I sometimes curse being born a woman. No two days of the month are the same for us! We have ups, we have downs, we have days where we could conquer the world and we have the dreaded premenstrual syndrome or PMS.
It is, of course, all worth it as we have been blessed with the ultimate creating ability, which is to carry babies.
So how can you reduce your PMS symptoms and stop writing off 4 to 5 days a month?
- SLEEP. I can never say it enough, but sleep is the biggest healer. Sleep regulates hormones, mood and lack of sleep will always worsen health struggles. I regularly take an essential amino-acid called L-Tryptophan which helps with sleep function, mood, immune system, circulation, nervous system, and digestion.
- Magnesium citrate or glycinate. A deficiency in magnesium has been shown to increase PMS symptoms. Around that time of the month, many women suffer from constipation due to the rise in estrogen. Magnesium citrate powder has a mild laxative effect, so this side effect can be beneficial too.
- Evening Primrose Oil has been shown to help balance our hormones. Taking it regularly can help PMS.
- Fish oils, DHA in particular. Omega 3s decrease inflammation in the body and DHA is beneficial for hormones. A study has shown that women in Japan tend to store less fat thanks to the higher levels of DHA in their bodies due to their high fish consumption. If you are looking to try for babies, DHA helps with the development of the brain and eyes in fetuses.
- Decrease your consumption of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and increase your intake of water to fight off water retention. Increase your intake of green leafy vegetables such as spinach and swiss chard. They are loaded with magnesium. The fiber in these vegetables also helps move excess estrogen through the intestinal tract. Estrogen dominance during the luteal phase is often a cause of PMS symptoms
- Increase your consumption of good carbs. The reason why you crave sugary foods is that they raise your insulin levels which in turn raise serotonin levels and lift the mood. Have some good carbs like ripe bananas, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. Check out my basic good carbs soup recipe in the eat section.
- Exercise. Take it easy on your body and do walks, gentle sessions of stretching/yoga/pilates exercises at home rather than strenuous classes.
- If despite all the above your PMS symptoms continue, acupuncture can be very helpful.
- Be kind to yourself. I find that I tend to be hard on myself, like many of my girlfriends. We want to be amazing at all times, be the best mothers, friends, look good, be in a good mood, exercise regularly, etc. But that isn’t realistic and it is important to treat ourselves like we would treat a friend. With kindness, support, and understanding.
I hope you found this helpful. Do not hesitate to drop me a note if you have any questions!