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 experts suggest to 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
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. Steven Horne suggests that using liver cleansing herbs to clear congestion and progesterone cream may be helpful. Steven Horne also says magnesium, B6, and GLA, (Gamma-linolenic acid) may be helpful as well. GLA can be found in plant based oils such as borage seed oil, evening primrose oil and black currant seed oil.
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 Algae. Cravings for chocolate may be caused by magnesium deficiency and essential fatty acid deficiencies. He also says zinc and B6 are other supplements that may help.
Depression, forgetfulness, crying, confusion, and insomnia are some of the characteristics of this group. According to Steven Horne, this is related to high progesterone and low estrogen, and magnesium levels seem to be low in this group as well. Heavy metal toxicity from lead may be another factor. Steven Horne says natural phytoestrogens may be helpful. He also says antistress vitamin supplement in herbal base can supply essential B-vitamins. Horne says St. John's Wort is an herb that historically has 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 may help. Horne also says Vitamin E, GLA, magnesium and phytoestrogens may be helpful for this type of PMS as well.
Yeast infections 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 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.
Essential oils and aromatherapy treatments may be beneficial in PMS. According to Battaglia, sweet fennel, geranium, and juniper berry used in a lymphatic drainage massage may reduce fluid retention.
Battaglia writes that clary sage, rose, geranium, sweet fennel influence the production of hormones and may be beneficial for PMS. He says Roman chamomile, rose, and bergamot may be used to reduce irritability and depression. Battaglia also says 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.
Source: Salvatore Battaglia (1995). The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion Pty Ltd
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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WFMW., Tuesday with a Twist, Wildcrafting Wednesday