Most women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) find that they can control their symptoms by making the following changes in diet, exercise, and life-style. Only a few women with PMS need to take medication.  Discuss the suggestions listed here with your doctor.

    Eat small meals every 3-4 hours (as many as six per day). 

  Choose foods that are high in complex carbohydrates (fruits, 
     vegetables, whole grains) and limit the amount of fat you eat. 

  Try to avoid sugar, even if you crave sweets. Eat foods high in
    complex carbohydrates instead. 

  Avoid caffeine if you have breast pain or feel irritable. 

  Avoid salt if you feel bloated. 

  Choose nonfat or low-fat dairy products. (You do not need to
    eliminate dairy foods from your diet.)

    Moderate aerobic exercise has been scientifically proven to help
     women with PMS.

  Once your doctor has evaluated your health, find an activity you like,
    and gradually work up to four 20-minute periods of exercise each

    PMS symptoms get worse when you are under stress. Talk with your 
     doctor about sources of stress in your life and how you can relieve
     some of them. 

  Try to schedule stressful events for the week after your period: try
     to avoid stress when your symptoms are worst. 

  Continue tracking your symptoms to remind yourself when PMS may
    be making you feel worse. 

  Exercise regularly- it relieves tension and may also reduce other
    symptoms of PMS.

Education and Self-Help    
    Learn as much as you can about PMS. 

  Encourage family members or roommates to learn about PMS.  

  Join a PMS self-help group. The support provided by others with the
    same problem may help you to feel better.

    Most women with mild-to-moderate PMS can learn to control their
     symptoms without drugs. 

  Discuss all drugs you are taking or want to try with your doctor; even
    vitamin therapy for PMS can be toxic or cause severe side effects. 

  If your symptoms are mild. an OTC PMS preparation may help. You
    may have to try several before you find one that works.
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Timothy L. Biliouris, M.D.
65 Route 134 Dennis, MA 02660