Do you think of your period not as ‘raining roses’ but as your monthly red devil? You are not alone! Up to 95% of women suffer from some PMS symptoms as some point during their menstruating years. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and PMS has plagued me for years. Thanks to diet change and supplementation, I can say my symptoms have reduced drastically! And yours can too!
What is PMS?
PMS or Premenstrual syndrome, is characterized by a series of symptoms that women experience generally 1-2 weeks before their period arrives, and sometimes during menstruation. Some of the symptoms (and this is by no means an exhaustive list) include:
- Water retention & bloating
- Breast tenderness
- Mood swings and irritability
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Food cravings
- Aching joints and muscles
- Acne & other skin eruptions
- and MANY more
The reason these awful symptoms come about is usually because of a progesterone deficiency.During the latter two weeks of our cycle, progesterone is supposed to be high in the event of a pregnancy. Because so many of us have excess estrogen floating around due to chemicals and other additives, progesterone is not able to get as high as necessary. This results in you becoming a scary lady that even frightens yourself! Never fear, read on to fix the most common symptoms. . .
3 Common Symptoms and How to Fix Them
Ahh yes, we’ve all been there: One day your fav pair of skinny jeans fits like a glove and the next your lying on the bed tugging and pulling to get them up over your lady lumps. What gives? If you are low in progesterone, you tend to retain water. This wonder hormone is a natural diuretic that helps keep us slim and trim throughout the whole month.
What can you do about it? Vitamin B6 is essential for proper water balance. Try to include foods rich in this nutrient such as turkey, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds and spinach in extra amounts for the two weeks before your period starts. Still not enough? Consider a B6 supplement of 100mg or more. Make sure you drink plenty of water- dehydration makes our body hold on to water because it fears famine. Let it know that abundance is here by drinking about 2 litres per day.
Mood Swings & Depression
Are your mood swings making your friends, family and the general public run for cover? I’ve been there too. Never fear- help is here! The highs and lows of estrogen and progesterone throughout your cycle can cause serious mood swings, irritability, anxiety and depression. It is important to have these hormones working like clockwork in order to remain emotionally stable.
Try to keep your blood sugar stable by reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing your fat intake. Limiting your carbs to later in the day will do wonders for your mood. Spend some time outdoors everyday to get your Vitamin D- the sunshine vitamin! Vitamin D is essential for happy moods and who doesn’t feel happy looking at a beautiful lake, forest or flower patch?
Food cravings are a huge concern for women who suffer from PMS. One minute you want to eat the whole chocolate cake and the next you want to inhale a whole bag of potato chips! Salty, sweet, and loaded with carbs, giving in to these cravings often makes things worse!
Prevent this from bringing you down by stabilizing your blood sugar! Like we already talked about, increasing your fat intake goes a long way to keeping you satisfied! And who doesn’t like the taste of fat, am I right? Throw some avocado on your salad and put some flax or hemp oil in your morning smoothie. Still want those carbs? Choose sweet potato, red skin potatoes or squash with your evening meal instead of french fries, pasta or white rice. You’ll get that starchy mouth-feel plus some awesome nutrients!
Don’t worry. . .PMS isn’t something you have to dread every month. Try these tips and you’ll be feeling great in no time!