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Goodbye, PMS

From mood swings and cramps to food cravings and bloating, a host of symptoms often strike women one to two weeks before their periods. However, you don’t have to let premenstrual syndrome (PMS) control your mind or body.

Here are a few tips from Manisha Parikh, M.D., OB/GYN on the medical staff at Harris Methodist H•E•B Hospital:

• Get out and exercise.

• Avoid salt, sugary foods, caffeine and alcohol.

• Make sure to get enough sleep.

• Take over-the-counter medications to ease cramps, headaches, backaches and breast
tenderness.

• Talk to your physician about taking oral contraceptive pills or certain medications
called SSRIs if you experience extreme PMS.

If none of these traditional methods work, you may consider a more alternative
approach to PMS. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine lists
these options as possible antidotes to common PMS symptoms.

• Black cohosh. Although studies are still being conducted on this herb, it has a history
of being used for arthritis, muscle pain, hot flashes and night sweats.

• Chasteberry. This herb has been used to treat PMS for years, but research is still being
conducted. It is recommended that women who are pregnant, have had breast cancer or
are on birth control not take the herb.

• Acupuncture and massage therapy also can be beneficial.

To find a physician who can help meet your needs, call 1-888-4-HARRIS (1-888-442-7747)
or visit www.TexasHealth.org and click on “Find a Physician.”

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