PMS is a touchy subject. In recent years, it continues to be an issue used to undermine women’s rights and equality. Due to this fact, it seems that it is no longer politically correct to honestly discuss PMS, for fear an open discussion will fuel the fire for those who claim women are less capable of handling certain jobs and or responsibilities. There is no doubt that women are just as smart, just as capable, just as able to do every job a man can do unless brute strength is the primary measure, and many women hold their own on this level as well. The argument remains centered on the issue of emotional control. Do you want your plane piloted by a woman suffering from PMS? Do you want the finger poised on the trigger or, God forbid, on the red button to be the finger of a woman with raging PMS? Let’s face it, no you don’t, and neither do I!
That doesn’t mean a woman should be denied the highest office in this land due to her gender. After all, how many wars have been spawned by testosterone poisoning? But tit for tat is beside the point. The real issue at hand is that PMS is not an inherent curse of womanhood. It is a symptom of hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalance and nothing more–an imbalance that can and should be corrected through a healthy diet, supplements, and a healthy lifestyle.
What Causes PMS?
PMS or pre-menstrual syndrome refers to particular physical and emotional symptoms women may experience during their monthly cycle, after ovulation and up to the onset of menstruation or a day or two into menstruation. The majority of women with PMS experience symptoms for a few days prior to the onset of menses; however, some women experience symptoms for the full two weeks from ovulation through the first few days of menstruation. PMS symptoms can be mildly uncomfortable or so severely disruptive they are considered disabling.
Physical symptoms of PMS vary from woman to woman and range from mild to severe. Some women have several physical symptoms, some only a few or none.
Physical symptoms of PMS include:
- Bloating with possible weight gain
- Changes in appetite with or without food cravings
- Digestion issues (upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation)
- Breast tenderness
- Skin outbreaks (pimples)
- Muscle and joint pain
Emotional and behavioral symptoms of PMS include:
- Irritability or anger
- Moods swings
- Depressed mood (with PMDD suicidal ideation may be included)
- Crying spells
- Poor concentration and/or memory
When emotions spiral out of control due to PMS, the consequences can be severe. Loss of emotional control can affect parenting, relationships with spouses or significant others, job performance, and more.
How to Manage and Eliminate PMS
First stop drinking the Kool-Aid. Stop believing PMS is natural or normal. It’s not. It is not something you are forced to endure because you are a woman. It is a symptom of unbalanced hormones and low levels of key neurotransmitters. Yes, there is a genetic component. That still doesn’t mean you have to live with this debilitating condition every month for years of your life. It does mean you have to make changes–significant changes–if you want to take control and end the roller coaster ride.
All health begins with the foods you eat. And for the body, the gut is the center of the universe. Our gut is filled with bacteria–300 to 1000 varieties. If we are healthy, the vast majority of bacteria in our gut is beneficial to our health. Friendly bacteria line and coat our intestines, crowding out unhealthy bacteria that try to take root and multiply. These friendly bacteria make up 80% of our immune system. Some of these bacteria aid us in synthesizing vitamins. They produce vitamin K, and create 90-95% of our serotonin. The friendly bacteria also keep fungi and parasites in check.
Health begins with a healthy gut and the only way to promote a healthy gut is through a nutrient dense diet. A full 80% of your diet should consist of fresh, raw, organic produce (more vegetables than fruits). Eat a large variety of healthy foods. Eat foods rich in B vitamins. Be sure your diet includes healthy omega 3 fats and fatty acids. (See links below).
An unbalanced, unhealthy gut leads to an overabundance of candida. This causes, or at least intensifies, all of the symptoms of PMS. Read How to Kill Candida and Balance Your Inner Ecosystem. THis is the first step to almost very single health issue. A few days before PMS is scheduled to begin, some SF722, FloraMend, and some B vitamins should be taken daily, until the period is over.
Avoid all artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Eliminate MSG, GMOs, and trans fats. Do not eat soy unless it is fermented. Unfermented soy disrupts hormones. Do not drink soy milk or eat soy based margarines. Soy sauce is an example of fermented soy and can be eaten. Do not eat conventional sugar. First of all, it is probably GMO since our sugar usually comes from sugar beets and most of the crop is GMO. Sugar feeds unhealthy bacteria, Candida, and parasites. It does not promote health in any way. It is void of nutrition. If you choose to eat dairy, do not drink any milk or consume any milk products unless they are organic. Most of today’s conventional dairy includes growth hormones.
Detox, detox, detox. Do a thorough detox cleanse and repeat at least twice each year. Parasites and fungus in the gut interfere with nutrient absorption, with neurotransmitter production, and create a host of other problems. Make sure your detox addresses parasites and Candida in addition to other toxins. (See link below).
Drink plenty of good clean water throughout the day. Cranberry lemonade water is especially good if you are experiencing back pain or cramps. (See link below).
Add an excellent nutritional formula to your daily diet. You can purchase a good one, or make your own. (See the link below).
Supplements that Help with PMS
B vitamins need to become your best friend. Eat foods rich in B vitamins and supplement with a good, high quality B complex vitamin. Do not take B6 or any other B vitamin by itself. B vitamins work together and need one another to properly perform functions throughout the body. Taking just one for any length of time has been shown to actually cause you to be deficient in others. B vitamins are essential to cellular functions throughout the body including metabolizing carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Our cells would not receive any nutrition—any energy—without B vitamins. In addition, they are essential to the nervous system and to neurotransmitters. They balance mood, reduce anxiety, soothe irritability. Yes, you should always take B vitamins at the first sign of PMS. Better yet, take them daily.
Take a vitamin D supplement unless you get plenty of sun. Look at a map and mentally draw a line from Atlanta to Los Angeles. If you live north of that line, you will need to supplement with vitamin D in winter months. If you live on the line or south of it, you still need to supplement if you don’t spend at least 15-20 minutes in the sun each day. Vitamin D helps the body with calcium and phosphorus and is therefore generally thought of as the vitamin for bones and teeth, but it also is essential to the immune system and brain function.
Calcium and magnesium have both been shown to reduce physical symptoms. And take omega 3 supplements, if you have not added an omega 3 source to your daily diet.
Supplementation should be taken as a daily nutritional boost, not as a “pharmaceutical” for PMS symptoms. If you are suffering from PMS, your body is deficient in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Food comes first along with nutritional powder. Feed your body what it needs on a daily basis to restore your health and hormonal balance. If you feed your body well, in time you will not need to supplement your diet if your food is fresh, nutrient dense, organic, and is grown in good soil.
If you need immediate relief for PMS symptoms, reach for extra B vitamins first and then consider the following herbal remedies:
Herbs Known to Relieve Symptoms of PMS
- Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa)
- Chaste tree or chasteberry (Vitex agnus castus)
- Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
- Dong quai (Angelica sinensis), also known as Chinese Angelica
- Evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis)
- Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
- Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
- Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
- St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
- Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa)
- Rasberry leaf (Rubus idaeus)
We recommend two herbal tinctures formulated by Doc Shillington: Female Balance and Female Formula. Both contain Dong Quai, Wild Yam and Chaste Tree Berry to balance hormones.
Shillington’s Female Balance Formulas
Shillington offers three formulas that help balance female hormones.
This formula is the 3 balancing herbs to balances the hormones. It’s good for alleviating cramps and anxiety. Ingredients include Chaste tree berry, wild yam root, and dong quai root in a base of grain alcohol and distilled water.
This formula is predominantly the 3 balancing herbs from the Female Formula along with a few others making it an overall female tonic for balancing hormones, relaxing,, as well as a cramping and anxiety handler. Ingredients include wild yam root, chaste tree berry, Dong Quai root, blue and black cohosh, valerian root, passion flower, uva ursi, hops flowers, cornsilk, juniper berry and dandelion root in a base of grain alcohol and distilled water.
With Damiana leaf, wild yam root, licorice root, siberian ginseng roots, sarsaparilla root, saw palmetto berry, oat seed, kola nut and ginger root in a base of grain alcohol and distilled water, this formula works well at balancing the hormones and improves energy as well as sex drive.
Exercise is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. Whether you choose to go to the gym, walk, run, practice yoga, dance in your living room, or bounce on a rebounder, you need to move. Your heart needs it. Your muscles need it. Your lymphatic system demands it. It can’t circulate unless you move!
Studies have shown that chiropractic care can provide a significant decrease in symptoms.
If you want to end the monthly misery of PMS, treat the cause, not just the symptoms. The root cause is based in nutrition. Either you are not feeding your body everything it needs, or your body is unable to assimilate the nutrients you provide. Once you detox your body and focus on nutrient dense foods, your body will heal itself and find its natural balance. The two most significant supplements to help with PMS mood swings are B vitamins and Shillington’s Female Female Formula. For cramps, add Boswellia.
- Shillington’s Female Formula
- Total Nutrition Formula
- Maca Root – Wise Woman
- Boswellia – Pure Encapsulations – Gaia Herbs
- Krill Oil (Omega 3s)
- D – Thorne Research
- B-Complex #6 – Thorne Research
- FloraMend Prime Probiotic – Thorne Research
- Formula SF722 – Thorne Research
- Relieve PMS with these Foods, Herbs, Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements
- 80% Raw Food Diet
- Mental Health, Physical Health & B Vitamins – Nature’s Valium
- Cheap and Easy Detox Diet Plan
- Cranberry Lemonade Recipee
- Total Nutrition – Make your own Homemade Multivitamin and Mineral Formula