Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a cyclical issue that appears during the luteal phase of the cycle and can last up to the end of the woman’s period that month. Most common symptoms include lack of energy, tension, depression, headache, altered sex drive, breast pain, muscle ache and bloating. PMS affects around 30-40% of women, to a lesser or greater degree.
The cause is believed to be associated with the cyclical interactions between oestrogen and progesterone that causes alterations in neurotransmitters – most notably reduction in serotonin (happy hormone) (Pizzorno and Murray, 2008). The root-cause can be a due to a vast array of differing imbalances within the body, including: oestrogen excess, progesterone deficiency, elevated prolactin levels, hypothyroidism, stress, depression, macro or micro nutrient abnormalities (Pizzorno and Murray, 2008).
From a Nutritional perspective, I would consider the points below (although it would depend on the root-cause, as listed above):
Eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates, as they are inflammatory on the body and can exacerbate symptoms such as PMS. Combined with caffeine they can further worsen symptoms of anxiety, irritability, insomnia and depression.
Reduce exposure to environmental oestrogens (xenoestrogens) – This includes plastic bottles, excessive plastic food wrapping and replacing conventional beauty products with natural alternatives as they often contain Halogenated Hydrocarbons, toxic pesticides, dichlorodiphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) – this compound mimic oestrogen in the body.
I would support with a stress reduction programme and recommend regular exercise
Although PMS has multiple causes, B6 and magnesium supplementation alone can benefit many patients (Pizzorno and Murray, 2008). Specifically, magnesium deficiency can cause excessive nervous sensitivity with generalised aches and pains (Pizzorno and Murray, 2008).
Zinc supplementation (ideally picolinate form) can also support a reduction in prolactin in the body.
There are numerous botanicals that can support the female glandular and the organ system; these botanicals include: Dong Quai, Liquorice, Black Cohosh and Vitex Agnus Castus.
Calcium D-glucarate is a natural compound that aids detoxification and the regulation of oestrogen. It not only inhibits β-glucuronidase, but also increases the activity of the glucuronidation Phase II pathway and aids detoxification of toxins and hormones (Douglas, 2001) This is a great supplement to utilise when period pain is due to oestrogen dominance.
If you would like to discuss, how I could help you with your PMS – please contact me below. Everyone is welcome to a complimentary 20-minute call to discuss whether Nutritional Therapy would benefit them.
Davis CS, Clarke RE, Coulter SN, Rounsefell KN, Walker RE, Rauch CE, et al. Intermittent energy restriction and weight loss: a systematic review. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016;70(3):292-9.
Douglas, H (2001) Nutritional Influences on Estrogen Metabolism APPLIED NUTRITIONAL SCIENCE REPORTS
Pizzorno and Murray (2008) The Clinician’s Handbook of Natural Medicines, Second Edition