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PMS: A Normal Part of Womanhood?

Updated: Dec 15, 2019


Are you all too familiar with the unpleasant symptoms leading up to your period?


Well you’re not alone!


PMS can manifest itself differently in each individual but usually consists of symptoms such as bloating, irritability, fatigue, acne, headaches, mood swings, breast tenderness, clumsiness and lowered libido (1).


But that’s normal right? Isn’t that just the territory that comes with being a female and having a period?


The answer is NO. Absolutely not. The bottom line is menstruation does not have to equal suffering. Through simple diet and lifestyle changes and nutrient supplementation, PMS can be properly managed and you can get back to living your most vibrant life.




So why am I struggling with PMS?

Maybe you have been told it’s all normal, just part of being a woman. Maybe you’ve been put on the pill to “mask” the symptoms of PMS but in return suffered from all the unwanted symptoms of “the pill”. You have probably searched for answers and have tried every tip or trick out there but in the end Ibuprofen became the only source of some relief.


The real reason why you are suffering from these symptoms is due to hormonal imbalance, not enough Progesterone leading to Estrogen dominance (2). These unpleasant symptoms are actually your endocrine system’s way of letting you know that something isn’t quite right. If not properly addressed, hormonal imbalances can lead to serious health issues such as uterine and breast cancer, heart disease and stroke(3). This is why it is so important to address the root cause of PMS, rather than just simply masking the symptoms temporarily.


Through the proper execution of diet and lifestyle strategies, you can restore hormonal balance and health.


Some of the most effective strategies to combat PMS

To alleviate symptoms of PMS, it is necessary to obtain adequate amounts of the essential vitamins and minerals for proper hormone production. These nutrients include:


● Magnesium

● Vitamin B6

● Zinc

● Omega-3 fatty acids

● Vitamin D3

● Calcium

● Antioxidants


Some foods are beneficial in the proper metabolism of estrogen, balancing blood sugar and hormones and in replenishing nutrients lost in bleeding (5). Some of these foods include:


● Broccoli (The real MVP in my opinion)

● Root vegetables

● Complex carbs

● Iron rich foods

● Fibrous vegetables


Avoidance of some foods can also help to alleviate PMS (5). Such foods include:


● Avoid / limit alcohol

● Limit caffeine consumption- opt for an alternative such as herbal tea, especially in the higher hormone phases of your cycle.

● Avoid / reduce processed and refined foods and sugar

● Reduce intake of table salt- make the switch to unrefined sea salts

● Identify and avoid any food sensitivities or allergies



Lifestyle and exercise changes can also make a big difference in PMS related symptoms. These changes may look like:


● Engaging in lower intensity exercises, such as yoga, during the days leading up to your period

● Taking time for proper rest and recovery

● Making stretching a priority

● Incorporating meditation and self-reflection exercises into your daily routine

● Practicing self-care and learning to say “no” to invitations on the days you are experiencing lower energy and fatigue

● Achieving and maintaining a proper weight

Through properly addressing the root causes of PMS, you can correct the underlying hormonal imbalances and get back to being the best version of yourself. When we take the time to work with our body, we can achieve optimal health, happiness and performance and avoid all those unpleasant symptoms.



Sources

1- Winer, S. A., Rapkin, A. J. (2006). Premenstrual disorders: prevalence, etiology and impact. Journal of Reproductive Medicine; 51(4 Suppl):339-347

2- Vitti, A. (2018, November 07). The One Reason You Get PMS Every Month. Retrieved from https://www.floliving.com/the-one-reason-you-get-pms/

3- Kingston, H. (2019, July 15). How to Naturally increase your progesterone levels without pills and supplements. Retrieved from https://www.letsgetchecked.com/articles/naturally-increase-low-progesterone-levels/

4- Kos, K. (2018, January 12). PMS: A magnesium deficiency. Retrieved from https://www.ancient-minerals.com/pms-magnesium-deficiency/

5- Bradley, L. (2014, October 14). 11 Diet changes that help you fight PMS. Retrieved from

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/11-diet-changes-that-help-you-fight-pms/

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