Do you feel like once per month, a stranger who is angrier, more emotional, and more irrational than you hijacks your body? Not only that, you have a bloated stomach, swollen and sore breasts, and are craving sugar?
This describes PMS, and it affects up to 75% of menstruating women.
PMS symptoms are common, but they are not normal. They are warning signs that something is off with our endocrine system. Women have been conditioned to accept PMS as part of our monthly experience, but PMS symptoms can be treated, reduced, and eliminated with the right foods and lifestyle strategies at the right times of our cycle. I recommend functional lab testing to determine your individual hormone levels and imbalances. Generally, PMS is most commonly caused by too much estrogen and too little progesterone. This can easily happen in the modern world due to micronutrient deficiencies, chemical exposures, and high stress.
To address the root cause of PMS and get rid of it, you want to look at lifestyle factors and provide the body with key micronutrients that help produce adequate amounts of the right hormones at the right times.
Here are the top micronutrients for preventing PMS:
- Vitamin B6 – B6 helps your body produce more progesterone and combat estrogen dominance.
- Magnesium – Stressful and busy on-the-go lifestyles is causing more than 80% of the population to be deficient in magnesium. Magnesium helps balance the menstrual cycle, eases bloating, encourages good sleep, and alleviates anxiety.
- Calcium - Helps with mood swings, fatigue, headaches, and pre-menstrual break-outs
- Vitamin C and Alpha Lipoic Acid - Help the liver break down excess estrogen
- Vitamin E - Helps with pre-menstrual breast tenderness and protects breast tissue from inflammation.
- Probiotics - Healthy gut bacteria and the estrobolome help metabolize estrogen
- Omega 3s and Vitamin D3 - Help increase the essential fatty acids and D3 levels needed for healthy hormone production, preventing estrogen dominance, mood stabilization, and reducing cramps.
Here are the top lifestyle strategies for relieving symptoms of PMS:
- Move Your Body - Exercise has been linked to the improvement of many hormonal issues such as PCOS and estrogen dominance. Exercise stimulates the release of certain feel good hormones and endorphins which naturally improve your mood. However, too much exercise can lead to high cortisol levels. Think about Goldilocks when it comes to exercise. Not too much, but not too little. It can often feel difficult to exercise with PMS if you're cramping and in pain, but even a gentle walk, stretching, or restorative yoga can help to relieve the discomfort and other symptoms associated with PMS.
- Eat Anti-inflammatory Foods - It has been shown that women who consume high amounts of plant foods experience less PMS. The high fiber from fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds will help balance blood sugar levels to assist with mood balance, and help clear excess estrogen. Anti-inflammatory foods that supply omega 3 fatty acids such as wild salmon and flaxseeds also help the body make prostaglandins which naturally help relieve cramps.
- Use Natural Herbs - There are many herbs which have traditionally been used to assist with PMS. Maca, chasteberry, red raspberry leaf, burdock, and ginkgo are my personal favourites and most commonly used. However, always look at any precautions or interactions because some herbs can interfere with the effect of medications.
- Clean Green - There are many toxic chemicals in plastics, pesticides, household cleaning products, and self-care products that are hormone disruptors. Prolonged exposure to certain chemicals can interfere with the function and regulation of our hormones. This is why I love essential oils to create powerful homemade cleaners and beauty products free of toxic chemicals.
- Use Essential Oils - Clary sage, lavender, cypress, peppermint, and ylang ylang essential oils can all relieve many symptoms associated with PMS. My favourite is a roll-on blend by doTERRA called Clary Calm. Rolling it on to the abdomen works like magic to help get rid of cramps and encourage hormone balance.
- Get Deep Sleep - Research has shown that lack of sleep and increased stress can worsen symptoms of PMS. The body does most of its healing and balancing when we sleep. Reducing exposure to artificial blue light in the evening, going to bed earlier and getting quality deep sleep (this means not waking up throughout the night) does wonders for balancing our hormones and is completely free.
Now I’d love to hear from you. Do you experience PMS? Have you tried any of these foods or lifestyle tips to help? What was your experience? Share and let me know!
If you'd like support getting started with balancing your hormones and getting rid of PMS naturally, I encourage you to schedule a free consultation with me here. You can also get a FREE copy of my 7-Day Hormone Detox Guide here.