Many women call their monthly period ‘the curse’. The men in their lives may use that name for the time period leading up to the monthly flow. It is enough to make both of them long for the day ‘the change’ happens.
Pre Menstrual Syndrome or PMS has long been linked to the ebb and flow of hormones common to the menstrual cycle. Not every woman experiences it, and those that do don’t always experience it in the same way. Some women get very emotional, think bi-polar on steroids. They alternate between screaming and crying over the least little thing. Some women endure weight gain and bloating, that subsides as the flow begins. Others may not have any warning other than a vague discomfort that resolves to real cramping as things get started. No matter what the symptoms it is all lumped under the heading PMS if it occurs any time up to ten days before the period begins.
There have been a few things that have been shown to help. A lot of them can be considered lifestyle choices that improve overall health, while others are targeted directly to the symptoms.
- Eat a good quality protein. Up to a half a gram of protein per pound of body weight is what is recommended. Make sure it is good quality. Conventionally grown animal proteins contain hormones that can make matters worse.
- Avoid soy. All un-fermented soy contains phytoestrogens which it was thought would replace or push out the natural estrogen. In fact the phytoestrogens mimic real estrogen, making the symptoms worse.
- Detox. The only way to remove unwanted toxins and hormones from the body is to naturally detoxify the body. A week before each period is the perfect time to do a monthly detox.
- Avoid aluminum. This can be found in cooking utensils and storage as well as in antiperspirants. Not only does this increase the effect of estrogen on the system, but has also been strongly linked to Alzheimer’s.
- Load up on B Vitamins.
- Make sure you are taking a good probiotic and eating fermented foods. This does not include sweetened yogurt. The sugar overrides the benefits of the good bacteria.
- Supplement with Magnesium. Oral magnesium supplements can cause cramping and bowel problems, so this time of month reach for the topical magnesium supplements.
- Get some sunshine, or at least supplement with Vitamin D.
- Get some Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Cut out vegetable oils. Instead reach for a healthy dose of coconut oil.
- Get some all natural gelatin. Gelatin (not jello) is full of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, these help balance the hormones.
- Avoid toxins found in plastics, household cleaners, and pesticides. These disrupt the hormone levels.
- Cut back on caffeine.
- Get the right amount of sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause symptoms similar to PMS.
- Get some exercise, it doesn’t have to be strenuous.
- Avoid foods like high fructose corn syrup, simple carbs (white bread, white rice, white sugar), and high quantities of grains. These cause leptin resistance which leads to snacking and weight gain.
- Try some herbs. Some that have been found to be helpful are evening primrose oil, Chinese angelica, also known as dang quai or dong quai, and chasteberry.
PMS is a common occurrence among women. It is not something to be feared. It is something that indicates there is something out of balance in the body. You do not have to endure it. There are ways to make it better.