PMS: Though our culture often jokes about it, we don't really talk about it.
An estimated 75 percent of women of childbearing age experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in one form or another, and yet it isn't exactly a topic of everyday conversation.
I spent a good part of my life trying to figure out what was "wrong" with me each month. It turns out, nothing at all.
PMS is simply the natural rise and fall of women's hormone levels, and many of us feel it in a big way. In fact, 3 to 8 percent of us feel it in a really big way — experiencing a severe form of PMS called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) that causes extreme mood shifts and even suicidal thoughts.
Since most of us can't go into the Red Tent and drink tea until our periods pass, it's helpful to understand what's actually going on in our bodies so we can take informed action. We are designed to procreate, which is why we tend to feel at our sexy best around the time of ovulation. That's when our estrogen and progesterone levels are at their highest. But estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and serotonin all reach their lowest levels right before a new cycle begins. That low point causes those days right before our period when we can feel uncharacteristically weepy, angry, ugly, or worse.
Here are six ways to find relief from these hormonal symptoms naturally: