PMS Attack Plan

With some time and preparation, you can preempt the pain, bloating, discomfort and mood swings associated with PMS.

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For most women, it happens like clockwork every month: PMS. Suddenly your emotions – and pants size – seem beyond your control. But there’s a way to combat the symptoms. Dr. Oz reveals how nutrition and natural remedies can help keep your PMS in check so you can get on with your life.

Symptom: Mood Swings. Fluctuating progesterone levels cause your hormones and your mood to yo-yo.

Attack Plan: Take 100 mg of vitamin B6 a day.

  • Studies show that B6 reduces irritability and depression.
  • Unsalted nuts are a good natural source of vitamin B6. Try cashews, hazelnuts and peanuts.
  • For the best results, take this supplement as part of your daily routine.
  • Don’t double up on the dosage; doing so can have an adverse affect.

Symptom: Enlarged or Tender Breasts. Fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels result in fluid retention, especially in the breasts. Click here to learn more about breast health.
Attack Plan: Try chasteberry extract.

  • Studies show that chasteberry, the fruit of a small bush that grows in Southeast Asian and the Mediterranean, can help relieve this PMS symptom.
  • Add a teaspoon to your daily water intake.
  • Check with your physician before taking chasteberry. It can have possible adverse affects if you are taking birth control pills or psychiatric medication.

Symptom: Diarrhea. The same hormones that cause the uterus to contract to get rid of the endometrial lining can also cause the muscles in your gut to contract, resulting in abdominal cramping and diarrhea.

Attack Plan: Get 30 grams of fiber a day.

  • Add fiber-rich fruits and vegetables to your diet. An apple will provide you with 4 grams of fiber. A cup of peas will provide you with 8 grams.
  • If taken regularly, fiber supplements work as well.
  • Don’t increase your fiber intake suddenly or in one sitting; doing so may worsen the problem. Gradually add it to your diet to help your digestive system do its job properly.

Symptom: Bloating. PMS can cause both air and fluid retention. When estrogen starts to fluctuate, it affects aldosterone, a hormone that affects the way your kidneys hold on to water. During PMS, you’ll retain more water. Bloating can also be a warning sign for certain serious diseases; click here to learn more.
Attack Plan: Take 200 mg of magnesium daily to reduce fluid retention.

  • Magnesium rich foods, like navy beans or unsalted pumpkin seeds, are a good natural source of this mineral. A cup of navy beans will provide you with 100 mg; a handful of pumpkin seeds has just under 200 mg.
  • To get the maximum benefit, start taking a magnesium supplement or eating magnesium-rich foods at least 2 weeks before your period begins.
  • Reduce salt intake. Salt only worsens bloating.