Periods are a very difficult time for women. They experience stomach cramps, stomach bloating, pain in breasts, body aches, and a number of other physical ailments. On top of that, if the woman experiences mood swings during periods, it can be quite a nightmare for her. Before learning how to control mood swings during periods, known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder in medical terms, let us find out the reasons behind such an emotional state of women during menstruation.
Causes of Mood Swings During Periods
Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone control and regulate the serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is the chemical which affects the moods of a person, i.e., if the serotonin levels rise, the person feels elated or happy and if the serotonin levels fall, the person's mood too becomes low accordingly. During the menstrual cycle, various changes take place in the levels of the estrogen and the progesterone. Thus, they are not able to control the serotonin levels in the brain.
Another reason why women experience mood swings during periods is stress. Women these days have to take care of both work and home. During menstruation, more stress is added to her life, if she is experiencing premenstrual syndrome symptoms, such as body aches, cramping, etc., thus, causing mood swings.
How to Control Mood Swings During Periods
In order to control mood swings, an effective herbal remedy is to consume flaxseed capsules. Flaxseed provides the body with essential fatty acids, which help in controlling the moods.
St. John's Wort
This herb is also very widely used to treat mood swings resulting from premenstrual syndrome. Ideally, this herb should be taken, starting from two weeks prior to the periods, till the last day of the menses.
Taking vitamin B6 and calcium supplements, in addition to a healthy diet helps in keeping all the symptoms of PMS under check, including the extreme mood swings. Eating dairy products such as yogurt or cheese or drinking milk, helps in nourishing the nerve cells, thereby reducing the mood swings.
Including foods rich in vitamin C, such as Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, peppers, cranberry juice, and cantaloupe in the diet, helps in reducing the stress. Carbohydrates eaten in moderation raise the serotonin levels, thereby improving the mood. Salt and caffeine intake should minimized, as they cause water retention during periods.
Any kind of physical activity whether walking, running or aerobics, helps in reducing the stress and keeps the mood swings under control. Doing yoga, meditation and breathing exercises also helps in making the woman stress-free.
The woman should not just lie on her bed during periods and pray for them to get over. She should socialize, meet up with her friends, be with her loved ones as all these activities, increase the oxytocin levels in the body. Oxytocin is a hormone which keeps us in good spirits. An increase in its levels in the body will keep the woman in a positive state of mind and prevent mood swings.
If a woman experiences severe mood swings even after all the above mentioned alternatives have been tried to no avail, then no compromise should be done with regards to the women's health, and she should consult a gynecologist for a proper treatment. The medical treatment might include certain drugs or in extreme cases, hormone replacement therapy.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.