Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects millions of women around the world. Throughout the reproductive period, more than 85% of the female population experiences one or more symptoms several days before or during menstruation. In 2-10% of these women, the symptoms of PMS are so strong that it becomes impossible to carry out daily activities.
Symptoms of PMS
Premenstrual syndrome is characterized by mood disorders, irritability, headache, soreness of the mammary glands, strong weight gain and water retention. The real reason for this, one might say, social phenomenon remains unknown, and there are various theories of the origin of PMS. There is a hormonal theory that explains the difficult condition of a woman in the second phase of the monthly cycle by hormonal adjustment. In this period, in fact, there is a strong imbalance between the levels of estrogen and progesterone (hormones produced by the ovaries), which affect the metabolism of serotonin and prolactin. Serotonin, in turn, is associated with our mood, and prolactin is involved in soreness of the mammary glands, etc. Based on this, over time, various treatment methods for PMS have been proposed, such as birth control pills, diuretics, and prolactin reductants, which, however, despite their beneficial effects, have many side effects.
One of the leading symptoms experienced during premenstrual syndrome is weight gain. This function is associated with a sharp increase in water retention, but in some cases is exacerbated by the increased sugar intake that often accompanies this period. Remember when you are especially «drawn» to a candy or chocolate bar? Now take a look at the calendar. The second phase of the monthly cycle. And you feel like an inflatable balloon? There is an explanation for everything. This is due to the weakening and stretching of the muscles of the abdominal wall just during the second phase of the monthly cycle. Legs sometimes swell. This situation arises due to the discharge of metabolic products into tissues, the excess of which the lymphatic system cannot wash away. Hence the localized edema. This situation occurs due to an increase in progesterone secretion during the entire second stage of the cycle. The walls of the vessels are especially sensitive to this hormone and, in response, increase their permeability. Finally, progesterone also affects the smooth muscles of the body. Hence the bloating. .
In some cases, constipation is observed. To prevent such disorders, you should change the eating habits of the first phase of the monthly cycle. Firstly, during the ten days preceding the start of menstruation, a low-salt diet is recommended to avoid a tendency to delay water in the body and bloating. This means avoiding certain foods high in sodium, such as sausages, cheeses, smoked meat, fish, and all baked goods like bread, pizza, and cookies. But that is not enough! A diet high in saturated fat from these foods can slow down the lymphatic system, overload it, which leads to "clogging" of lymphatic drainage. Therefore, it is extremely important to follow a low-fat diet, preferring the consumption of fruits, vegetables and legumes. In fact, these products contain a large number of substances, defined as lignans, which remove excess hormones from circulation by restoring hormonal balance. In addition, fruits and vegetables, due to the content of a large number of minerals, together with a generous supply of water, restore the hydro-salt balance, increasing diuresis.
Sometimes the situation is exacerbated by other diseases. For example, problems with thyroid hormones that cannot carry out their activities effectively, further exacerbating water retention. In these cases, it is useful to support the thyroid gland with foods rich in selenium, such as, for example, wheat bran.
How to alleviate the symptoms of PMS?
Recent scientific studies have confirmed that the high intake of calcium and magnesium present in vegetables and legumes can significantly alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. The real storerooms of these minerals are wheat germ, soybeans, figs, corn, apples, walnuts, almonds, fish, garlic, peaches, apricots.