Water and Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

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Chocolate. Seems to be the "cure" of choice for many women seven to 14 days before their periods. Perhaps finding the humor in this will allow women to cope just that much easier- but somehow it probably won't.

PMS is a real medical condition that inflicts many women-- about 3 out of 4-- one to two weeks before their period begins and perhaps just after. The symptoms are different for each individual but they can include: acne, irritability, bloating, lack of interest in sex, mood swings, constipation, swollen hands and feet, fatigue, weight gain, trouble concentrating, depression, diarrhea, headaches, breast tenderness, and muscle aches.

PMS is thought to be caused by the change in hormones that women experience once per month. And, while there is no cure, there are many things that women can do to fight some or all of these symptoms, or at least ease them a little. From scheduling stressful events after your period is over (think ahead for those weddings!) to rest, there are many options. Eating a healthy diet and exercising rank among the best ways to combat the stress that comes along with PMS. Birth control pills are also said to ease PMS, which is good news for thousands of women who need birth control anyway.

Diuretics are also said to help combat the weight gain associated with water retention and weight gain symptoms. They can ease the bloating too. The problem with this is that diuretics also cause dehydration, and rid the body of minerals it needs. If taking this, it is a good idea to drink plenty of fluids, which sounds like it is doing the exact opposite of what it is meant to do- but symptoms of dehydration are like those of PMS anyway. Perhaps avoiding them altogether and looking for another means is better. As stated, water seems like an oxymoron for a symptom that retains water. But, drinking the 8-10 glasses of water a day can ease water retention!

Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol is also very important. Substituting water as a beverage can raise the energy level and perhaps help ease some of the other symptoms. Water can also be helpful if a side effect of PMS one experiences is diarrhea. Again, this is a dehydrating ailment, and the fluids lost need to be replaced. Salty and sugary foods need to be avoided as well.

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