Several years ago I started researching what I could do for my thyroid issues and for my pms (there are some over-lapping causes/ symptoms/ approaches to these two problems). After I had done this and consulted with my doctors, with my research and their help, I found some relatively simple and straight-forward strategies for dealing with my health issues, and I have been happy with the results.* That is until one of the products that helped me with some of my pms issues was discontinued from the company I had relieved on to provide it. *I should say at this point that I count heavily on doctors expertise, but because they have so many options to offer for many health issues, I believe it is important for the patient to receive as much education as they can handle on those options, and make a personal choice about which options work best for their own values and lifestyle. For me, I knew I wanted minimal medical intervention, I wanted as-natural-as-possible interventions, and I wanted minimal changes to my life in general — I wanted a plan I could expect myself to sustain faithfully asap.
So now I am looking for a comparable product to use in place of the discontinued item. Once I find what I think are 2 or 3 good options, I will follow-up with consulting my doctors. Meanwhile, I’m taking a look at the over-all picture of my health, and looking at any new information available to the medical/health-&-wellness community relating to my issues.
The following is a site (see link) and excerpt from an article on that site (see below link) that contains a list of foods one should eat or avoid in order to avoid pms CAUSES, not just deal with the symptoms. NOTE: I don’t know anything about this particular doctor. I’m not a medical professional myself, so I am not advocating that others should do what I plan to do myself. I’m just recording for myself here in this blog some resources I’ve come across to which I want to later refer as I attempt to learn more about how I can improve my health.
For my readers: I encourage you to do your own research and BE SURE TO CONSULT YOUR OWN DOCTOR(S) as to how you should address your own health issues.
For myself: the main reason I’ve chosen this article to post at this time is because it confirms in a more concise way the same information I’ve found in many other articles/sources as I’ve investigated this topic. The parts I’m most excited about are those regarding diet and exercise. I probably won’t adopt any of the other suggestions until I’ve spoken with my gynecologist and my family doctor.
What I think will be the biggest challenges in terms of dietary changes are avoiding gluten and giving up caffein, however I think I can at least cut back on caffein. The other challenge will be increasing exercise consistently.
Here’s the link and article:
5 Simple Steps to Eliminate PMS
1. Clean up your diet.
- Stop eating refined flour, sugar, and processed foods.
- Cut out caffeine.
- Stop drinking alcohol.
- Balance your blood sugar by eating protein, such as a protein shake, eggs, and nut butters, for breakfast.
- Eat evenly throughout the day and don’t skip meals.
- Don’t eat within three hours of bedtime.
- Cut out all dairy and consider eliminating other common allergens for a few months, especially gluten.
- Increase fiber in your diet from vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains. Two tablespoons of ground flax seeds a day are especially helpful in correcting constipation and balancing hormones. Put them in a shake or sprinkle them on salads or food.
- Increase omega-3 fats by eating more wild fish like sardines, herring, and wild salmon, as well as omega-3 eggs and walnuts.
- Eat organic food, especially animal products, to avoid environmental estrogens from pesticides.
2. Take supplements.
A number of supplements have been shown to help ease PMS symptoms by improving metabolic function and hormone metabolism. Here are the superstars:
- Magnesium citrate or glycinate — Take 400 to 600 mg a day.
- Calcium citrate — Take 600 mg a day.
- Vitamin B6 — Take 50 to 100 mg a day along with 800 mcg of folate and 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12.
- Evening primrose oil — Take two 500mg capsules twice a day.
- EPA/DHA (omega 3 fats) — Take 1,000 mg once or twice a day.
- Taurine — Take 500 mg a day to help liver detoxification.
- A good daily multivitamin (all the nutrients work together)
Herbs and phytonutrients can also be very helpful. Here are the best studied and most effective:
- Chasteberry fruit extract (Vitex Agnus-astus) can help balance the hormones released by the pituitary gland that control your overall hormone function. Studies of over 5,000 women have found it effective. Take 100 mg twice a day of a 10:1 extract.
- Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) and cramp bark (Viburum opulus) can help regulate cycles and relieve menstrual cramps.
- Dandelion root can help with liver detoxification and works as a diuretic.
- Isoflavones from soy, red clover, or kudzu root improve estrogen detoxification by boosting the activity of specific detox enzymes. They can be taken as supplements or consumed in the diet.
- Flax seeds contain lignans that help balance hormone metabolism and block the negative effects of excess estrogens.
- Chinese herbal formulas may also help. One of the most effective is Xiao Yao San, or Rambling Powder. It contains: Bupleurum Root (Bupleurum chinense), Chinese Peony Root (Paeonia lactiflora), Dong Quai Root (Angelica sinensis), Bai-Zhu Atractylodes Root (Atractylodes macrocephala), Poria Sclerotium (Poria cocos), Ginger Rhizome (Zingiber officinale), Chinese Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza uralensis),and Chinese Mint Leaf (Mentha haplocalyx)
- Replacing healthy bacteria in the gut also helps normalize estrogen and hormone metabolism. Take 5 to 10 billion live organisms in a daily probiotic supplement.
- For intractable cases, I will occasionally use topical, natural bioidentical progesterone in the last two weeks of the menstrual cycle. The usual dose is 1/2 tsp (20 to 40 mg) applied at night to thin skin areas for the last two weeks of the menstrual cycle.
3. Get moving.
Exercise is very important for balancing hormones. Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, 4 to 5 times a week.
4. Address stress.
Dealing with stress is also critical. Take a hot bath at night, get a massage, try yoga, learn deep breathing or meditation. These techniques and others can help balance hormones.
5. Try alternative therapies.
Therapies such as acupuncture and homeopathy may help. One clinical trial showed that individualized homeopathy is effective in treating PMS. Five homeopathic medicines were used: Lachesis, Natrum muriaticum, Nux vomica, Pulsatilla, and Sepia.
If my patients are any indication, a plan such as this can have impressive effects on premenstrual symptoms.
Remember, women are not defective. You can thrive and be healthy by paying attention to a few natural laws of biology. You don’t need drugs to survive!