Who among us wouldn’t like to get through our period with less pain? There are many different medications, both OTC and prescribed, that can be used to help ease your journey, but there may also be ways for your body to help. Here, we’re going to look at some of the natural solutions that can help you ease your journey through your period.
Make sure that you have regular bowel cycles
Excess estrogen is a cause of PMS symptoms and one of the ways that our body gets rid of it is through the bowels. If you aren’t going to the toilet regularly enough, your body can reabsorb the estrogen in the intestinal tract. As such, you want to eat your foods high in fiber, drink more water, and even consider taking a little more apple cider vinegar with meals.
Get that healthy gut bacteria working for you
Your digestive system doesn’t just help you pass the excess estrogen that might otherwise cause you problems. It also helps to metabolize it, which makes it easier to pass in the first place. As such, promoting your healthy gut bacteria with the help of things like probiotic yogurt shots or even fermented foods like pickles or kimchi can help aid your digestive process and get rid of estrogen even more effectively.
Make use of aromatherapy
Aromatherapy has widely been found to be effective in helping to relieve stress, improve sleep quality, and reduce the symptoms of physical pain, all of which rear their ugly head when you’re dealing with your period. Adding a couple of drops of essential oil to a warm bath can help you relax massively, but there are also options like dropping them onto your pillow or using a reed diffuser. Some of the scents best recommended for PMS include chamomile, clary sage, lavender, neroli, and rose.
Get your calcium
An extra glass of milk, a bowl of yogurt in the morning, or even a simple calcium supplement might be just what you need to reduce the symptoms of your PMS. In multiple studies, women with higher calcium levels tend to on average have a lower risk of PMS symptoms. Calcium works even better with vitamin D, which can be found in all sorts of foods, including salmon, egg, yolks, mushrooms, orange juice, and soy milk. Vitamin D plays a key role in absorbing calcium so you can’t really have one without also needing the other.
Try a little more exercise
Mild forms of exercise can play a major role in alleviating some of the symptoms of the PMS. Jogging, stretching, yoga, or riding your bicycle can trigger the release of positive neurochemicals, including endorphins which can help to reduce the sensations of physical pain, while dopamine is a great mood booster, and serotonin helps to decrease feelings of anxiety and alleviate the depression that can often come with major hormonal changes. Hip and back stretches can also be effective as easing the tension in that part of the body that leads to cramps.
Find your zen
When we’re irritated, we can find that the symptoms of PMS become even harder to ignore. Of course, irritation is also one of the effects of PMS. However, meditation has been shown to greatly reduce feelings of stress and to calm our thoughts. Meditation is effectively a series of breathing and focusing techniques that help us be a little more present in the current moment, and you can join a meditation class, download an app, or even follow YouTube videos that can teach you how to get started easily.
Make more use of omega-3 fatty acids
Whether you take in capsules (which are one of the most bioavailable kinds of supplements on the market) or you bite into some fresh wild salmon, omega-3 fats in your diet are known to play a big role in reducing PMS symptoms. This includes both the mental and emotional impacts such as depression, anxiety, nervousness, and lack of focus, as well as some of the more physical impacts such as bloating, headaches, breakouts, and tender breasts. Salmon is a bit of a super food for its high vitamin D and omega-3 content, but there are plenty of other sources you can use, too.
Switch out coffee for chamomile tea
Caffeine is not going to help you deal with the stress of PMS. In fact, it can make you even more irritable and prone to feelings of anxiety. Caffeine is also known to have impacts on hormonal health that can become more pronounced during your menstrual cycle. Chamomile tea lacks the caffeine that causes such effects, and is also unknown to be great at soothing anxiety and irritability.
Try some chaste tree berry
Also known as agnus castus, the chaste tree berry is one of the most widely recommended herbal supplements for reducing the symptoms of PMS. There have been clinical studies that have shown some effectiveness, so it’s not an entirely unscientific answer. However, chaste tree berry is known to have some side effects that might make it not quite the best option for people with chronic health conditions or those who are currently taking any medication, so be sure to check with your doctor first.
Check your hormonal balance
If you have never done it before or it has been quite some time and you frequently experience PMS, then you might want to consider a hormonal imbalance test. You can help ease hormonal imbalances, which can make your menstrual cycle tougher than it needs to be. Things such as thyroid conditions and PCOS can be treated with the help of your doctor, not to mention natural steps such as changes to diet, fitness, and the right supplements.
The next time Aunt Flo is scheduling a visit, take the tips above in mind and see if you can’t biohack your way to an easier time with your period. See which of the solutions above works for you and turn it into part of your monthly ritual.