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PMS: An Update on Solutions

By Julie Davis
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Jan. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Up to 75 percent of women experience PMS (premenstrual syndrome) with symptoms like anxiety, irritability and fatigue, health experts say.

PMS is thought to be the result of a chain reaction that starts with the drop of the hormone progesterone near the end of every monthly cycle.

In lab studies, an international team of researchers found that the active ingredient in the antidepressant Prozac can counter this reaction and ease symptoms at far lower doses than needed to treat depression and with quicker results, often within hours.

Want to try a drug-free approach? The minerals iron and zinc have some protective effects. According to research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, eating a diet rich in non-heme iron can lower PMS risk by up to 40 percent.

There are two kinds of iron in foods: Sources of non-heme iron include nuts, beans, dark leafy greens and fortified grains. Sources of both heme and non-heme iron include meat, poultry and seafood. PMS benefits start with 20 milligrams of iron daily, just 2 milligrams higher than the current recommended daily amount, the researchers said.

The amount of zinc associated with a lower PMS risk is proportionally higher -- nearly double the recommended daily amount of 8 milligrams. Food sources of zinc include fortified cereals, oysters and beef.

But don't overdo either nutrient. The safe maximum daily intake of iron and zinc are 45 and 40 milligrams, respectively. That international research also noted that too much potassium could increase PMS risk.

You might also try exercise and meditation -- simple ways to reduce stress, tension and anxiety, all of which can worsen PMS.

On the bright side, research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that limiting caffeine -- advice often given to women with PMS -- isn't linked to the condition after all and you needn't give up your morning brew.

More information

For more on PMS, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=728349

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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