Premenstrual Syndrome—Changing Your Eating Habits
By Halimah Jordan

Premenstrual syndrome is a tricky thing to diagnose. Some of the symptoms overlap with other illnesses, such as depression,
bipolar, etc. that it is often hard for even your physician to pinpoint the root cause of your illness. Dr. Katherine Dalton,
a leading pioneer in the field of PMS research, provides a handy chart to help distinguish between PMS related depression
and depressive illness, in her book, ‘The PMS Bible’. This is not a hard and fast chart, but generally those with PMS related
depression have different symptoms than those with depressive illness.

                    PMS Depression                                             Depressive Illness
Duration     14 days of cycle                                               Weeks or years
Irritability     always present                                                 may be absent
Sleep         yearning to stay in bed                                     early-morning waking
Appetite     increased                                                           absent
Weight        gain                                                                    loss
Libido         may increase                                                     absent

Depressive illness can be an emotional reaction to something tragic happening or it can also be an illness and
affect bodily function as well. The symptoms are similar to PMS depression but there are differences in the timings.
With depressive illness the symptoms are present day after day and may last for weeks, months, or even years.
In PMS depression, the symptoms do not last longer than 14 days each monthly cycle. After menses the woman
returns back to her normal self, only to revert back to the PMS right after ovulation. In addition, with PMS depression,
woman normally experience a pronounced irritability that is not common with depressive illness. A patient experience a
depressive illness may be too apathetic or lethargic to show any irritability even when it may be justified.

Dr. Dalton has determined that PMS sufferers undergo a drop in blood sugar levels which causes a release of
 adrenaline. In her book, ‘The PMS Bible’, Dr. Dalton discusses how a drop in blood sugar levels causes a release
in adrenaline, which automatically moves sugar from cells into blood, raising the blood sugar level. This is a way that Allah
ensured that our blood sugar level remains within optimal limits.

Research has shown that the progesterone level of women drop after eating a large meal. This helps to support the
 need for women with PMS to eat smaller amounts at each meal, and also to eat more often.
The first priority is to make sure that there is no drop in the blood-sugar level, which would normally
 occur when there has been a long interval between meals. Men can usually go eight hours without food
as they are gorgers but for healthy women the interval is shorter, averaging at 5 hours. Women who suffer from
 PMS need to eat every three hours to help relieve the symptoms of PMS. Normally woman who suffer from PMS,
need this 3 hour diet in addition to any other treatment they are on, such as progesterone therapy, or herbal treatment.

The guidelines for the three hourly starch diet are as follows:
Take the day’s allotment of starchy food and divide it up so that you are able to eat small starchy
 snacks every 3 hours during the waking hours and within one hour of waking and retiring to bed. Starchy foods
 are foods that contain flour, potatoes, oats, rice, rye, and sweet corn. At the same time, continue with a healthy diet
with sufficient protein and lots of fruit and vegetables.

3 hourly starch diet rules:
1. Eat small starchy snacks every 3 hours during waking hours.
2. Eat a starchy snack within an hour of awakening from sleep.
3. Eat a starchy snack within an hour of going to bed.
4. Eat the starch diet throughout the menstrual cycle.
5. Maintain a healthy, varied, and nutritious diet.
The bottom line is that research has shown that PMS sufferers have problems going long intervals
 without food, especially during the premenstruum, which is the time from ovulation until you menstruate.
If they do go without food for long intervals they may get faint, excessively tired, panicky or irritable. They also
 tend to suffer from uncontrollable premenstrual food cravings and binges, especially when they have been dieting or
 not eating for long periods.

If you’re trying to curb the stress, anxiety, and tension in your life, then this diet is worth a try. It may be difficult
to start this diet initially, but as you begin the diet it will soon become routine and you will no longer have to keep
an eye on your watch. This diet is highly recommended and if you stick to it inshallah you will see a different in your
 PMS symptoms. It doesn’t hurt to try and the only money it will cost is the change in your shopping habits.
Lastly, keep in mind that Allah has created a cure for every disease except death and old age, so with the help of Allah,
you can be cured but you must be patient and try to find the remedies out there, and when one is pointed out to you
don’t procrastinate, especially if it doesn’t cost any money.

With Allah, comes all success.remenstrual syndrome is the name of a group of symptoms that start
 seven to 14 days before a  woman's period (menstruation). The symptoms usually stop soon after the period
 begins. If a woman  is going through menopause, a woman may have symptoms during and after the period as well.
Most women feel some discomfort before their periods. But if a woman has PMS, they may feel so
anxious, depressed or uncomfortable that they feel they can't cope at home or at work.