Ok, so PMS... During the years I suffered from fibromyalgia, I always had trouble remembering if the P was for Pre or Post, because I never seemed to get PMS. I just felt worse than that all the time. Now that my health is improving, I notice. My major symptom is emotional, I get anxious, and as a result find it very hard to concentrate on difficult tasks (AKA the stuff I'm paid to do every day.) I think I may have a minor magnesium deficiency.
Wikipedia on the symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency: "Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include: hyperexcitability, dizziness, muscle cramps, muscle weakness and fatigue."
Boy, that sounds familiar. That pretty much described me to a T during the fibromyalgia years. I'm getting better on most of those fronts, weakness takes time to work out, and I'm not sure I'll ever know how to change the emotional patterns I have when encountered with a surprise.
Wikipedia on biological roles of Magnesium: "The symptoms of people with fibromyalgia, migraines, and premenstrual syndrome are less severe, and magnesium can shorten the length of the migraine symptoms."
Studies show that oral Magnesium helps PMS symptoms:
So what am I doing about it? First, I have a supply of calcium, magnesium and zinc pills. I'm supposed to take them three times a day all the time, as my lady doctor is concerned about calcium levels (based on my gender and statistics, not any testing) but I've never managed to make a habit of it. During PMS though, when I start to feel anxious, I do remember them. I'm not really sure if they help in the short term, I'm going to try to take them more regularly. Secondly, I eat dark chocolate. Yes, it's a stereotype, but Chocolate is a good source of Magnesium, and I accept it as wisdom of the generations of women before me. I'm not a huge chocolate fan, but I'm definitely more interested during PMS than other times. I don't know if my increased interest is really strong enough to call it craving, but between episodes I can leave good chocolate in my cupboard untouched and not care, and suddenly remember it and consider it a worthy snack during PMS. Thirdly, I'm eating more fruit during this time. The carbohydrates help elevate Serotonin levels, and fruit has a lot of micro-nutrients in it, unlike the potato, rice, grain carb alternatives.