Known also as Pre-menstrual Syndrome, PMT refers to a range of symptoms experienced by women in the leadup to their menstrual period. Common physical symptoms include fluid retention, sore breasts, pimples and abdominal cramps. Many women also feel irritable and depressed and will cry more easily when pre-menstrual. Some become clumsy and accident prone as the concentration is affected. For most women, the syndrome is simply a nuisance and affects them for just a few days. For others, the symptoms are long lasting and severe. In all cases, care with the diet can help to alleviate the problem.

Cut down on salt, sugars and saturated fats. Reduce your intake of tea and coffee which affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Increase your intake of Vitamin B6 by eating more fish, soya beans, yeast, nuts, bran, brown rice, avocado, citrus fruit and egg yolk, or take a 200 mg supplement of this B-complex vitamin which will help prevent fluid retention and reduce irritability. Many women find that a course of evening primrose oil helps, taken in the days just before the onset of the period. Dong quai, a Chinese herb which helps balance oestrogen levels, is increasingly prescribed in cases where the mood swings are severe.

If these simple remedies don’t work, you may have a more serious hormone imbalance, the reasons for which are best diagnosed by a qualified medical practitioner.


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