As a Naturopathic Doctor, I get many questions from my clients about PMS and its symptoms.
Are there naturopathic solutions for PMS available? What can be done, naturally, to relieve it?
Many of us suffer, but the good news is that there are steps that can be taken without resorting to medication.
To help you understand what your body is experiencing and how to help it, have a read below.
What Is PMS?
PMS, or Premenstrual Syndrome, describes the varied symptoms that affect women in the week or two before their periods, occasionally lasting through their menstruation period itself.
Although only 1 in 20 women will experience severe symptoms, up to 75% of women report experiencing one or more of them.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
• Breast sensitivity
Many women also report food cravings and indigestion.
PMDD, or Premenstrual Dysmorphic Disorder, describes the more severe range of symptoms, which can be the same as above, but far more debilitating.
What Causes PMS?
Although it's likely connected with the cyclic monthly hormonal changes in women, we don't actually know exactly what causes PMS.
Changes in serotonin levels in the brain may be the cause of symptoms like fatigue and irritability or depression.
A review by Ryu and Kim talks of theories suggesting increased sensitivity to normal hormone changes and abnormalities in neurotransmitters may be connected, but thus far studies are inconclusive.
Dietary Solutions For PMS Symptoms
Just because we don't know exactly what causes PMS, though, doesn't mean we haven't developed treatments for it.
There are a number of dietary supplements which have been shown to help control PMS symptoms, a number of which we'll talk about below.
1. Eat These Foods
Food provides you with the ability to control your symptoms to a degree - you just need to know what their vitamins and minerals do.
To relieve cramping, try leafy green vegetables, which contain Magnesium.
Magnesium, in its various forms, is an excellent muscle relaxant and important for metabolizing estrogen.
For stomach aches, irritability and indigestion, be sure to consume enough fiber.
For pain and inflammation, find foods that are high in omega 3 fats, such as wild salmon or other fish, or flaxseed.
Flaxseed also does double duty by helping regulate estrogen.
In addition to these, try to consume lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. These have been shown to reduce severe PMS symptoms.
Avocados, in particular, have many of the benefits listed above, so feel free to indulge in that avocado toast.
2. Avoid These Foods
Just as food can help relieve symptoms, it can also exacerbate them, so try to avoid salt, sugar, and the 'bad fats,' such as trans- and hydrogenated-fat.
Try to also be mindful of your caffeine intake, which can worsen symptoms like irritability, depression and anxiety, as well as breast tenderness.
3. Chasteberry Herbal Supplements
Chasteberry is a fantastic natural supplement that is a great help in balancing estrogen and progesterone, the two most important hormones in regulating your monthly cycle.
Women who take chasteberry supplements report much less tender breasts during their menstrual cycles, and for many, less cramping and bloating.
It is considered that the combination of Chasteberry and St. John's Wort is quite successful in relieving the symptoms of depression and food cravings.
4. Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil contains Omega 6, which the body can't get through food sources, but needs.
Evening primrose oil can help reduce skin irritability, help with inflammation, bloating and cramping, and also breast pain.
However, if you take medication for seizures or blood pressure, or if you are on blood thinners, you should definitely speak with a naturopathic doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner before beginning.
5. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Bilboa has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine to improve memory and circulation.
Ginkgo extracts is known to have two powerful antioxidants, which slow down the effects of aging.
It is also well-known for improving mental and cognitive health.
Research suggests it targets and reduces many PMS symptoms, including mood swings, headaches, anxiety, fatigue and muscle pain.
Contact The Mindful Healing Clinic
Think back to your last period...what was your experience?
How painful was it, or how did impact your ability to go about your day, do your job or enjoy your family time?
If you're having trouble with your monthly cycle, there are naturopathic solutions available which may help ease your suffering.
To find out more about how naturopathic medicine can help you, contact me, Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, at the Mindful Healing Clinic here in Mississauga.
If it's your first time, I offer a FREE 15-minute consultation, where you'll get a chance to ask any questions you have about naturopathic medicine.
From there, I'll address any health concerns you have, and we can talk about some possible solutions for you.
I've helped many find relief from their PMS symptoms through naturopathic medicine.
Contact the Mindful Healing Clinic today, and find out naturopathic medicine may help you achieve PMS freedom.
Until next time,
Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, N.D
Dr. Maria Cavallazzi is a medical doctor from Colombia where she practiced as a family physician for 8 years until she moved to Canada 16 years ago.
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