium and 500 mg of magnesium, daily.

Your menstrual cycle need not confine you. Natural therapies can help menstruation be a regular and comfortable part of a woman’s life. Take control of your reproductive system and set yourself free.

Some Typical Symptoms of PMS

  • water retention
  • breast tenderness
  • cramping
  • mood swings
  • depression
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