How to Prevent PMS Naturally

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RN

PMS is an undeniable problem. It’s real, and it makes many women just plain miserable during that “time of the month.” Not to mention (in severe cases), it can affect work and even relationships.

So what’s a girl to do? For one, not suffer — especially when there are proven methods to ease premenstrual woes.

There are many different options to try, and we’ll dive into them below. Who knows? You may just end up feeling better.

What is PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome)?

A lot of women joke about having PMS, but do they really have it? If the following sounds familiar to you, then you probably do.

PMS happens 7 to 10 days before your period. You may experience food cravings, breast tenderness, swelling, weight gain, headache, cramps, bloating, joint pain, acne, irritability, fatigue, depression or anxiety.

The cause is not entirely known, but luckily there are treatments.

Balance Prostaglandins with Omega-3s

A series of changes takes place right before your period. Not only are your hormones fluctuating, so are other compounds in your body.

Prostaglandins (a type of fatty acid that exerts hormone-like effects) increase leading to many of the typical PMS symptoms (cramps, breast pain, headaches, digestive problems, and swelling). Certain prostaglandins are inflammatory in nature.

Omega-3s encourage the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins,1 easing PMS symptoms like cramps, breast tenderness, bloating, and headaches.2-3 So if you’re considering supplements, this is one you won’t want to forget.

PMS Symptoms Hate These Minerals

Calcium and magnesium work together to regulate many functions in your body. It’s no surprise they can help to alleviate PMS symptoms.

According to one study, among women taking calcium for three menstrual cycles, there was a 48% decrease in the total PMS-related symptom scores.4 Impressive, considering how much we take calcium for granted.

Magnesium doesn't fall behind calcium’s benefits. It’s been shown to prevent pre-menstrual migraines and alleviate fluid retention.5-6

Vitamin B6 for a Better Mood

We love all of the B vitamins, but one in particular takes the bite out of PMS: vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is a cofactor for the syntheses of different neurotransmitters. Scientists suspect neurotransmitter imbalances are at the root of pre-menstrual mood issues.

In a review of 9 different studies, up to 100 mg of vitamin B6 daily was shown to benefit PMS symptoms and PMS-related depression.7

Giving B6 some serious thought? Try pyridoxal-5-phosphate. It’s a form of B6 that is easily used by the human body.

Foods to Eat During PMS

This blog certainly wouldn't be complete without mentioning food.

Although we tend to crave foods loaded with saturated fats and sugar when “PMSing,” it’s best to cut these out. They can lead to inflammation which can make you feel worse in the long-run. Also, reduce the salt and caffeine in your diet. They can aggravate symptoms as well.

Your best bet is to eat an anti-inflammatory diet with fewer animal products and more fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

What About You?

Have we touched upon your favorite PMS remedy? If not, tell us in the comments below! For additional suggestions, please visit our PMS protocol.

References:

  1. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Mar;75(3):645-62.
  2. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1996 Apr;174(4):1335-8.
  3. Complement Ther Med. 2013 Jun;21(3):141-6.
  4. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Aug;179(2):444-52.
  5. Headache. 1991 May;31(5):298-301.
  6. J Womens Health. 1998 Nov;7(9):1157-65.
  7. BMJ. 1999 May 22;318(7195):1375–81.

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