No woman should have to live with PMS every month. It’s debilitating, negatively impacts our relationships with others and reduces our quality of life. We find so many women just accept that they will feel physically, mentally and emotionally unwell for a week or more every month.
When it comes to PMS there are a number of strategies we work on as naturopaths and nutritionists that don’t involve going on the oral contraceptive pill to treat PMS.
Estrogen and progesterone don’t cause PMS per say. They play important and beneficial roles in the body. Estrogen helps balance our mood as it boosts serotonin and oxytocin & it helps the hippocampus in our brain grow in size too. Progesterone soothes and calms our mood by having a GABAnergic effect. This happens because it’s connected to release of a neurosteroid called allopregnanalone.
When treating PMS we want to do the following:
- Support GABA production
We do this by reducing stress with practices like yoga, meditation, walking and focused self care. We use nutrients like magnesium to reduce glutamate production and vitamin B6 to promote the production of more GABA.
- Work on increasing progesterone production to keep ovarian follicles happy
We do this with more zinc, selenium and iodine rich foods in the diet and in some cases by supplementing these minerals too. There are also herbs we love for raising progesterone like Chaste Tree, but remember you should never self prescribe as these treatments are not suitable for everybody.
- Reduce relative estrogen excess
When we test and identify that your body is having trouble metabolising (detoxing) the estrogen you are making and it’s recirculating, that is going to contribute to feelings of PMS. If we know this is happening then we need to assist the liver in detoxification of hormones with foods and supplements.
- Reduce inflammation
Inflammation is almost always a part of the PMS picture and we want our clients to focus on eating an anti-inflammatory diet. This almost always means low sugar, avoiding cows dairy (a big one for period problems) and gluten for some women.
- Consider histamine intolerance
We know estrogen stimulates mast cells to make more histamine and histamine stimulates the ovaries to make more estrogen so we tend to see a vicious cycle of more histamine leading to more estrogen being produced and so on and on.
If your PMS looks like headaches, insomnia, anxiety and brain fog then this needs to be investigated.
Always work with a practitioner on this stuff. The Radius practitioner team are well equipped to help you or a loved one get those hormones balanced. Feel Free to contact us today!