Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) causes a variety of disturbing symptoms related to menstruation. In some cases of PMS, the symptoms that appear are mood swings although various physical symptoms can also occur. Nausea and diarrhea are moderate PMS symptoms that can be treated by adjusting your lifestyle and taking certain medications that you can buy without a doctor's prescription. Pay attention to the symptoms you are experiencing. Recognize that nausea and vomiting are symptoms of another illness, not PMS.
Part 1 of 3: Treating Nausea
Step 1. Know the cause of nausea
Chronic nausea that occurs in conjunction with monthly menstruation may be a symptom of PMS. However, chronic nausea can also be caused by a variety of other conditions, some of which are serious. If nausea persists, or gets worse, after your period ends, talk to your doctor. Here are some common causes of nausea:
- Taking certain drugs. People with sensitive stomachs often have to eat small portions of food or a glass of milk while taking medications or vitamins to avoid nausea. If you are starting a new medication, consider whether your nausea is caused by the drug.
- Emotional stress. Are you experiencing a situation that causes severe sadness or stress? Feelings of sadness/severe stress often cause people to feel nauseous and lose their appetite.
- Small intestine infection or “stomach flu”. Although it causes symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and vomiting, the disease usually resolves quickly. If these symptoms are severe and last more than 24 hours, you may have a more serious illness, not PMS.
Step 2. Relieve PMS symptoms
There is no drug that can specifically cure PMS. However, certain symptoms, such as nausea, can be relieved by lifestyle adjustments.
- Eat plain food in small portions. The body still needs food, even when nauseous. Eating smaller meals ensures that nausea doesn't get worse. Eat foods like dry toast, crackers, jello, applesauce, and chicken soup.
- Stay away from strong odors. Smelling strong odors, such as perfume, certain foods, and smoke, can make nausea worse. So, stay away from places that have a strong smell.
- As much as possible, don't travel. Motion sickness can cause and make nausea worse. If you have to travel, sit in the front seat in the car to minimize the chance of getting motion sickness.
- Eat ginger. Ginger, in the form of sweets, candy, or tea, contains active substances that can relieve nausea.
- Eat peppermint. Peppermint tea and capsules containing peppermint oil are effective in relieving the symptoms of dyspepsia that usually occurs when nausea is present.
- Drink chamomile tea. Chamomile is effective at relaxing muscles and nerves and relieves stomach cramps from nausea or vomiting.
Step 3. Use medical drugs
Various types of drugs to treat nausea can be purchased without a prescription, for example:
- Phosphorated carbohydrates. Dissolved in glucose syrup, phosphoric acid produces a relaxing analgesic effect on the stomach wall thereby relieving pain from nerve irritation.
- Antacids. Available in liquid and chewable tablet form, antacids neutralize acid reflux associated with nausea or gastric upset. Doctors usually prescribe medications that are effective at treating the same symptoms of acid reflux disease.
- Dimenhydrinate. Contained in motion sickness medications, this substance blocks the brain receptors associated with vomiting.
Part 2 of 3: Treating Diarrhea
Step 1. Know the cause of diarrhea
If diarrhea becomes chronic or persists, even after menstruation ends, consult a doctor as soon as possible. Some common causes of diarrhea include:
- Accidentally eat stale food. To prevent stale food from being consumed, don't eat in restaurants that serve buffet dishes with food heating trays, check all seasonings/sauces and dairy-based foods before consuming, and check the contents of the refrigerator (throw away all leftovers) once a week.
- Food allergies. Food allergies can start at any age. This condition causes irritation of the digestive tract. Some of the most common food allergies, such as lactose intolerance or celiac disease, are characterized by chronic diarrhea for no apparent reason.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) IBS is caused by prolonged intense tension and stress. This condition is most common in women. Triggers for IBS include spicy, heavy, fried foods, and contain large amounts of fiber or vegetable matter.
Step 2. Relieve diarrhea
There are no medications that can specifically treat diarrhea caused by the hormonal changes associated with PMS. However, the diarrhea can be alleviated in the following ways.
- Eat yogurt. Yogurt contains microbial cultures that can balance the composition of organisms in the intestine and help the digestive system. Symptoms of dyspepsia or diarrhea can be alleviated by eating yogurt.
- Don't eat fast food and caffeine. Fast food tends to cause diarrhea because it has a high fat content. In other words, fast food makes diarrhea worse due to hormonal changes. Caffeine has a laxative effect, which can make indigestion worse.
- Exercise. Regular exercise can increase blood flow and has been shown to be effective in relieving symptoms of PMS-related hormonal changes, such as bloating and stomach cramps. Therefore, diarrhea due to PMS-related hormonal changes is also thought to be relieved by exercise.
Step 3. Keep yourself hydrated
Diarrhea causes large amounts of fluid to be lost. If the body is not properly hydrated, various complications of dehydration can occur. If you have frequent diarrhea, always carry a bottle of water with you and drink it as often as possible.
Step 4. Use medical drugs
Taking medication to prevent diarrhea can help you cope with PMS and go about your normal activities. Examples of antidiarrheal drugs that can be purchased without a prescription:
- Iopermide. This drug slows down the function of the large intestine, allowing the body to absorb more water during digestion.
- Bismuth subsalicylate. This drug is effective in reducing inflammation of the digestive tract, inhibiting the proliferation of bad bacteria, and reducing secretions produced by the digestive organs.
Part 3 of 3: Coping with PMS
Step 1. Know that there is no cure for PMS specifically
Researchers have found that PMS is caused by changes in hormone levels due to menstruation, but are not sure why some women are more sensitive than others and experience a different set of symptoms, even among PMS sufferers.
Step 2. Know that PMS symptoms are contradictory
Different bodies react differently to different types and levels of hormones. In some women, PMS causes constipation, while in others, diarrhea. Some women become aggressive when experiencing PMS, while others feel hopeless and cry.
Recognize the various PMS symptoms that you are experiencing. Especially if your body is very sensitive to PMS, keep a symptom journal and record the time of your period. Write down different or new symptoms if they occur. One way to deal with PMS is to predict when PMS symptoms will appear and take action to maintain physical health and mood
Step 3. Control hormone levels
Hormone-manipulating methods of contraception, such as birth control pills, hormone patches, vaginal rings, and injections, help control hormone levels and reduce the frequency and severity of PMS symptoms. Consult with a gynecologist to determine the method that best suits your condition.
Step 4. Know the difference between PMS and other, more serious conditions
Other, more serious conditions, such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and endometriosis, have the same main symptoms as PMS. If nausea and diarrhea are accompanied by any of the following symptoms, consult a doctor as soon as possible.
- Severe and chronic abdominal pain
- Excessive bleeding
- Pain when urinating or defecating
- Too tired
- Unnatural vaginal discharge