Did you know that according to latest statistics, more than 150 (!!) PMS symptoms can strike the week before your period?
I should be happy, I guess, that I don’t get all of them.
But I definitely know that my period is coming when:
- Everyone around me (except me of course) has an attitude problem.
- I’m adding chocolate chips to my breakfast.
- My heating pad (for the cramps) is burnt out and I bought it yesterday.
- I’m not bloated! The dryer has shrunk my favorite jeans.
As you see, I’m trying to keep a sense of humour about my PMS, but that’s probably because it’s not that time of the month.
Dear PMS, Why Me?
No matter what the average man will claim, not all women suffer from PMS symptoms (headaches, cramps, mood swings, depression, fatigue bloating, irritability, food cravings, nausea and vomiting and more stuff that makes you look forward to menopause).
These symptoms can be influenced by genetics, nutrition and stress, but they are largely controlled by hormonal imbalance.
Women who have a proper balance experience little to no discomfort before their period.
For those of us with no such luck, improving the estrogen-progesterone balance naturally is the best way to send PMS packing.
Do Natural Remedies for PMS Work?
I was delighted to discover, in the weeks of research I’ve put into this, that just a few dietary and lifestyle changes can go a long way in reducing PMS symptoms – Without any medication.
I can’t promise that these remedies will work for everyone but combining a few of them is almost guaranteed to make a noticeable change.
PMS Busting Nutrition
1. Don’t eat fats like Vegetable oil, peanut oil, canola oil, soybean oil, margarine, shortening or other chemically altered fats. Instead, Choose healthy fats like coconut oil, real butter, olive oil (don’t heat!) and animal fats (tallow, lard) from healthy sources, and eat lots of high Omega-3 fish. (Source)
2. Coconut Oil is a surprising natural remedy for PMS. It provides the necessary building blocks for hormone production and it has dozens of other benefits, such as weight loss, inflammation reduction and even antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
You can start with 1/8 cup of coconut oil a day. Add it to your coffee or tea, it tastes great. This is a high quality raw coconut oil.
3. Try to avoid inflammatory foods, such as dairy, meat and grains – As much as you can. I have two close friends who solved their hormonal imbalance with a grain-and-dairy-free diet.
PMS Busting Supplements
1. Magnesium can greatly help with both PMS symptoms and menstrual cramping. Magnesium supports hundreds of reactions in the body and often contributes to better sleep (which is essential for hormonal balance!).
2. Fermented Cod Liver Oil – It has many of the building blocks for hormone production and a great source for Omega 3s and beneficial fats. This is the one me and my family uses.
3. Vitamin D – The sun is the ultimate Vitamin D source, but if you can always take a natural D3 supplement. Make sure it says “D3” because “D2” is not natural and may do more harm than good. Also, if you take high doses (2000 units and up) you should add Vitamin K.
4. Chaste berry (Vitex agnus-castus) has gained the most traction with scientists for easing PMS-related breast pain. Another small study showed that Chaste Berry, combined with St. Johns’ Wort, lowered levels of depression, anxiety, and food cravings. (Source)
5. Maca– A tuber in the radish family that has a history of boosting hormone production and libido. Many women notice less PMS, increased fertility, and improved skin after this high-mineral-and-essential fatty-acids food.
Maca takes time to work, so give it at least 3-5 weeks before you expect results. You can find it in powder form or in capsules, but should be discontinued in pregnancy.
6. Ginger Capsules – Some women swear by this one. Ginger capsules can stop menstrual cramps (or any other pain for that matter) .This is not surprising, most of us already know how powerful Ginger is as a natural pain reliever.
PMS Busting Lifestyle Changes
1. Avoid Toxins – For women with hormonal imbalance, avoiding toxins found in processed foods, pesticides, plastics, household chemicals and even mattresses – Is extremely important.
These toxins have hormone disrupting chemicals, which mimic hormones in the body and keep the body from producing real hormones.
Avoid cooking or microwaving in plastic (get rid of your Microwave all together please), try to eat organic food and use natural cleaners to reduce your indoor air pollution as much as possible.
2. Natural Feminine Hygiene options – Some of us are sensitive to the chemicals in pads and tampons (there’s also a risk of toxic shock syndrome with tampons).
3. Mild exercise – Intense exercise can actually make things worse if you have hormonal balance. Mild exercise and stretching, walking and swimming are best, so claim many naturopathic doctors.
Hip and back stretches increase blood flow to the abdominal and lower back muscles, easing the tension that leads to cramps.
4. Last but most important – Sleep. One of the best natural remedies for PMS is quality sleep. I can’t stress this enough. Do everything you can to get a good night’s rest, and if you have trouble falling asleep (like I do sometimes…), see my post about the 2 little yet powerful things that can get you to sleep in 5 minutes – HERE.
What about you? What’s your most troubling PMS symptom and what helps you most?
To your health & happiness,
I highly recommend checking out this guide too:
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