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July 11, 2011

Reducing PMS Symptoms

Girl experiencing PMS symptomsA study led by the University of Massachusetts followed more than 3,000 women in the discovery of reducing symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome). The study showed that women who ate diets rich in thiamine (B1) and riboflavin (B2) had reduced their risk of PMS.

PMS is a combination of physical, emotional, psychological, and mood disturbances which occurs after a woman ovulates. About 80% of women experience PMS with average symptoms. Symptoms of PMS include mood swings, crying, irritability, depression, and over sensitivity. Physical changes are bloating, acne, fatigue, and a shift in food cravings.

The study indicated that the vitamin B supplement should come from a food source and not just vitamin pills in order to reduce risk of PMS. Women who had the greatest intake of vitamin B had reduced their risk of PMS by 35% compared to women with the least intake of vitamin B. Thiamine and riboflavin may link to the brains neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin which are connected to PMS.

Thiamine can be found in fortified cereals, beans, whole grains, and nuts. A source of riboflavin is available in milk, meat, eggs, and green vegetables. 2-3 servings of each should be taken each day, starting a week before a menstrual cycle.

Other treatments for PMS include exercise, drinking plenty of water, emotional support, and reduction of intake of salt, caffeine, and sodium. Avoid fast foods and processed foods and try to consume more fruits and vegetables. Birth controls such as Yaz may also reduce symptoms of PMS. Also, intake of calcium or magnesium supplements can naturally reduce water weight. Consult your doctor first before trying any vitamin supplements.

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