Like about 90% of women in the United States, the chances are good the you’ve had some type of of symptom of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) at some point in your life. The symptoms of PMS usually starts rearing its head a couple of days to a week before you start your period and include things like:
- Mood swings
- Abdominal cramps
- Breast tenderness
- Food cravings
- Feeling tired
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
It is good to remember that we are all different theses symptoms are what most women have in common. But it’s safe to that if you experience one or more of these symptoms every month around your period, it is probably PMS.
8 NATURAL WAYS TO TREAT PMS
1. Improve Digestive Regularity
One way in which excess estrogen is flushed from the body is through the bowels. This is one of the reasons why we often have digestive issues around that time of the month, feeling bloated and suffering from constipation.
Normally this is just a bit of an inconvenience, but when our digestive system is sluggish, the extra estrogen that your liver excretes can be reabsorbed into the bloodstream via the intestinal tract. And when this happens in can make our symptoms worse.
You can help your digestive system along and support excess estrogen elimination by:
- Increase your fibre intake: Don’t be afraid to pile on extra veggies and fruit with every meal
- Drink more water: Not only will drinking more water help to support your digestive tract but it will also help to accommodate the extra fibre you are getting
- Take a shot of apple cider vinegar (ACV) before meals: ACV support gut bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria which are essential to digestive health while helping to reduce symptoms of the gastrointestinal discomfort
- Considering adding magnesium to your stack
- Try to add prebiotic fibers and resistant starch to help microbiome support
- If all else fails, have a functional medicine doctor evaluate your stomach acid production
2. Take Omega-3 Fatty Acids
There is a good body of evidence showing that by adding omega-3 fatty acids from quality food sources such as organic or wild salmon and flax seeds can help reduce many of the common symptoms of PMS. PMS symptoms which seem to respond well to omega-3’s include:
- Concentration and lack of focus
- Breast tenderness
- Acne and breakouts
Scientists also believe that the longer and more regularly you supplement your diet with omega-3’s the better symptoms manage becomes. Therefore, if you want to see real benefits, make sure the you include this fatty acid consistently as part of your long-term PMS treatment plan.
3. Take Extra Magnesium
Unfortunately, because of industrial scale farming, monoculture and soil depletion, many of our fruits and vegetables don’t contain as much magnesium as they should causing many of us to be deficient in this essential mineral.
Magnesium plays a vital role in the way our cells function and a good supply of magnesium not only supports our over all health, but also the hormones which affect menstruation and PMS.
Scientists found that women who had lower magnesium concentration in their blood, also experience symptoms of PMS. On the other hand, women with sufficient magnesium did not. Similarly, researchers found that magnesium has the ability to not only reduce PMS symptoms in general but is especially good at helping control mood swings. And for women who suffer from menstrual migraines, supplementing with magnesium can greatly reduce both the frequency and severity of menstrual migraines.
4. Add B Vitamins
Certain B vitamins have shown to reduce PMS symptoms. Research has shown that taking vitamins B1 (thiamine) and B2 (riboflavin) preventatively can help reduce the risk of PMS. In addition, taking up to 100mg of vitamin B6 per day specifically can help reduce symptoms.
5. Supplement with Calcium D-glucarate
With all the daily exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals like xenoestrogens and other estrogen-mimicking chemicals contained in plastics, chemicals, and fragrances to name but a few, we are much more likely to develop estrogen dominance than our grandmothers did.
Estrogen dominance is responsible for a long list of issues including PMS, mood swings, infertility and other types of health problems in women. Supplementing with CDG during ovulation and a few days after when your estrogen levels are at their highest, can help reduce the symptoms of PMS.
Research shows that a calcium salt of D-glucaric acid called calcium D-glucarate (CDG) can be just as effective as Tamoxifen – a selective estrogen receptor modulator often prescribed for estrogen dominance – in the treatment of excess estrogen. CDG is naturally produced by our bodies and helps detox the liver by metabolising into its active form glucaric acid which helps flush out excess estrogen through your urine. One study even concluded that CDG reduce the number of estrogen receptors by 48% while lowering estrogen serum levels by 23% percent in rats.
6. Meditation & Mindfulness
The list of benefits from practicing meditation and mindfulness is a long one with laboratory studies showing measurable changes in the structure of the brain which help us to feel healthier, happier and more in control.
Most importantly, meditation and mindfulness helps to reduce stress hormones which can help us control our the mood swings that is so often part of PMS. But research also shows that mindfulness as well as meditation can reduce the overall severity of PMS symptoms.
To reap the most benefits from meditation and mindfulness, enjoy your practice every day – not only when you start feeling crabby or when you have your period.
7. Gentle exercise
During your period you might not have the energy or the inclination for a high-intensity workout but it’s important to keep your circulation going. Movement also helps elevate your mood and help you destress, both of which will help reduce symptoms of PMS. Gentle exercise also helps support your digestive system and reduce cramping.
Try taking a brisk walk outside or do some stretching or yoga to get the endorphins going and reduce your PMS.
8. Avoid Stress
Researchers have found that stress can significantly increase the severity of PMS symptoms and they believe that it is because both PMS and stress are hormonal processes.
Unfortunately stress is a part of everyday life and in some cases there isn’t much you can do about it. But if you know that a stressful situation is coming up, try to avoid it or put coping strategies in place which will at the very least reduce your stress levels.
Also try to have a few stress management tools in your arsenal so that you can work through stressful situations as they come up. Meditation and exercise are great at reducing stress but breathing exercises, mindfulness and connecting with others are also good on-the-spot stress reducers.
DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult with a physician if you have a serious medical condition or use prescription medications. A doctor’s advice should always be sought before before embarking on any new treatment.