Do you feel like you want to go to divorce court every month the week before your period? Are you ever curled up in your bed or in some cases for me the bathroom floor and not being able to move? In pain that feels like baby Edward Scissorhands is scratching his way out of your uterus? And your breasts are up a cup size, yes! But so painful? UGH! And there’s diarrhea, bloating, gas and a bunch of other terrible things happening? And you sit there thinking ugh I wish I were a man, they don’t have to deal with any of this shit. This might sound like a horror movie, and for many women it is. What gives?! Why is there pain associated with periods and why is it thought of as normal? If this sounds like you click here to speak with me today!
Does everyone get PMS? No. Is it normal? NO!
What is PMS anyway? Short for pre-menstrual syndrome it can include headaches, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, acne flare ups, mood swings, hot flashes and more. Just a boatload of fun.
So why do some women have painful periods and why do some have no symptoms at all? Period pain has a lot to do with the inflammation in your body, prostaglandins are tiny compounds that have hormone like effects on the body and help the uterus to contract to expel the lining during a bleed. Higher levels of prostaglandins cause cramps and period pain as well as diarrhea. The progesterone plummet right before you bleed can cause a headaches as well as fatigue, mood swings and cramps, overall excess estrogen throughout the month can also contribute to PMS. In addition excess estrogen and insufficient progesterone, an underlying thyroid issue can cause these symptoms too.
So how can you start to fix this?
Diet is key to hormone balancing, lots of vegetables especially leafy greens, organic meats, high fiber fruits like apples, and berries along with gluten free whole grains. A general rule I have for eating well is if was grown IN a plant avoid it, if it was grown ON a plant include it. Eating these foods will help to reduce inflammation. Getting plenty of fiber is essential also, incorporating foods like beans, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, flaxseeds and chia seeds all help the liver flush out excess estrogen. Aim for at least 25 grams daily.
Along with diet a healthy diet full of whole foods, supplements are key, magnesium, B vitamins especially B6 and vitamin D. Always check with your doctor before starting new supplements. The queen of supplements for women is magnesium, most of us are deficient and this mineral is used in over 300 metabolic processes in our bodies. I use Magnesium glycinate as it is the easiest to absorb. Crave chocolate and sugar the week before your period? This could indicate a magnesium deficiency.
Many people are deficient in vitamin D as well, and this vitamin is key for hormone regulation and stable moods. Getting out in the sun between 9am and 4 pm WITHOUT sunblock for at least 20 minutes is key to absorb the UVB rays which help us to produce vitamin D. If this is not an option for you, supplementing with Vitamin D3 is best. Routine blood work usually tests for vitamin D levels, optimal range is 50-70 accrording to functional medicine doctors. I take 2,000 IUs per day for maintenance. Remember ALWAYS check with your doctor before starting a new supplement.
B vitamins are the first to be depleted when there is chronic stress in your life or if you consume alcohol, processed carbohydrates and sugar on a regular basis. B Vitamins work together as a team some of them help burn fats and glucose for energy and others help produce serotonin. The benefits of B vitamins include improved mood, reduction in depression and anxiety, reduced PMS symptoms and improved memory. B6 is especially important for women who struggle with PMS and cramping. Dark leafy greens, animal protein and whole grains are great sources of B vitamins. Symptoms of low Bs include moodiness, fatigue, hair loss, anemia and tingling or numbness in arms and legs. Personally, I take a B Complex everyday but ALWAYS check with your doctor first before starting new supplements especially if you take medication regularly.
Lastly, check out my blog about xenoestrogens to help you detox your environment. Toxin overload from our air, chlorinated water, chemical cleaning products, chemical ridden cosmetics and other beauty products wreak havoc on the body and cause excess estrogen and all the negative effects that entails. If you or someone you love struggles with PMS I would love to help, schedule a complimentary consultation to get started with me today!