Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the brunt of many terrible jokes, yet this syndrome can be devastating to the sufferer and her family. The symptoms of PMS affect between 50 percent and 70 percent of women, leading to the mistaken belief that it is normal. Symptoms can occur at different times and at different intensities throughout the cycle, but typically appear seven to fourteen days before menstruation. I am continually amazed at how many women think that PMS and terrible periods are an inevitable part of being female, even though PMS is not normal.
Symptoms of PMS range from swollen and tender breasts, altered sex drive and uterine cramps to bloating, constipation and diarrhea, with a change in appetite and cravings for carbohydrates and other foods. Other symptoms include backaches, water retention, fatigue and insomnia, heart palpitations, dizziness, headaches and migraines, skin problems, herpes and other signs of reduced immunity. Most people associate PMS with moodiness, anxiety, irritability or depression. One of the hallmark symptoms is angry outbursts that are difficult for the sufferer to control, hence PMS’s’ categorization as a psychiatric condition or hysteria.
PMS is linked to liver and bowel congestion, poor diet and lack of exercise. Hormonal imbalances are also a factor and may involve estrogen excess; an excess or deficiency in progesterone; thyroid imbalances; high levels of aldosterone, an adrenal hormone that can cause muscle spasms; and prolactin excess. Some research suggests that increased estrogen is associated with decreased serotonin, the “feel good” hormone. Serotonin helps regulate mood, and a deficiency is linked to depression.
Deficiencies or excess prostaglandins can also lead to PMS symptoms. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that regulate a range of physiological responses, including inflammation and muscle contraction, along with some reproductive functions.
Deficiencies in nutrients such as magnesium, vitamins A and E and B-complex, particularly B6, can also be a factor in PMS. Those with PMS often eat more refined sugars, carbohydrates, salt and dairy products. Vegetarian women tend to experience less PMS, suggesting a link with meat and dairy consumption (they contain high levels of xenoestrogens). Women who suffer from PMS also tend to have low levels of gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and other essential fats.
||2-4 capsules daily
||Important for healthy metabolism of estrogen; supports normal cell growth
Prevents abnormal cell growth; detoxifies toxic forms of estrogen
Normalizes the estrogen-to-progesterone ratios, helping to reduce PMS symptoms
||6 caps or 2 packets daily
||Ensures adequate nutrient status
||1 scoop daily
||Helps management of PMS symptoms
||3 capsules daily
||Helps control inflammatory prostaglandins, and reduces breast tenderness
B vitamins are essential for treating PMS, along with a foundation of good nutrients
||100-200 mg three times daily at breakfast, supper and bedtime
Enhances serotonin (the "feel good" hormone); improves mood; calms anxiety and nervousness, helps mild depression; improves sleep
||2 capsules daily
||Specifically for those who experience extreme PMS with psychological symptoms, or PMDD
Health Tips To Enhance Healing
- See Endometriosis, Breast Health and Menopause health tips.
- Peri-menopause and menopause can be a time when women experience the most severe PMS symptoms.
- Have your thyroid checked. Low thyroid hormone levels create severe PMS symptoms.
- Eliminate all xenoestrogens from the diet and home.
- Cut back on caffeine from all sources (chocolate, soda pop, coffee and black tea). Drink herbal tea.
- A high-fiber diet with plenty of organic fruits and vegetables helps to eliminate excess estrogen.
- Eat only organic meats and eliminate dairy from the diet. Both
contain high amounts of xenoestrogens.
- Meditation, exercise and acupuncture are techniques that help reduce the symptoms of PMS. Love yourself. Get plenty of rest. You do not have to be the “super” mom, wife and employee.