I think most women have experienced PMS at some stage during their life. When I was younger I felt horrible days before my period. Fortunately, I haven't had any problems since I started taking care of my body holistically.
PMS is mostly connected to toxicity, nutritional imbalances, and hormonal imbalance. A poor diet and nutritional deficiencies are the primarily causes of PMS. When your diet is high in sugar, white flour, corn syrup, and caffeine the chances are higher that you suffer from PMS. I noticed a significant difference when I removed all the refined white products and processed foods in favor of a diet high in vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, and good sources of protein. It is important to avoid synthetic estrogens in food and aim for organic dairy and meat. Good fats are important so increase your amount of omega oils, and especially Evening Primrose Oil which has proven helpful for many women.
According to Dr. Henry Bieler, in his book, Food Is Your Best Medicine, PMS means that the digestive tract and liver have become irritated from a poor diet, and as a result the toxins are entering the blood stream. Steven Horne recommends Liver Balance if you feel irritable and angry during "that time of the month". Magnesium and B6 play a major role in balancing the hormones and are often deficient in the diets of many women.
PMS has been divided into different groups according to the symptoms and hormonal patterns. It is possible for a woman to suffer from all four types in one cycle, and only suffer from one in the next cycle. So, what type are you?
The different PMS types:
This group is associated with anxiety and symptoms include nervous tension, mood swings, anxiety, and irritability. This group biochemically shows a high estrogen to progesterone ratio. This could be related to congestion in the liver, and excess milk and animal fats. Using liver cleansing herbs to clear congestion and progesterone cream may be helpful. Steven Horne says magnesium, B6, and Super GLA may be helpful as well.
This group shows an increased appetite and food cravings, especially for sugar and chocolate. Some of the symptoms are dizziness, fainting, fatigue, and heart palpitations. This is linked with hypoglycemia and low prostaglandins. Remedies for hypoglycemia may be helpful, and Horne recommends Licorice root, and Super Algae. Cravings for chocolate may be caused by magnesium deficiency and essential fatty acid deficiencies. Zinc and B6 are other supplements that may help.
Depression, forgetfulness, crying, confusion, and insomnia are some of the characteristics of this group. This is related to high progesterone and low estrogen. Magnesium levels seem to be low in this group as well. Heavy metal toxicity from lead may be another factor. Natural phytoestrogens may be helpful. Antistress vitamin supplement in herbal base can supply essential B-vitamins. St. John's Wort is an herb that historically been used for the nervous system.
PMS-H (hyper hydration)
This group is associated with fluid retention. Weight gain, breast tenderness, swelling of extremities, and abdominal bloating are some of the characteristics of this group. According to Steven Horne this is caused by elevated levels of the hormone aldosterone. He also says diuretics like Kidney Activator may help. Horne also says Vitamin E, Super GLA, magnesium and phytoestrogens may be helpful for this type of PMS as well.
Yeast infections and thyroid problems may also contribute to PMS. Yeast infections are closely related to general toxicity. Progesterone affects yeast growth which means that women with yeast overgrowth often have more problems with yeast related symptoms during their later half of their cycle. You might want to consider a Candida cleansing if you have problems with vaginal yeast infections, taken a lot of antibiotics or birth control pills. The endocrine glands work together, so thyroid problems may also contribute to PMS. Thyroid Support is a great formula to balance the thyroid according to Horne.
Essential oils and aromatherapy treatments are beneficial in PMS. According to Battaglia, sweet fennel, geranium, and juniper berry used in a lymphatic drainage massage may reduce fluid retention.
Clary sage, rose, geranium, sweet fennel influence the production of hormones and may be beneficial for PMS. Roman chamomile, rose, and bergamot may be used to reduce irritability and depression. In order for the essential oils to be beneficial for PMS, the above essential oils need to be used daily in a massage blend with evening primerose oil as the base oil.
The best you can do is to avoid toxins and refined products. Eat a wholesome diet rich in vegetables, fruits and good proteins. Aim to buy as much organic food as possible, and don't forget to make sure you get sufficient amount of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
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Johanna is an aromatherapist and an independent distributor of Young Living Essential Oils and Nature's Sunshine. She is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. She also runs Naturally Sports & Wellness together with her husband.
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This post is linked up to WFMW.