It probably comes as no surprise that approximately 48% females suffer from premenstrual syndrome at some point of their life. Needless to say that for most of these women, the torture is tedious and repetitive; month after month.
Premenstrual syndrome is characterized by wide array of symptoms that include; breast tenderness, mood swings, bloating, food cravings, irritability (or even depression) and fatigue. Most of you would agree that moderate to severe PMS can significantly alter the quality of your life and personal, social and professional relationships.
What Causes PMS?
A lot of women that I come across in my clinical practice believe that PMS is a physiological or natural phenomenon, something to just grin and bear every month. Indeed it is; but it doesn’t mean that every woman should give in and not look for viable, practical and holistic solutions. In fact it is not necessary that you should go through these gnawing symptoms every month.
It is very important to understand the potential causes of PMS in order to really understand what’s going on in your body. Most common factors are:
- Unbalanced hormones: Hormones as well as neurotransmitters have a very strong impact on mood, behavior and sleep. For example, low levels of serotonin (an important neurotransmitter that is produced in the brain and gut and that is responsible for our mood and happiness) is thought to play a vital role in the prevalence of mood swings and depression during PMS.
- Long-standing stress: Stress and a too busy lifestyle can also alter the biochemical environment of the body; thereby making it more susceptible to hormonal changes during an otherwise normal menstrual cycle.
- Nutritional Deficiencies: A lot of women who have nutritional deficiencies (especially magnesium and calcium deficiency) report more severe PMS symptoms.
- Liver health: Impaired liver health or long standing metabolic conditions can also affect the serum levels of different hormones to produce or worsen the premenstrual syndrome (and menopause!!)
Why choose holistic protocols over conventional treatments?
Holistic and natural protocols are highly effective in restoring natural hormonal balance. This is mainly because; unlike conventional regimens (such as over-the-counter pain killers or prescription hormone supplements); holistic nutritionists thoroughly evaluate your diet, lifestyle and quality of living to identify the potential risk factors or triggers.
For example; some strategies include:
- Nutritional and herbal supplements: This includes Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium, Evening primrose oil, Omega-3 fatty acids, dandelion root, iron etc.
- Diet modifications: Diet rich in calcium (up to 1300 mg/ day) helps in reducing mood swings, sleep dysfunction and bloating. Additionally, identification and avoidance of key triggers also helped most of my clients in achieving better health. Most common triggers include caffeine, alcohol, sugar, refined carbs, dairy etc.
- Foods high in calcium include – sesame seeds (tahini), collard greens, spinach, organic tofu, sardines, scallops and dairy.
- Alternative therapies: According to a new study, acupuncture is helpful in reducing the symptoms of PMS in 78% females. Likewise homeopathy and massage therapy also yield promising results in some individuals.
- Being in a Yin Space: Often women are rushing, competing, keeping up and doing everything. This puts us in a masculine (yang) space. When you start feeling symptoms coming on, try to incorporate more feminine practices such as nurturing yourself whichever way that is for you, pampering yourself, sleeping more, and being with other supportive women.
It’s important to understand that you as an individual have unique metabolism, biochemical characteristics and response to dietary/ environmental triggers and therefore most conventional or main-stream therapies are not effective for long term relief.
If you would like to explore natural solutions for PMS , please book in a free 15 minute consultation at the clinic by calling 416 792 4400