26 Jan 2016
HOW TO BE PMS FREE BY MONTH END
26 Jan 2016
By Kelsey Duncan, Naturopathic Intern
I’m not sure where down the line women started accepting and living with PMS symptoms. Our bodies naturally shed a uterine lining each month in preparation for pregnancy, however, this does NOT need to come hand in hand with breast soreness, irritability, depression, water retention, cramping or any other ailment that plagues you the week before your period.
PMS is defined by recurring physical and mental symptoms during the second half of your cycle, which are resolved 1-3 days into your period. There are many theories as to why this happens to some women and not others, including the most likely cause of hormonal imbalance. The tricky balance between estrogen and progesterone regulates our menstrual cycle, and if either of these is out of whack, women can experience a slew of issues.
There are 4 main categories of PMS broken down by main symptom and likely cause. These categories are not cut and dry but more of a sliding scale, it’s likely women find themselves fitting into 1 or 2 categories, or even all 4. This is because we all experience our hormonal fluctuations differently than others – and why treating the root cause as opposed to the symptoms is so important.
So you find yourself in multiple categories, now what? Below are my top 4 tips to balance your hormones and live PMS-free.
#1: Optimize your diet
That’s a loaded statement – what does optimizing your diet mean? For your hormones it means:
Frequent, smaller meals to stabilize your blood sugar
Avoid simple sugars and make sure your carbohydrates are of the complex variety
Reduce salt and alcohol intake (tip: avoiding pre-packaged or fast food will greatly reduce your salt intake)
Limit animal protein to reduce exogenous estrogen exposure; when eating meat try to source local organic options or hormone-free.
Eat your veggies! Increasing fiber to ensure healthy bowel movements and enjoy lots of brassica veggies to improve estrogen detoxification
#2: Stress management is key
There is a strong connect between poor stress management and hormonal imbalance. When stress is continuously high, our bodies pump out cortisol as fast and hard as it can. When our adrenals can no longer keep up with the demand for cortisol, it begins stealing our sex hormones for the use of cortisol production. Doing things like exercising, meditation, yoga, or simply deep breathing exercises can offer your body the time it needs to de-stress.
#3: Get your B Vitamins
The B vitamins are so vital to proper hormone production, and depletion can be a main cause of hormonal imbalance and PMS symptoms. The various B vitamins are vital for cortisol regulation, sex hormone production, and neurotransmitter function – all of which are processes crucial to living PMS-free. Women who were or are on the oral contraceptive pill have a greater incidence of being deficient in B Vitamins, especially B6, B12 and folate.
#4: Correct your magnesium deficiency
Magnesium is another important nutrient in our lives, which we tend to be deficient in due to poor soil quality. Magnesium deficiency may lead to a greater incidence of bloating and fluid retention and cramping. It also helps cortisol regulation and progesterone production.
Convinced you can live PMS-free? Start a menstrual journal to see where in your cycle your symptoms are the worst and bring this info to your ND. Book an appointment today at Natural Choice Medical Clinic to get started on balancing your hormones and enjoy every week of the month.
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