Hi, chicks !!
Tomorrow is a special day, huh ?? Have you thought about what you are planning for Valentine’s Day?
I even recorded a video here for the channel with tips for you to surprise your big day this day and there is a super cool post on the blog with ideas that go beyond the “traditional” , but I wanted to do something different this time! A Put your boyfriend over there to see this video with you! And I will talk about the expectation X the reality of Valentine’s Day and what NOT to do to ruin this day!
Premenstrual tension, or premenstrual syndrome, is the period before menstruation. In that time, which usually starts 7 days before menstruation, some psychological and physical symptoms that usually disappear on the first day of menstrual flow may appear. In some women, PMS ends only at the end of the menstrual period.
The main cause of PMS is female hormonal changes during the menstrual period, which interferes with the central nervous system. The levels of endorphins (natural substances linked to the sensation of pleasure) and neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, are altered, as the woman’s body undergoes changes during the fertile period and then undergoes another change when the egg is not fertilized .
Most women have at least one sign of PMS per month. But it is not the same for everyone and can change as you get older. It can be difficult to know if you only have a few symptoms before your period or if it is really PMS.
One way to think about this is to ask the question, “Do these changes hinder my normal life? Do they cause problems at work or with family and friends? ”If you answer yes, you may suffer from PMS. Another way to find out is if you have symptoms in the 5 days before menstruation, for 3 months in a row. Women with PMS deal with this in many ways. You can make changes to improve your diet, sleep, and exercise. You can also learn ways to relax your mind and body. If what you try doesn’t work, talk to your doctor.
There are some factors that can increase a woman’s risk of PMS or even make her worse. See what they are:
- Living under a lot of stress
- Do not exercise
- Not getting enough sleep
- Drink too much alcohol or eat food with too much salt, red meat or sugar
- Chemical changes – Changes in the levels of female hormones can influence the amount of chemicals produced in your brain.
Types of PMS
Not all women experience the same symptoms. There are so many sensations that medicine has separated premenstrual tension into five different types, which can happen separately or at the same time in women. Meet them all:
Type A is related to anxiety . Some women have a drop in the hormone estrogen, responsible for decreasing stress, and a greater release of adrenaline and cortisol, which contributes to stress. The main symptoms are:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood changes
What to do – Working on reducing stress levels is very important, so it is recommended to practice gentle exercises, such as yoga and pilates, meditation and breathing exercises, in addition to maintaining an adequate diet. If this type of PMS is very severe, some type of medication, such as anxiolytics, may also be used to relieve symptoms.
Type C is mainly related to binge eating. The name comes from English, craving , which means desire. Women who have this PMS usually have a craving for fatty foods and chocolate.
The explanation for this “uncontrolled” desire is that when you eat a food rich in sugar or fat, some areas in your brain are activated, increasing the feeling of pleasure. Since hormones are altered during PMS, this mechanism can generate an exaggerated reaction, causing an even greater sense of pleasure.
The symptoms of C are:
- Compulsion by sweet or savory
- Willingness to eat goodies or different foods
What to do- To alleviate the symptoms of this PMS it is important to try to make healthier food choices. The ideal is to eat every three hours, investing in fruits or natural snacks. The combination of proteins and carbohydrates also decreases the craving for sweets. Maintaining a balanced diet rich in omega 3, present in fish and seafood, can help control this compulsion.
It is also recommended to practice physical activity, which can also help to ease the headache. Aerobic activities, such as running and swimming, increase well-being and help to stabilize the glycemic rate.
Type D premenstrual tension is related to depressive symptoms. These symptoms are usually caused by a reduction in serotonin. The main signs of this PMS are:
- Anger without reason
- Little concentration
- Memory lapses
- Low self esteem
- Violent feelings
What to do – To combat type D PMS it is worth investing in pleasurable activities and aerobic exercises. In that case caffeine can also help to lift the mood. Vitamin B2, present in fish oils, legumes and eggs, is a precursor to serotonin and effective against symptoms.
If the symptoms of depression and sadness are severe, the doctor may prescribe the use of antidepressants. It is also recommended to stop addictions, such as alcohol and tobacco.
There are other symptoms that may also be related to PMS. These symptoms were grouped and classified as type O – referring to “other” symptoms. Among them are:
- Change in bowel habits
- Increased frequency of urination
- Sudden heat (hot flushes) or cold sweating
- Generalized pains, including colic
- Acne and oily skin
- Allergic reactions
- Respiratory tract infections
What to do- Try to reduce inflammatory foods such as sugar, coffee, refined carbohydrates, excess red meat, vegetable oils, vegetables and sodium. The use of anti-inflammatory drugs in the days preceding the menstrual flow and in the first days can help to reduce the symptoms.
Another tip is to do swimming and water aerobics, activities that help to reduce discomfort.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a health problem similar to that of premenstrual syndrome (PMD), but it is more serious. It affects approximately 10% of Brazilian women and leads to extreme changes in mood, further damaging the routine and provokes the sudden desire to isolate and even to mutilate themselves. This problem is more common in women who suffer psychological disorders, stress, anxiety, depression and problems with serotonin production.
PMDD causes irritability, depression or severe anxiety a week or two before the menstrual period begins. Symptoms usually resolve two to three days after the start of the period. See which are the main ones:
- Lasting irritability or anger that can affect other people
- Feelings of sadness or despair, or even thoughts of suicide
- Feelings of tension or anxiety Panic attacks
- Humor or cry often
- Lack of interest in daily activities and relationships
- Problems to think or focus
- Tiredness or low energy
- Food cravings or binge eating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling out of control
- Physical symptoms such as cramps, swelling, breast tenderness, headaches and joint or muscle pain.
What to do – As with all types of PMS, sports are recommended to relieve symptoms. As there is no possibility of detecting the neurotransmitter disorder, the diagnosis of PMDD is made according to the patient’s report on the symptoms presented. The treatment is usually prolonged, accompanying the woman for a good part of her life. Medicines, such as antidepressants, can be prescribed to balance serotonin levels.
Foods that help decrease symptoms
– Whole grains (corn, barley, oats, rye, buckwheat and brown rice): these are complex carbohydrates capable of stabilizing blood glucose and eliminating premenstrual compulsion by sweets. They are excellent sources of protein, fiber, vitamins B and E and minerals.
– Legumes (lentils, beans of all kinds, chickpeas, azuki beans, green peas): they have a high content of complex carbohydrates and proteins that help regulate blood glucose, stabilizing mood swings, anxiety. Soy is an excellent food for women with PMS because it is a source of plant estrogen, it helps to normalize estrogen levels, reducing symptoms.
– Oil seeds and fruits (nuts, peanuts, almonds, pistachios): they are excellent sources of protein. They should be eaten raw and without salt. Do not consume those roasted and salted, as they will only make the symptoms worse.
– Green vegetables ( green leaves like cabbage and mustard, vegetables with roots like carrots and turnips, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts): they have a high content of vitamin A, magnesium, calcium and other nutrients that alleviate PMS symptoms.
– Red, orange and yellow vegetables (carrots, peppers, sweet potatoes, pumpkin): they have a high content of complex carbohydrates and fibers that help to reduce hypoglycemia linked to PMS and mood swings. The high content of vitamin A helps to regulate heavy menstrual bleeding and premenstrual acne.
How long does PMS last?
The duration of PMS varies among women. Most women experience symptoms for a few or several days in the week before the menstrual period begins. Some women may experience symptoms for a shorter or longer period of time, but PMS symptoms usually begin after ovulation (the midpoint of the monthly menstrual cycle).
A variety of medications are used to treat the different symptoms of PMS. See some of them:
- Diuretics: Diuretics are drugs that increase the rate of urine production, thus eliminating excess fluid from the body’s tissues.
- Painkillers: These are commonly given for menstrual cramps, headaches and pelvic discomfort.
- Oral contraceptive pills: Sometimes pills are prescribed to balance fluctuations in ovarian hormones. The new birth control pills, with their improved hormonal formulations, appear to be most beneficial for many women. Oral contraceptive pills containing the progestogen drospirenone have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of PMS and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
- Antidepressants: They are widely used in the treatment of mood disorders related to PMS. Antidepressants seem to work by increasing the chemical levels of the brain (opioids, serotonin and others) that are affected by ovarian hormones.
It is important to know that these drugs, while useful in treating mood disorders in some women, are not necessarily effective in treating physical symptoms. It is often a combination of diet, medication, and exercise that are needed to provide maximum improvement in the many symptoms of PMS.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
CBT is a psychological treatment, during which more adaptive ways of dealing with premenstrual symptoms are explored. It has been proven to be effective for some women. If it is useful, it avoids the need to take medications, which can have side effects, so it is worth considering as an option.
Living with TPM
There are many ways to manage PMS. Even if you are unable to eliminate it from your life, it is good to know that you have the power to help yourself, improving your daily life.
- Do regular aerobic physical activities during the month. Exercise can help with symptoms such as depression, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.
- Choose healthy foods most of the time. Avoiding foods and drinks with caffeine, salt and sugar in the two weeks before your period can lessen many symptoms of PMS.
- Get enough sleep. Try to sleep about eight hours a night. Lack of sleep is linked to depression and anxiety and can worsen PMS symptoms, such as a bad mood.
- Find healthy ways to deal with stress. Chat with your friends or write in a diary.
How to end PMS?
This is not a simple task, after all, hormonal change is something natural that will happen every month that you menstruate.
If your PMS is something that bothers you, and that you think should be controlled because it is out of the ordinary, the ideal is to talk to your gynecologist , because together you can find a contraceptive that works.
But if you don’t want to have to take medication, regulating your diet and playing sports are attitudes that are sure to reduce your tension during this period.