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I Had Extreme PMS


Extreme PMS'ing
A Woman Shares Her Experience with PMS

We live in an extreme culture and like so many others of my generation I am a huge extreme sports fan.  I don’t care whether it’s extreme snowboarding, skiing, blading, skateboarding, or bicycle, I love it all.  In fact, I myself am a participant in the extreme PMSing.  I’ve been in training most of my life.  I’ve got the cramping, bloating, tenderness, irritability, irrationality, and crazy in the head that goes with it all.  It’s really very humorous, I never wear a helmet or kneepads but I do distribute them on a regular basis to my family members.  They need the protection more than I do.  Over the years I’ve had several coaches and they have taught me some very important elements when training for extreme PMS.  The three elements of concern to the extreme PMSer are: education, lifestyle, and outside resources.

EDUCATION:

Growing up I experienced horrible cramping the first day of my menstrual cycle.  I bloated badly enough to fluctuate between one and two pants sizes.  I had difficulty with any constriction around my waist and was often very nauseous.  To say that I was irritable would have been an understatement.  My irritability often reached a level that my family felt like living with me was similar to walking on eggshells.  After I was married whenever my husband touched me, one to two weeks prior to my cycle, I felt like decapitating him.  My hands have always swollen so badly that I had to remove any jewelry.  Throughout all those years no one ever told me that not everyone went through what I did once a month.  I was never aware that there were choices I could make that would decrease my discomfort or even treatment options I could pursue to make it all more manageable. 

Some of the more common herbs you can add into your program of natural progesterone and PMSupport spray are:

  • Dandelion—best used taken in 2 cups of dandelion root or leaf tea, reduces bloating.
  • Chamomile—relieves muscle pain
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Birch leaf—relieves fluid retention
  • Motherwort—relieves headache
  • Peppermint—stabilizes mood swings and eliminates gas
  • Evening primrose oil

I probably would never have sought anything different had I not seen history repeating itself in my oldest daughter.  I’m sure many of you mothers can relate, what was an acceptable life for me was not acceptable for my baby.  As I observed her discomfort and her difficulties I noticed her sleep needs increasing an average of 3-5 hours.  She often came home from work during this time emotionally fragile.  Her wardrobe would scale up one to two sizes and her joints caused her a great deal of pain.  The worst part of it for her is that it lasts for three weeks out of a four-week month.  She was also an extreme PMSer and I wanted something better for her.  As a parent I wanted to help alleviate some of these things for her and I have found in the past that the most effective way to begin is to educate myself.  I immediately started to read current literature about PMS.  This is what I found.

There are a number of ways to get relief from PMS and including natural progesterone cream, Sprayology homeopathic PMS relief sprays and several herbal treatments available to change you from an extreme PMSer to a happy camper. 

I was startled to find that what I have called extreme PMSing can sometimes be diagnosed as PMDD, premenstrual disphoric disorder.  Recent research has revealed PMDD is associated with the levels of seratonin in a woman’s brain during her cycle.  The National Women’s Health Information Center has listed the following symptoms for PMDD, noting that there must be five presenting symptoms for diagnosis.

  • feelings of sadness, despair, suicidal thoughts
  • feelings of tension, anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • mood swings, crying
  • lasting irritability or anger that affects other people
  • disinterest in daily activities and relationships
  • trouble thinking or focusing
  • tiredness or low energy
  • food cravings or binge eating
  • having trouble sleeping
  • feeling out of control
  • physical symptoms such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain

PMDD, extreme PMSing can be treated medically by a physician with FDA approved antidepressants.

LIFESTYLE:

As my daughter has gotten older I have observed several lifestyle choices that have contributed to her extreme PMSing.  These lifestyle choices have involved three areas: sleep, diet, and exercise. 

This past year her and me have started going to the gym five days a week.  We are monitoring our water intake and keeping a daily log of our eating habits.  Looking back over these logs we are able to determine what food groups are missing in our diet, the levels of sugar and caffeine we intake, and the times of the day that we are consuming these foods.

Extreme PMSers should avoid sugar and caffeine because they can cause extreme mood swings.  An increase in fruits and vegetables increases the seratonin levels decreasing depression and moodiness. This food should all be eaten in five small meals and limited portions, accompanied by a minimum of 64 ounces of water a day.  Mealtime is over no later than 6:30pm.  The avoidance of dairy products combined with a decrease in sodium and an increase in water relieves the bloating.  Sounds like the elementary health class we took in elementary school huh?

Extreme PMSers should also sleep a minimum of 6 hours a night.  This done on a regular basis leaves the body and mind well rested when the cycle begins.  During the menstrual cycle itself an extreme PMSer may need more sleep and should pay close attention to the signals her body is giving her.

Extreme PMSers should also do cardio exercise a minimum of 30 minutes a day 3 days a week.  This exercise increases the endorphin levels and minimizes the cramping.

OUTSIDE RESOURCES:

Even when my daughter and me started making necessary lifestyle changes we both recognized within ourselves a need for someone to monitor our progress.  Finding a local gym we got involved in a health and fitness program that does weigh-ins on a weekly basis.  Our weight is charted, our body fat index plotted, our exercise regime loosely monitored, and our diet monitored as needed.  On occasion we have even gone in for personal counseling.  This element of accountability not only provided a source of encouragement concerning our successes but also provided the necessary element to pick us up when we fall down and encourage us to get back in the game.

However, having studied all of the latest research and made the necessary lifestyles changes, an extreme PMSer who continues to have disabling symptoms should seek the counsel of their physician.  As I have counseled my daughter through the years, “There is no shame in asking for help.” 

While extreme sports are thrilling to watch they can be exhausting for the competitor.  To better compete the next time the competitor must not only continue her training she must also be well rested.  So too should the extreme PMSer.

©Alternative Medicine Network 2009

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