A staggering 80% of women suffer every month with premenstrual symptoms, ranging from breast tenderness, weight gain and mood swings, to cravings, irritability and lack of energy. For 30 – 40% of these women, PMS symptoms can be so debilitating that they interfere with normal daily function.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is the umbrella term, describing a group of 150+ physical and psychological symptoms, which can occur between ovulation and the start of a woman’s menstrual period; often only subsiding a few days into the period.

PMS differs from one woman to another, and ranges from mild, to a severe form known as pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Symptoms vary in type, amount and duration too, lasting anything from a few days, to over a couple of weeks in extreme cases.

Whilst it is a complex health problem with a range of possible underlying causes, PMS isn’t something that you just need to live with; it is completely possible to feel calm, balanced and symptom-free throughout your monthly cycle.

Over the past 12 years, I have found the following treatments to be very effective with relief experienced in as little as two menstrual cycles.

PMS 5 Step plan

  1. Deal With Stress – Identify any significant stressors in your life. If these situations cannot be resolved then Homeopathic treatment can help you to manage and cope more easily.
  2. Increase Dietary Fibre – Increase crushed flaxseeds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, wholegrains such as oats and rye, beans, lentils and chickpeas.
  3. Reduce Sugar, Caffeine & Alcohol – Whilst it may seem a step too far to completely eliminate these from your diet, aim to at least reduce your intake by half if you want to get on top of PMS symptoms. Research has shown that the higher the level of sugar in a woman’s diet, the more severe her pre-menstrual symptoms will be. Caffeine is a stimulant that may exacerbate PMS symptoms by contributing to the roller coaster of mood swings and sugar cravings. Alcohol takes its toll on the liver; affecting its’ ability to effectively detoxify hormones that are no longer needed (such as oestrogen) and can also cause blood sugar fluctuations, which are bad news for PMS.
  4. Eat regularly – Eat 3 distinct meals daily. Choose wholefoods cooked from scratch with adequate protein to support blood sugar balance.
  5. Supplement Magnesium, B Vitamins & Myo-Inositol – 
    Magnesium is often referred to as nature’s tranquiliser, due to its calming, soothing effects and impact on restful sleep, and is arguably the most crucial nutrient when it comes to PMS. Women with PMS have been shown to have low red blood cell magnesium compared to women without symptoms. A number of studies have also shown that magnesium supplements help with premenstrual symptoms, especially anxiety, tension and headaches. B Vitamins are crucial for hormone balance, especially vitamin B6, which works closely with magnesium and plays an important role in making brain chemicals, which influence mood and behaviour. Myo-inositol is a naturally occurring, nutrient-like substance that has been studied in a variety of mood and behavioural disorders. A recent study in women with pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) found that supplementation with 2g myo-inositol daily was able to significantly reduce symptoms.
    Myo-inosotol is also key at managing blood sugar balance with PCOS.

To fully understand the correct dosage of vitamins and minerals, and which formulations work best with your individual circumstance, it is always ideal to seek professional advice.

 

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