Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has a wide variety of signs and symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression.
It is estimated that as many as 3 of every 4 menstruating women have experienced some form of premenstrual syndrome.
Feeling upset, anxious or irritable
Tiredness or trouble sleeping
Bloating or stomach pain
Greasy hair and skin
Changes in appetite and libido
Premenstrual syndrome can be caused by hormonal imbalances such as oestrogen dominance. Symptoms of which include:
Headaches: Hormonal headaches have a root cause, most commonly oestrogen dominance but can also be an imbalance of other hormones, like thyroid or cortisol, as well as nutrient deficiencies, like magnesium and B2.
Irregular menstrual cycle
Premenstrual syndrome can also be caused by excessive stress, nutritional deficiencies and by adjustments in your body following changes in, or withdrawal from hormonal contraception.
Nutritional therapy can help pinpoint deficiencies and imbalances in the body.
Blood sugar regulation: eating 3 balanced meals per day, whilst focusing on whole food and limiting processed food as much as possible.
Zinc is found in foods like pumpkin seeds, red meat, chicken, oysters, clams, and lots of other shellfish.
B6 combined with magnesium supplementation reduced premenstrual anxiety in studies[iii]. Foods high in B6 include: beef liver, tuna, salmon, chickpeas, poultry, dark leafy greens, bananas, papayas, oranges, and cantaloupe.
Avoid inflammatory foods and histamine. Histamine-rich foods include alcohol and other fermented beverages, fermented foods and dairy products, such as yoghurt, sauerkraut, dried fruits, avocados, eggplant, spinach, processed or smoked meats and shellfish. Avoiding histamine foods for a period of time may lower levels of histamine in the body, thus reducing inflammation associated with premenstrual syndrome.
Avoiding inflammatory foods for a period of time, if you have known allergies or sensitivities to them, may be pertinent to improving gut health and reducing inflammation.
Support your liver and detox. Try herbal teas such as dandelion root and various liver support supplements detailed below.
Testing - DUTCH Test:
Testing may be required if you feel symptoms of PMS are severe for you and you would like to find out more. For finding hormonal patterns and links to female health concerns, the Complete Hormone Panel - DUTCH Test, is a comprehensive, accurate and non-invasive test. The majority of women are often not aware that they are suffering from a hormonal imbalance, presenting with symptoms such as abnormal menstruation (heavy/painful periods), PMS, headaches, decreased sex drive, bloating, mood swings, fatigue, anxiety & depression, breast tenderness, endometriosis, fibroids, and hormonal weight gain. The DUTCH test tests reproductive and adrenal hormones as well as melatonin and oxidative stress.
The DUTCH test stands for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones and involves a collection of a small amount of urine on filtered paper four times a day. The DUTCH TEST measures hormone metabolites from the dried urine samples. The hormones measured in the test include:
[i] Kia, A. S., et al. “The Association Between the Risk of Premenstrual Syndrome and Vitamin D, Calcium,
and Magnesium Status Among University Students: A Case Control Study.” Health Promotion
Perspectives 5, no. 3 (2015): 225–30.
[ii] Boyle, N. B., et al. “The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress—A
Systematic Review.” Nutrients 9, no. 5 (2017): 429.
[iii] McCabe, D. et al. “The impact of essential fatty acid, B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc supplementation on stress levels in women: a systematic review”. JBI Database System Rev Implement Rep. (2017);15(2):402-453.
Please note that the information contained within this website does not and should not replace medical advice, and is not intended to treat or diagnose. We always recommend you consult with your doctor. Our Nutritional Therapy team is highly trained and we offer one to one Nutritional Therapy Consultations, which are designed to be complementary to any medical treatment from a functional medicine approach, as well as offering a preventative & optimal health focus.