Five Natural Ways to Alleviate Your PMS Symptoms in 2024

Around three-quarters of women in the UK suffer from Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) every month. Whether it’s physical symptoms such as pain and bloating, or psychological and emotional symptoms like feeling anxious or depressed. A lot of women try to manage their PMS by taking birth control. According to a survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2018, around two-thirds of women aged 16 to 49 in the UK use some form of contraception. 

However, there are more natural, holistic ways to manage your symptoms. We’ve shared with you our top 5 ways to naturally manage your hormones to reduce your monthly PMS symptoms and have a happier period. Don’t forget to check out our free Hormonal Harmony Guide to get even more top tips on how to balance your hormones and sort out your PMS this year!

1. Diet

What you eat greatly affects the strength of your PMS symptoms. Too much salt, not enough calcium, or varying amounts of caffeine and alcohol can send your hormones into flux and set them raging. The best thing to do is cut out any fatty, processed foods that are high in salt. That means no takeaways or instant meals, at least in the week before your period!

Prioritise foods high in calcium and magnesium like leafy green vegetables, nuts, and dairy products. In another post we discuss some great recipe for hormone balance to help you think of some creative, simple ways to get the nutrients you need. Drinking lots of water will also help with bloating, as will certain teas such as those containing peppermint or chamomile.

2. Vitamins

PMS is generally caused by an excess of oestrogen and not enough progesterone in the system. These hormones are in flux throughout your menstrual cycle, and certain vitamins and minerals can help you bring these back in balance.

Supplements like magnesium, zinc, vitamins C, D and B-6 can all be bought cheaply from most pharmacies, and should be taken regularly, but especially during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, just before your period.

3. Exercise

It’s an old cliché by now, but exercise can really make you feel better. Exercise can boost your mood by releasing endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals in the brain. This can help alleviate symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and irritability. It can also increase energy levels, which can be a real problem when you’re feeling bloated and weighed down by an impeding period.

You don’t have to be a gym bunny to reap the benefits either. Simple exercises like taking a long, brisk walk in nature for half an hour a day can help alleviate both the physical and psychological symptoms of PMS. It’s best to find a regimen that works for you, and work out regularly so you hardly notice a difference throughout the month.

4. Stress management

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. This stress response can interfere with the normal functioning of the endocrine system, which is responsible for producing and regulating hormones. High levels of cortisol can cause a decrease in oestrogen and progesterone, which can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, difficulty conceiving, and other reproductive issues.

There are some simple steps you can take to reduce stress in your daily life. Eating breakfast and waking up at the same time every day have been proven to be remarkably effective. Spending time with loved ones, drinking chamomile tea, taking up regular non-intensive exercise like walking in nature, and fostering your physical-mental connection through yoga and meditation can also help. Other less regular forms of self-care can also be super effective. Bubble baths, listening to music or a podcast, lighting a candle - be spontaneous and try and relax!

5. Sleep

Sometimes, the simplest answer is the best answer. The fact is, most of us just aren’t getting enough sleep. Not everyone needs 9 hours a night, but if you're not getting at least 7 solid hours of sleep a day, your cortisol levels will remain high, meaning you’re more likely to be stressed and anxious.

If you have trouble falling asleep easily at night, there are a few tricks you can try:

  • Shutting off all electronic devices at least an hour before bed
  • Reading or doing a puzzle in bed
  • Drinking chamomile tea
  • Creating a simple nighttime routine that you can do every day

Our free Hormonal Harmony Guide has even more great tips and advice on balancing your hormones and fighting PMS. Download it here!

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