When you think of your period do you think of it as a good or bad thing? Having your period shouldn’t be a miserable experience. Common symptoms people associate with their periods are bloating, gas, cravings, sex drive changes, cramps, moodiness, and so on. These natural remedies for Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) will help you become symptom-free!
What is Premenstrual Syndrome?
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of symptoms women experience 1-2 weeks before their period. Women who are going through menopause can also experience symptoms when transitioning as well.
Common symptoms of PMS are:
- Changes in Bowels
- Tender/Swollen Breasts
- Mood Swings
- Acne (especially around the chin)
- Changes in Sleep
- Low Sex Drive
However, there are more severe versions of PMS like Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. Source: Here
Natural Remedies for PMS
Depending on your symptoms, it can point you in the directions of what you may need. Something to consider is speaking to your physician about Estrogen Dominance. This is when you either have too much Estrogen, too little Progesterone, or not enough of both.
This can be a major indicator of your PMS (especially if it is lasting longer than 1-2 weeks). A lot of these symptoms below connect to a hormonal imbalance. By understanding your PMS symptoms, you can find the right natural remedies to eliminate them.
This is caused by inflammation due to too many prostaglandins. These are little inflammatory compounds all humans have. However, if we have too much that is when we run into problems.
You can also experience cramps when your uterus is contracting to remove your uterine lining. What you can do to reduce your cramps are:
- Heating Pad
- Eating Warm Foods (i.e. soup, stew, ginger, garlic, etc)
- Removing Dairy (A1 found in cow’s milk can trigger inflammation)
- Assess any histamine intolerances
- Supplement with: Turmeric, zinc, magnesium, and/or omega-3 fatty acids
A lot of women can experience headaches/migraines during menstruation. Physicians believe it is due to hormone fluctuations. However, it can also be a sign of too much Estrogen before ovulation (when your ovaries release an egg). The more Estrogen you have the bigger the drop is right before your period!
Another concern is the loss of blood during your period can also trigger headaches/migraines. What you can do to reduce your headaches are:
- Cut out Wheat and Gluten (and any other inflammatory foods)
- Increase your Magnesium Intake
- Increase your B2 Vitamin Intake
- Supplement with Melatonin
This can be due to swelling of the breast tissue. Your breast can actually grow a full bra size throughout your menstrual cycle! Another concern is being Iodine deficient. This is an important nutrient for your thyroid to produce thyroid hormones. What you can do to reduce sore breasts is:
- Increase your Iodine Intake (i.e. iodize salt)
- Supplement with Vitamin E
I cannot tell you how many times this symptom has snuck up on me. One minute you are ready to take over the world and the next you’re half asleep at the dinner table. This can be caused by systemic inflammation throughout the body. But it can also be caused by Adrenal Fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue can be caused by a sudden decrease in progesterone during the luteal phase. This phase occurs after ovulation and lasts until your period (usually 14 days long). What you can do to reduce your fatigue is:
- Address if you have Adrenal Fatigue
- Increase Magnesium
- Increase Vitamin B6
- Supplement with Iron if Iron Deficient
This often caused by a hormonal imbalance. Have your physician do a complete hormone panel. It is a simple blood test and this will help you find your imbalances. A lot of women post-birth control can experience either low Progesterone or too much Estrogen. However, another possible cause is dysregulated blood sugar.
If your blood sugar drops at night that can why you wake up at night. Before bed, aim to have a dinner that contains carbohydrates (like sweet potato), healthy fats, and a protein. If you need another snack to ensure it contains pairing a carbohydrate and healthy fat is a great option.
Women often crave chocolate which I am all about. However, depending on the type of chocolate you crave can dictate the nutrients you need. If you crave very dark chocolate aim to increase magnesium. If you crave the sugary milk chocolate aim to boost your serotonin.
Another concern is not having enough progesterone. When you don’t have enough it triggers your metabolism to increase. Addressing your stress can help balance your progesterone. Every time you get stressed you deplete your progesterone. What you can do to reduce your sugar cravings are:
- Increase your Magnesium
- Increase your B6 Vitamin
- Address Low Progesterone
- Stimulate your Serotonin Response (i.e. get outside in the sun, Vitamin D, animal proteins)
This is probably the most annoying symptom. When you’re bloated due to your period, it isn’t like regular bloating. It usually won’t go away no matter what you do. However, there are a couple of different reasons to explain your bloating.
There could be an underlining gut issue at hand. Leaky gut, SIBO, Candida, etc can all influence our hormones. However, another concern is again too much Estrogen. This can be a sign your body isn’t eliminating excess Estrogen.
If you aren’t pooping every day, you aren’t losing the Estrogen! What you can do to reduce your bloating is:
- Supplement with Magnesium
- Increase the Leafy Greens
- Ensure You’re Getting Good Sleep
- Address Any Gut Dysbiosis
You can learn about 10 more ways you can address your bloating here!
This can be another major sign of Estrogen Dominance and/or some type of gut dysbiosis. You must be pooping every day to properly detox. What you can do to reduce your constipation is:
- Address Any Gut Dysbiosis
- Supplement with Magnesium
- Ensure Your Eating Enough Carbohydrates (aim for 150g around your period)
- Drink Enough Water
- Address Estrogen Dominance
Some common signs of hormonal acne are the painful cystic acne and it’ll usually be around your chin. This can be gut/liver-related. Acne is a sign of your body trying to remove toxins from the body. What you can do to reduce your acne is:
- Liver Detox (to make sure your detox pathways are open)
- Assess any gut dysbiosis
- Cut Out the Dairy (reduce consumption of IGF 1 hormone)
- Too much Testosterone
The number 1 reason for your mood swings is due to Progesterone not raising when it is supposed to. Progesterone peaks during the Luteal phase as the hormone come from the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum comes from our ovaries when an egg is released. Once we get our period, the Progesterone declines (or increases when we are pregnant).
The key thing for us to address is low Progesterone and/or too much Estrogen.
When it comes to supplementing specific nutrients you can do it with a supplement or with food. I always recommend food options, but due to our depleted soil, it can be difficult to do so. Fullscripts is a great source for high-quality supplements.
I truly hope these natural remedies for PMS help you reduce your symptoms. I’d love it if you’d share this with other women who are unhappy with their periods. Thank youu so much for reading!
**This information is not meant as medical or nutritional advice. Always check with your qualified healthcare professional before incorporating new supplements or nutritional changes into your routine. A Primal Health Coach (PHC) is trained to evaluate nutritional needs and make recommendations for dietary changes and nutritional supplements. A PHC is unable to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or medical condition. I cannot guarantee any specific result from recommendations as we are all bio-individually different. If you are under the care of a healthcare provider, it is important that you contact them and alert them to any changes in your lifestyle in regards to nutrition and supplements. A health coach may be a beneficial addition to more traditional care, and it may also alter your need for medication, so it is important you always keep your physician informed of changes in your nutritional program.