SELF-HELP FOR PMS
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.
CAPE COD MEDICAL © 2017 :: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Timothy L. Biliouris, M.D.
65 Route 134 · Dennis, MA 02660