PMS - Please Make it Stop

PMS - Please Make it StopDo you mark off the seven days leading up to your period to alert those around you that the sky’s about to fall?

Do you try to schedule your life around these same seven days, making sure you will not be forced to sit in traffic or impatiently wait for anything?

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) has become a hot topic. Some believe it's just an excuse to be irritable, while others know clinical data exists to back it up.

However, if you are one of the millions of women that suffer each month, you know the truth: PMS is very real.

The primary cause of PMS is the imbalance of hormones – your estrogen levels are too high and progesterone levels are too low.

In my practice, a healthy diet is always a primary foundation for my patients. A diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, too much caffeine and alcohol and not enough fiber and fruits and veggies can all contribute to PMS.

Estrogen-like toxins, called “xenoestrogens” from pesticides, plastics and our cosmetics, as well as hormones found in our dairy products can also cause too much estrogen in the body, causing an “estrogen dominant” state.

This increased level of estrogen can result in severe mood swings, irritability and bloating. The result is PMS. In popular conception PMS is often not considered “real," so many women suffer alone, only increasing the isolation, which in turn can cause them to become even more emotional.

PMS tends to start 7-10 days prior to your period and ends on the first or second day, once your hormone levels have stabilized.

Unfortunately once you hit the first couple of days of your period the emotions give way to other menstruation frustrations such as tender breasts, uncomfortable cramping, excessive bleeding and headaches.

Then, just two weeks later, you start the hormone cycle starts all over again. That’s half a month of feeling unwell!

Luckily, fresh food, a good night’s sleep and certain nutrients can and will help reduce your PMS, so you won’t need alerts in your calendar.

Addressing liver function is one of the first steps to improving PMS, as the liver is responsible for metabolizing estrogen. If the liver’s function is compromised, excess estrogen can accumulate in the body leading to estrogen dominance and PMS!

I recommend a product called EstroSense, which contains liver-supporting herbs such as Milk Thistle and Curcumin. Also, hormone-balancing compounds such as I3C and calcium-d-glucarate from broccoli and kale help bind onto those excess estrogens and eliminate them through the liver, creating a healthy estrogen to progesterone balance.

Other supportive nutrients that are beneficial for PMS include magnesium, essential fatty acids such as omega 3s from fish oil, and B vitamins. I really like the MagSense powdered magnesium, and one scoop daily is easily added to your smoothie. It not only contains magnesium bisglycinate, a highly bioavailable form of magnesium, but B vitamins, glutamine, malic acid and taurine. All kinds of good stuff!

The combination of the above will create hormonal harmony, thus changing your PMS tune from “rage rock” to “easy listening,” or at least somewhere in between. This'll make everyone in your life - including yourself - a whole lot happier.