What really works for PMS
If you are reading this, you probably experience PMS symptoms either before or during your period, such as menstrual bloating, water retention, tiredness, irritability, depression or mood swings, breast tenderness, headaches/migraines and stomach cramps.
There are many theories as to why women suffer from PMS, including hormone and brain chemical changes, your weight, how much exercise you do, what you eat and drink and low levels of certain vitamins and minerals, which is why seeing a Nutritional Therapist or Integrated Medical Doctor might help. www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Premenstrual-syndrome/Pages/Causes.aspx
So, if any of the above applies to you, then it is very possible that your body’s ability to produce the right balance of hormones and to utilise these hormones properly each cycle will be seriously diminished.
As less than 30% of women (and men) eat the government’s recommended five-a-day of fruit and vegetables and less than half (45%) of women receive the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) of Zinc, which is involved in controlling hormone function and over 7 in 10 women are deficient in Magnesium, which is involved in muscle relaxation, it is likely that the above is contributing to your PMS on a monthly basis.
So, what to do?
As with most conditions, it is dietary changes and the addition of specific supplement combinations that is my favourite approach and one that I have seen work for many women.
So, what natural solutions really work? Follow a diet to promote optimal mineral and vitamin consumption and help support hormone function, including:
- Eating plenty of complex, unrefined carbohydrates, such as whole grains (oats, brown rice/pasta and whole grain bread).
- Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake.
- Increasing or adding oily fish, such as salmon to your diet as oily fish is the best way (unless you take a supplement) to obtain the essential omega-3 fats.
- Increase water and/or herbal teas, such as green tea, instead of coffee and tea.
- Decrease sugar and alcohol.
Last but not least, supplements: there are a number of supplements that have been shown to help reduce and relieve PMS symptoms. The best way to find out what you need is by getting a trained nutritional therapist to do a dietary evaluation, as they will be able to work out from your diet history which minerals or vitamins you may be lacking and/or undertake some biochemical testing.