Thursday, November 15, 2007

What To Do About PMS?

PMS Survival Tips:

PMS is a challenge for many women. Surviving a woman's PMS is a challenge for many men. When a woman has PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), a man often tries to wrestle with what to do about this phenomenon with the women we love: how can we still love this woman when she suddenly asks strange questions or behaves in ways that don't run logically with other times?

Women, on the other hand, are coping with PMS symptoms that often make it difficult to feel happy or normal.

According to Dr. Marilyn Glenville:
What are the symptoms of PMS?

"This is where a lot of confusion has arisen because over 150 symptoms can be classed as PMS. These can include:

Mood swings Irritability
Anxiety and tension
Breast tenderness and swelling
Water retention
Acne Tiredness
Weight gain
Crying Spells
Sugar and food cravings

Quite a list! Personality changes associated with this time can be very severe with some women describing a Jekyll and Hyde change where they literally become a different person pre-menstrually." Dr. Glenville goes on in her website to discuss the difference between anxiety, craving, hypdration, and depression symptoms. I'll keep it a little more basic, here, and deal more with how we RELATE to each other during times of PMS.

If your woman starts asking questions like:

Do you still love me?
Does this dress make my butt look fat?
Did you take out the trash this morning like I asked you (when you know it's not even trash day)?

Or, perhaps she demonstrates a sudden burst of anger that defies logic. Well, guys, consider your responses carefully. I saw a film doing a parody on PMS and one comment they used to sum up the feelings a woman experiences during PMS as "somewhere between Christmas and being BURIED ALIVE!" So, perhaps, it might help to have a sense of humor about the matter.

This video, albeit from a male perspective, offers some amusing tips to PMS (complete with a new definition for the acronym!

When your woman says "honey, do I look fat?" Don't answer "YES" because the question is a trick question! Instead, do like the guy does in this video:

Honey, may I draw a hot bath for you... with your favorite bubbles? Because, I really love you, and thought you might appreciate it. B-I-N-G-O! Ha!

Now, say, he had said, "yes, you look fat." Then what?

Well, he had better be prepared to run before the next available object (near her) finds its way to the back of his head!

But, then, being a guy, I couldn't help but think of the classic ways to better manage the physical challenges of PMS and perhaps finding ways to MINIMIZE it. These are not things you can suggest to a women DURING her PMS cycle. However, they might be useful later. And, for women, these might be ways you can minimize the crying meltdowns or episodes of unexplained anger or frustration.

Women, do you have PMS? Well, maybe this is one you can forward to the man in your life. We all can use a little more understanding to help each other build more love. Beyond that, maybe these tips (not from me, but from doctors and other women) can help minimize this troublesome period each month.

Solutions for women:

1. Get medication. For heaven's sake, how can you expect the rest of the world to "just deal with it" when it isn't anything logical or expected! There's a lot of good medication out there to help minimize and balance hormones. Just be aware of the side effects and seek medical advice, of course. Caution: I'm not giving medical advice here. Before taking any drug, talk to a licensed practitioner about what is best for you.

2. Try herbs. Sometimes, it can be better to take herbs than a drug. However, with any herb or drug, these can produce certain side affects. Make sure you talk with a licensed practitioner who specialized in herb treatments, and also be careful if you're taking the pill or other supplements/drugs that might interact with the herb. Again, I'm not dispensing medical information and I strongly recommend that you begin any herbal or medical treatments under the care of a licensed doctor or specialist.

3. Vitamins. Again, my caution/disclaimer applies, but according to Dr. Glenville, the following vitamins have been found useful:

Multivitamin, especially B6 (B6 in the form of pyridoxal-5-phosphate - can help with moods and balancing chemicals in your body, E (balances moods and helps with breast symptoms), Magnesium (reduces tension, anxiety, and migranes), and "A number of studies have shown that evening primrose oil (EPO) is effective in reducing the symptoms of PMS and especially helpful to women whose main pre-menstrual symptoms is breast tenderness or fibrocystic breast disease." There are some other tests at this site which could be useful for diagnosis and treatment of symptoms.

4. If you find the urge to yell at someone for something, refrain. Remember, you might have something going on to justify feeling angry or hurt, but that may be magnified by your symptoms of PMS. If that is the case, why say something now that you'll regret later. Apologies only go so far and I've never been one to agree with the concept that [PMS = Get Out Of Jail Free card]. I know, it seems like it ought to be, though.

Maybe a better idea is to EXERCISE whenever you feel like yelling or crying. Sometimes, we can work out our emotions by physically moving our body. And I'm not talking about taking a swing at the man standing closest to you, either!

5. Do NOTHING different. That's right, just go on being mean, emo, and bitchy. There, I said it. Does that give you permission to be mean? Is that better?

I really don't know. I'm not sure it will make the people AROUND YOU like you any better, though!

6. Write the author of this article a flame message. If it really helps, write me hate mail. If it saves the man in your life the abuse, I can take it. Better yet, why not just write it, then delete it! Once you get it out of your system, it will probably be easier to go on with life. That's my rule of thumb: write it out, then save it to the draft folder. Two days later read it again. If anything is negative in there, delete it! I had to learn this one the hard way, unfortunately.

7. Improve your diet. Besides herbs, drugs, or vitamins, there are other dietary steps you can take to remain balanced.

8. Retreat a little from society. If you know you experience particularly difficult PMS, you might want to keep your calendar and block these days off and put your PEAK PERFORMANCE on other days. After all, if you know you get migraines during PMS, why schedule that big presentation during this day. Or, why make this the day of the big party. It's like putting an elephant in the room before the party ever happens. And, if you've ever seen the movie with Peter Sellers called, "The Party" you'll know that elephants at parties create one wild party.

Hmm. I could go on, but I think I've covered enough for now. If you're still struggling, seek professional help!

Okay, I can't just talk to women. If would be unfair, right? Surely, there's more than one man who will read this article. Just so you know I've got ideas for you, too, men. Guys, check this list out!

Solutions for men:

1. Relate to her.

Besides taking Monthly Man, what can you do to help relate to a surge of hormones rushing through your body every 28 days? Well, you certainly can't TALK about it. Yes, this is a no-no. All you can do is act in ways that show you understand. Yeah... I know... easy... (er, not)... I was tempted to just put a blank in this section. There aren't any EASY solutions!

2. Mark your calendar! In some cases, it is better to just be gone during this time. If you're dating, this is easier to arrange than if you live together. This is often why a man will create his own little kingdom out "in the garage". It's a place to escape during, eh, certain times of the month. ;)

3. Be aware of changes in behavior. If you live with or are around a woman who experiences strong PMS cycles, take note, and stay on-guard in future months. If you've been attacked once, or if you've experienced unusually high emotional swings, this might be something to look out for in, eh, 28 days. Just a word of caution, guys.

4. Make sure your woman eats regularly (balanced sugar levels help) or make sure she gets an extra dose of chocolate during this time! I've noticed that I am also affected by sugar levels. It is important to eat regularly, eat healthy, and exercise regularly no matter what our gender.

5. Don't initiate sex. Come on. Get a clue. Why do you think this is an issue with women, guys? If a woman's body is going through a rash of hormone changes (as in flushing out), she is likely not feeling as good as normal. Let her initiate during this time. It's just a wise idea. Then again, I have a friend who is a bit chauvenistic who thinks he should just "take" his woman and she'll thank him later. Apparently she says sex makes her PMS symptoms diminish. Every woman is different, no? Well, I can't recommend this, for obvious reasons. Just learn what works best in your relationship and be respectful of each other's wants and needs.

6. Rather than telling her she looks tired, tell her she is still as pretty as the day you met her. Oops, I might have just recommended you lie to her. But, guys, the truth is, sometimes a lie will help soothe strange emotion better than logic. Better than a lie is this: let her know she is SPECIAL to you. That's really what she wants to know the most, anyway. Be smart, treat her special - whether during PMS or not!

7. Offer to do something nice for her. Not what YOU would normally think is nice for her, but what SHE would normally think is nice for her. Examples include picking up your things around the house. Pampering her a little (like drawing a bath). Cooking the meal. Doing the dishes. All of that type of stuff might help you during these days her "friend" is coming to visit.

8. Give her a gift. Remember the expression "diamonds are a girls best friend"? Actually, most gifts of jewelry, perfume, lotions (ooh, you can even add a massage with the lotion), and more show her you still love her. Rather than answer that question with words, answer it with a gift. Hey, if it works at other times, it might work now, too. Just don't be surprised if she criticizes the gift is she doesn't like it!

9. Don't make excuses for things. Don't go around like a pansy saying "I'm sorry" for everything. Just say this: "You're right. I'm wrong." Nothing else you say is likely to matter at this time. If nothing else helps, well, THEN say "I'm sorry!" (Saying this once, used last, can be effective.)

9. Don't ask if she is on PMS (or on anything ELSE). And, whatever you do, do NOT mention any word that might pop up in a thesaurus as related to CLOTH (hint: GAR spelled backwards)! If someone is having an anger episode, you're probably not going to find THIS the best time to suggest anger management. You know what I mean?

As with most of my articles, I'll remind you that love is an action word, as much as a doing word. So, act smart. Act loving. And if all else fails, RUN!

I wish I had all the answers on this one. Truth is, like most men, I don't. And for double-jeopardy PMS (PMS in lesbian couples), ladies, you're on your own on that one!


Note: I know I took a humourous look at this subject. But, in all seriousness, if PMS is causing serious havoc in your life, please seek out medical help from a qualified specialist. Why put yourself through monthly torture? Why put those around you through mood swings? Life can be better! As with all of our articles, our focus is on helping people love more. Love is always the answer.


This article is written by Scott Andrews, Founder of AspireNow. Copyright 2007. Videos are copyright their respective owners. All rights reserved. No infringement is intended.

Disclaimer: The contents of this site are for information only and are intended to assist readers in identifying symptoms and conditions they may be experiencing. This site is not intended to be a substitute for taking proper medical advice and should not be relied upon in this way. Always consult a qualified doctor or health practitioner, especially if you are pregnant, taking the pill or on any medication. Your situation will need to be looked at individually and you should not attempt to self treat. The author and publisher cannot accept responsibility for illness arising out of the failure to seek medical advice from a doctor.

The views expressed by third parties placing material on these pages are not representative of the views of the author or publisher. The Author and Publisher cannot monitor the content not produced by us and has not reviewed all the third party material published on this site and the Author and Publisher accept no liability whatsoever in relation to the content of third party material placed on these pages.

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