BLINKCO is proud to introduce our new Wellness section, by Dr. Hani Sinno. This section aims to foster a better understanding of health-related issues by providing a discussion platform for our readers to interact with an accomplished health professional. A well-known plastic surgeon in Montreal, Canada, Dr. Sinno’s portfolio of clients includes high-profile personalities such as celebrities, politicians, as well as company executives. He holds a Doctor of Medicine and a Master of Surgery from McGill University, as well as a Research Fellowship in Aesthetics and Reconstructive Surgery from Harvard University, among many other prestigious titles. He is also a member of several medical associations, including the American Society of Plastic Surgery and the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgery. He receives his clients at Victoria Park Medispa, an upscale private practice in downtown Montreal and Westmount. In addition, he also operates from Hôpital Cité de la Santé to help breast cancer survivors regain their feminine physique through reconstructive breast surgery.
Pre-menstrual Syndrome, or commonly referred to as PMS, is a condition that affects 80% of all women during their menstrual cycle. In fact, roughly half of those exhibit symptoms strong enough to disturb their daily lives, while a small percentage even experience severe symptoms capable of spoiling entire days. With the help of health and fitness coach Daniela Suarez, we will attempt to demystify the condition and find solutions to relieve its often-misunderstood effects.
Why does PMS occur?
Every month or so, a woman’s body undergoes a series of hormonal and physical transformations to prepare it to receive a baby. As estrogen levels go up and the uterus lining thickens to receive the egg, it triggers many different sensations that can affect a woman’s well being. One of the first things observed is bloating, which is caused by water and salt retention by the body’s cells. This can lead to emotional changes as one can feel that their body does not look optimal or due to physical discomfort.
If the egg is not fertilized, part of the uterus dies as it sheds its lining, resulting in the evacuation of blood. This is the main source of abdominal cramps during periods. As estrogen and progesterone levels go down, it can cause irritability and breast pains as the body cycles into a series of rapid hormonal changes.
How can we control the symptoms of PMS?
Fitness coach Daniela Suarez recommends keeping exercising and sweating it off, as it can reduce the sensation of bloating. Treatment in a hot sauna, cardio, and a light weightlifting routine are some of her preferred methods. To compensate for the loss of water during sweating, drinking lots of fluids can prevent dehydration, which can cause headaches and other undesired effects.
As the body’s metabolism speeds up by 10%, so does the appetite. It is important to listen to the body and never deprive it of its cravings. The key to assuaging appetite is by portion control and never binging on anything. For example, to control her craving for chocolate, Daniela breaks up a bar into small pieces and packs them individually to prevent her from overeating, which will cause even more bloating that can impact her emotional well-being.
Part of being able to manage emotional changes caused by PMS is to be aware that the condition exists and to take decisions more rationally. For example, overly impulsive reactions can be stymied by seeing the situation from a third person’s perspective and gauging people’s feedback. Take a step back, count 1 to 10 to allow time to judge the appropriateness of what is about to be said. For those in a relationship, always remember that your partner is not there to expose your symptoms as a sign of weakness. They support you, love you, and appreciate your presence through everything you experience, good or bad.
Painkillers such as Ibuprofen can be used to relieve cramps if the pain becomes unbearable. Daniela also uses heat pads applied to the abdominal area, which can help ease some discomfort. Taking birth control pills can also help relieve bloating sensations, although some women report the opposite effect. It is imperative to discuss these issues with a physician to see which birth control pill is most effective in managing PMS in each unique situation.
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This article only touches very surface-level issues that can arise with PMS. As always, if you experience complications, always consult with your personal physician to get real treatment. Nonetheless, Daniela and I hope that we helped in answering some of your questions about PMS.
Staying healthy in body and mind is the key to longevity and assured quality of life. My goal is to leave no stone unturned, without restrictions or taboos. In order to help me guide our next discussion topics, I invite you to send me your comments and questions below!