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Old 05-26-2005, 10:14 AM
Tuf Tuf is offline
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Default Re: eating, training, and menstruation

Honestly, I don't do anything different. I eat the same and train the same. [img]/forum/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

But I do realize that PMS symptoms exist on a continuum, and for some people they don’t significantly affect their daily lives, while for others they can severely impair normal functioning. So, here is what some of the research suggests:

There are a variety of drugs (Prozac, Xanax, NSAIDs, and others) that may be helpful for those with severe symptoms. Increased exercise and adoption of a healthful diet are sometimes sufficient for women with mild PMS symptoms. And there is also research on the use of dietary supplements as a means of reducing PMS symptoms.

Calcium supplementation has been shown to significantly reduce PMS symptoms such as negative affect, water retention, food cravings, and pain (described as aches and pains, low back pain, and abdominal cramping).
--Thys-Jacobs S, Starkey P, Bernstein D, Tian J.Calcium carbonate and the premenstrual syndrome: effects on premenstrual and menstrual symptoms. Premenstrual Syndrome Study Group. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Aug;179(2):444-52.

Based on the tolerable upper intake level for calcium and the mean daily intake of calcium among menstruating women ages 12-50 years as reported by a USDA survey, the addition of 1,000-1,200 mg/day of supplemental calcium to normal dietary intakes is suggested for women trying to decrease symptoms of PMS.
--Bendich A. The potential for dietary supplements to reduce premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Feb;19(1):3-12.

It has also been suggested that 200–400 mg/day of supplemental magnesium may be helpful in relieving PMS symptoms, but the evidence of efficacy is not as compelling as that for calcium. In addition, some individuals may experience a mild laxative effect at the higher dose range.
--Walker AF, De Souza MC, Vickers MF, Abeyasekera S, Collins ML, Trinca LA: Magnesium supplementation alleviates premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention. J Women’s Health 7: 1157–1165, 1998.
--Facchinetti F, Borella P, Sances G, Fioroni L, Nappi RE, Genazzani AR: Oral magnesium successfully relieves premenstrual mood changes. Obstet Gynecol 78: 177–181, 1991a.
--Facchinetti F, Sances G, Borella P, Genazzani AR, Nappi G: Magnesium prophylaxis of menstrual migraine: effects on intracellular magnesium. Headache 31: 298–301, 1991b.
--Bendich A. The potential for dietary supplements to reduce premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Feb;19(1):3-12.


Sometimes it is recommended that women suffering from PMS symptoms eat small, frequent meals high in carbohydrates in order to improve symptoms like tension and depression. Some studies have shown immediate relief of psychological and appetitive PMS symptoms may be provided by carbohydrate supplements (by increasing serum tryptophan levels, possibly leading to a serotonin-mediated mood improvement), but simple dietary changes can probably produce the same effect.
--Sayegh R, Schiff I, Wurtman J, Spiers P, McDermott J, Wurtman R: The effect of a carbohydrate-rich beverage on mood, appetite, and cognitive function in women with premenstrual syndrome. Obstet Gynecol 86: 520–528, 1995.
--Bendich A. The potential for dietary supplements to reduce premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Feb;19(1):3-12.


So, you may try supplementation if you don't already, and you can also eat carbohydrates to make serotonin (but chocolate and other snack foods are not necessary to do this; complex carbs will do the same thing without a rapid rise, followed by a rapid decline, in your blood glucose levels). Also, remember that exercise is a natural means of enhancing your mood and reducing stress. Finally, drinking plenty of water will help to flush your system out and can reduce bloating.
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