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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

PMS – Premenstrual Syndrome

Millions of women experience symptoms of PMS every month. Crying spells, nervousness, anxiety, depression, bloating, headache, fatigue…The list goes on. Each woman is unique as to the degree of severity and discomfort she will experience and this will vary from month to month. One symptom common to many women, is an increase in appetite - food cravings. There is a strong urge to gobble chocolate, cheese, sweets or other goodies (usually not fresh veggies and steamed fish!).

Though the exact cause of PMS is unknown, hormonal changes such as estrogen levels appear to play a part. One report I read, revealed that many environmental estrogens such as those from toxic fumes, pesticides, pollutants and hormone fed cows infiltrate our body. These are often carcinogenic and compete with a woman's natural estrogen, resulting in estrogen overload. This may impair the woman's ovulation cycle causing the symptoms mentioned earlier.

There are some simple things you can do to help with your PMS symptoms, exercise and a healthy diet are chief among them.

Exercise lifts the mood. It reduces stress, tension and anxiety. By adding in a 30 minute brisk walk or other activity several times a week, you are ahead of the game! Stretching also helps the muscles relax. Try to stretch each day in the am and pm.

What you eat is a major factor in how you are going to feel. PMS may be helped by following the healthy diet of The Path. By eating whole natural foods you eliminate many of the problems associated with processed goods, fast foods etc. PMS symptoms tend to appear about 2 weeks before menstruation. This of course will vary from one individual to the next. During this time if you cut back on caffeine, alcohol, salt and sugar you can reduce the discomfort you'll experience. As a follower of the FatFallacy plan you will most likely be eating smaller portions of these items anyway and find your symptoms have lessened since following the lifestyle. If you still have uncomfortable PMS try to cut back a bit more on the salt and sugar. Up your intake of fresh veggies and lean proteins. Make sure you eat plenty of carbohydrates – like good grains to keep your serotoinin levels elevated.

At one time women were thought to be unstable when PMS occurred. Thank goodness science now recognizes that PMS is real and women experiencing it are not crazy! Eat a healthy diet and exercise to help relieve the symptoms. And don't forget to eat a little chocolate too. Just make sure you reach for the high quality bon-bon!

by Lee Mellott


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