Premenstrual syndrome or PMS is a name given to symptoms many girls and women suffer from each month before their period. It is sometimes referred to as Premenstrual Tension (PMT) or Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
The Tension can be mild with irritability and weepiness, but can also be severe with anxiety, angry or violent outbursts, or an extremely depressed mood where the sufferer may even feel suicidal. Often women suffering from PMS will be diagnosed with depression or anxiety states .
In addition to the mental and emotional aspects, the symptoms often include abdominal bloating and tender or lumpy breasts. The length of time PMS lasts can be as little as one or two days or as much as two weeks or more.
Imbalance of hormones
PMS is caused by an imbalance of hormones. The hormones often become imbalanced as a result of a poor diet and lifestyle.
Naturopathic treatment can help the body naturally to alleviate PMS
Many women think that PMS is just something they have to live with; it isn't. Naturopathic treatment can help the body naturally to alleviate PMS.
What can you do right now
So what can you do right now to begin to help? Avoid all sugary foods, this includes lollies, cakes, biscuits and especially chocolate. These high sugar foods make it difficult for the body to maintain stable blood sugar levels and can exacerbate premenstrual problems . Refined foods, such as white bread and white rice, cause similar problems. Very sweet and refined foods not only disrupt the body, but are depleted of the very nutrients that alleviate PMS. Anything that is fresh and slightly sweet, such as fruit is OK.
Minerals and Vitamins to help
Women who suffer from PMS are likely to be deficient in magnesium [3, 4], calcium [1, 5], zinc [6, 7], chromium, and manganese . Copper levels have been found to be either abnormally low or high [6, 8]. Calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, are important for the menstrual cycle. Low levels of calcium, can mimic the symptoms of depression, and low levels of magnesium can result in symptoms of anxiety. Supplementation of calcium and magnesium has been shown to be effective in alleviating PMS [1, 9].
Include foods such as green vegetables, organic bone broths, fish and nuts to boost these nutrients in your diet. The B vitamins are likely to be low in your diet if you have PMS ; eat whole grain bread, brown rice, beans, leafy vegetables, organic eggs and organic meat.
Tea and caffeine can exacerbate PMS
Fats can help but have to be High Quality Fats
Avoid poor quality fats often found in fast foods, but do make sure you have some high quality fats, as they are important for the hormones to function well; have at least 2 teaspoons of cold pressed oil a day, on your food, and include fish at least twice a week.
Omega 6 and Omega 3
There are two types of essential fats that will help give you natural relief from the symptoms of PMS, Omega 3  essential fatty acids, and the omega 6 essential fatty acids; are especially helpful if your symptoms of PMS include depression .
There are several different types of omega-6 fatty acids, not all are helpful. Linoleic acid is an omega 6 fatty acid that can help, make sure you have this from a high quality source. High quality sources (preferably organic) of linoleic acid include: Cold pressed oils or extra virgin oils (sunflower, olive, sesame, flaxseed/linseed, avocado, walnut). Nuts (walnuts, brazils, almonds & cashews), seeds (flax, hemp, sunflower, sesame, pine nuts, pumpkin) and avocado.
Prolactin is a hormone which stimulates milk production, however both men and women produce prolactin; some women with PMS have high prolactin levels, and if a woman is given injections of prolactin she will show many of the symptoms of PMS. It is possible that women with PMS are very sensitive to prolactin; this means that even normal prolactin levels could cause symptoms of PMS. The essential fatty acids can help this oversensitivity to prolactin, by decreasing the effect of prolactin. Magnesium, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), zinc, niacin (vitamin B3) and vitamin C are also important to help the body in this process .
There are so many herbs including Chaste Tree [16, 17], Motherwort, St Johns Wort, and Rosemary which are terrific to help alleviate PMS [18, 19]. Herbal medicines are tailored to your personal total health needs. Of the hundreds of women I have helped that had PMS, all have been treated individually. Treatment may include nutritional supplements; when I use supplements I recommend the Entire Katoa Food State range for the optimum absorption, low dose and low toxicity.
PMS is a miserable time for the woman; and it is also a miserable time for the people around the woman; for men and families generally. By taking action to stop your PMS not only you, but the people around you will reap the benefits.
Contact Bay Health Clinic today to find out more or to book a consultation with one of our Naturopaths; if needed they will also prepare tailored herbal medicines and recommend supplements to help you feel your best. Call 07 571 3226 or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
9. Quaranta S, Buscaglia MA, Meroni MG, Colombo E, Cella S: Pilot Study of the Efficacy and Safety of a Modified-Release Magnesium 250mg Tablet (Sincromag(R)) for the Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome. Clinical Drug Investigation 2007, 27(1):51-58.
10. Chocano-Bedoya PO, Manson JE, Hankinson SE, Willett WC, Johnson SR, Chasan-Taber L, Ronnenberg AG, Bigelow C, Bertone-Johnson ER: Dietary B vitamin intake and incident premenstrual syndrome. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2011, 93(5):1080-1086.
13. Spellman E, Gregoire M, Rockway S, Hartney C: Registered Dietitians' Knowledge, Beliefs, Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids Intake. Topics in Clinical Nutrition 2008, 23(3):252-258 210.1097/1001.TIN.0000333558.0000305454.e0000333552.