That Time of the Month

Many women spend three weeks out of the month dreading that one week.  Your regular doctor tells you to get on the pill. Some women are lucky and have no problems with their periods.  These ladies are definitely the exception. The majority of women experience some discomfort around their menstrual cycles.  There is good news. You don’t have to let this one week ruin your life!

They tell us that we will outgrow PMS symptoms, yet I see plenty of women in their 40s still struggling with PMS and possibly even seeing the symptoms worse as they near menopause. There are many different symptoms that can occur, both physically and emotionally.  We all know the list of how our cycles can affect us. We know the cramps, mood swings, and headaches. PMS can also make anxiety and insomnia worse as well.

We all know the list is a lot longer than this.  Some women even feel debilitated during this week.  Even for these women, there is hope. 

Some of the causes of PMS can include

  • Hormone imbalances
  • Progesterone deficiency
  • Low neurotransmitters, such as Serotonin
  • Poor eating habits
  • Stress

During a first visit, I occasionally get the question, ‘why are you asking about my diet when I want to talk about my hormones’.  Diet and lifestyle can have a lot to do with how pleasant or miserable our periods are. Here are a few tips:

  • Foods high in fiber can make processing hormones easier.
  • Magnesium supplementation can help the liver process the hormones more efficiently.
  • Cramps can be helped by an herb called Cramp Bark.  I often recommend it in tincture form (alcohol extract) as it is more fast-acting.
  • Acupuncture can help ease painful periods.

It is always a good idea to talk to a doctor.  There are other conditions that can go along with PMS, and a doctor can help evaluate your hormones.  What do you do for your PMS?


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