5 drug-free remedies for PMS relief

If you have premenstrual syndrome (PMS), you know that how difficult it can be. Try these five home remedies to combat the physical and emotional pains of PMS and menstruation.

5 drug-free remedies for PMS relief

1. Get more magnesium

  • If your major issue with PMS is bloating or cramps, give magnesium a try
  • One study of 38 women found that those taking 200 milligrams of magnesium for two menstrual cycles reported much less bloating and weight gain than those who took a placebo
  • Don't expect immediate results; women in this and other magnesium studies needed at least two, and sometimes three, months of daily supplements before things improved

2. Up your vitamin B6

An analysis of nine clinical trials found that compared to those taking a placebo, women who took up to 100 milligrams of vitamin B6 a day were more than twice as likely to have fewer premenstrual symptoms, including:

  • bloating
  • breast pain
  • headache
  • lack of energy
  • menstrual-related depression (69 percent less likely)

3. Take your calcium

Studies find that calcium levels drop significantly as estrogen rises in mid-cycle and that women with PMS tend to have much lower levels of calcium (and higher levels of estrogen) than women without it. Increasing your calcium levels may help reduce the following PMS symptoms:

  • depression
  • problems concentrating
  • muscle pain and cramps
  • fatigue
  • anxiety

4. Consult your doctor about vitamin E

  • There is some evidence that supplements of vitamin E, at doses of 400 IU per day, can improve breast pain and other PMS symptoms
  • However, vitamin E has come under scrutiny because of its potential to increase internal bleeding; it may even slightly increase the risk of premature death
  • Check with your doctor first before taking vitamin E supplements

5. Check out chasteberry

  • This herbal remedy, thought to increase levels of the hormone progestin, has been used for centuries to treat a variety of women's reproductive issues, from heavy bleeding to infertility to menstrual cramps
  • There are no truly good studies on the effectiveness of chasteberry for PMS, though some studies do suggest a benefit
  • In the one trial that compared the herb to a placebo, 52 percent of the women who got 20 milligrams of chasteberry daily reported that their symptoms improved by 50 percent or more, compared to 24 percent of the women who got a placebo
  • Always consult a doctor before starting any new vitamins and medication

These drug-free remedies may help you find some relief from painful or annoying PMS symptoms. Give them a try and see if they work for you.

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