Premenstrual syndrome or PMS is an affliction that most women are unfortunately all too familiar with. The symptoms of PMS vary but common are irritability, tenderness of the breasts, cramps, lethargy and cravings for certain foods. There is not really a cure for PMS although to some extent lowering of stress, regular exercise and a healthy diet will help alleviate the symptoms.
Studies also indicate that increased consumption of particular vitamins, especially vitamins B and E, will help to reduce some of the symptoms of PMS. Vitamin E is particularly recommended as it is naturally an antioxidant and has minimal side effects. For reasons not completely clear, Vitamin E tends to help alleviate tenderness of the breasts during PMS.
Vitamin B6, which is also known as pyridoxine is also widely popular and effective in dealing with PMS, as it helps with the bodies central nervous system, therefore minimizing depression and mood swings. Vitamin B6 should only be taken under a doctor’s supervision, as high dosage has caused nerve problems.
If you are going to take vitamin supplements, try to find out which vitamins you are low on and concentrate on increasing your intake of these. Always follow recommended maximum dosage guidelines – there is some evidence that excess vitamin intake can cause side effects too, and actually do more harm than good.
Taking a calcium supplement, which doctors recommend around 1200 mg a day, may help reduce the cramps and aching associated with PMS, and calcium also has the added benefit of being good for bones. A daily dosage of 15 mg of Zinc is also recommended for dealing with PMS symptoms as many women who suffer from PMS have been found to have particularly low levels of zinc in their body.
Studies have also shown that the gamma-linolenic acid present in evening primrose oil supplement has been found to relieve tenderness of the breasts as well as bloating and cramps. St. John’s wort, which contains hypericin, has also been found to help with PMS – particularly mood swings and insomnia – although users should consult their doctor as the supplement can react adversely with other prescription medication.
Prenatal vitamins are a vital part of pre-pregnancy and pregnancy care for women. Before a woman even tries to conceive, she should have her doctor prescribe prenatal vitamins or ask her pharmacist to recommend an over the counter supplement.Why are prenatal vitamins so important? Most women do not eat the variety of healthy foods that they need to get all the nutrients their bodies require. Women often require regular vitamin supplements even when they are not trying to become pregnant. When they do become pregnant their bodies will demand even more of the nutrients that they should be getting from food, but most likely are not.
Prenatal vitamins are specially formulated to give women who are trying to conceive and women who do become pregnant essential supplements. There are certain vitamins that help ensure a healthy pregnancy and help reduce the risk of birth defects.
Folic acid is an essential supplement found in prenatal vitamins. It is recommended that a woman start taking a daily dose of 400 micrograms at least one month before she becomes pregnant. That amount should increase to 600 micrograms once she becomes pregnant.Proper amounts of folic acid have been proven to reduce birth defects in babies by up to 70%. Even if a woman chooses not to take a prenatal vitamin, she should take a folic acid supplement by itself.
Iron is a mineral that a woman’s body needs an increased amount of when she is pregnant. It is recommended that a pregnant woman take twice as much iron when she is pregnant than she would take when she is not pregnant. Prenatal vitamins provide the proper amount of iron to help prevent iron-deficiency anemia from occurring during pregnancy.
Prenatal vitamins also contain many other supplements that are essential to a woman while she is attempting to conceive and once she becomes pregnant. Before taking any other vitamins or supplements along with the prenatal vitamins, a woman should check with her doctor. It is possible to get too much of any one vitamin or mineral that could harm her or her baby.
Women who experience morning sickness should take their prenatal vitamins later in the day or in the evening. Much of the valuable vitamins and nutrients could be lost if the supplement was taken right before she became sick.