We are told that PMS is totally normal and healthy. That it’s just something we have to deal with as women. But, that’s FALSE. Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you have to live with these symptoms. It’s 2022. There are easy-to-fit-into-your-lifestyle products that finally have addressed this always annoying, sometimes debilitating problem. The fact is that suffering related to your period and menstrual cycle is completely unnecessary.
SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT of women suffer or have suffered from symptoms of hormonal imbalance / PMS at some point in their life. Mood swings, cramps, irritability, depression, anxiety, bloating, headaches, brain fog, sugar cravings, sleep disturbances and other problems that can threaten relationships, work life and general well-being. While symptoms can be mild for some, 20 percent of those women suffer from severe enough symptoms that they need medical intervention. About 8 percent have such extreme symptoms that the problem has been given a new name with the help of drug companies: premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
So, it’s fixable, you say? Yep! And it doesn’t take harsh pharmaceuticals to do so. But the drug companies don’t want you to know that of course so this memo isn’t being blasted everywhere. The conventional treatments prescribed by doctors for PMS are typically drugs such as Advil, Aleve, Prozac (Sarafem) and/or birth control. Or, if bad enough, doctors bring in the harshest medications of all such as danazol, a drug that suppresses ovulation and causes increased facial hair, acne, and a deep voice. Or the very expensive gonadatropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs which actually change brain chemistry to turn off the ovaries’ production of estrogen and progesterone — but also leads to osteoporosis. None of these treatments are in the best interest of your long-term wellbeing or address the underlying issues to actually fix the problem.
The assumption that the symptoms of PMS are an inevitable part of being a woman and require “medical intervention” with serious medication to correct them is just not true. To say that 75 percent of women are defective in some way and require medical treatment to live a normal, pain-free life is completely absurd.
The real cause for PMS is as simple as this: Your hormones become unbalanced due to one or a combination of things:
- Environmental factors (estrogen-like toxins from pesticides and pollution)
- Diet consisting of high-sugars, refined carbohydrates, caffeine, dairy, alcohol
- Ingesting hormones that lie within the food you eat (meat and dairy)
- Imbalances in your gut bacteria (gut imbalance leads to the reabsorption of estrogen from the gut back into your blood, even after your liver has tried to get rid of it)
- Lack of exercise (yet, another reason to exercise!)
Fortunately, solid research shows that there are many ways to get your hormones back in balance — without drugs. Here are 5 easy steps to eliminate and prevent PMS and PMDD. Do yourself a solid and give them a try for at least two cycles to see how much better you feel.
1. Take the right supplement.
A number of plants and vitamins have been shown to help ease PMS symptoms by improving metabolic function and hormone metabolism. Here are the superstars:
- Amino Acids: Play pivotal roles in hormonal secretion and synthesis. Deficiency can result in decreased immunity, digestive problems, depression, fertility issues, lower mental alertness and many other health issues.
- Ashwagandha: Regulates hormones and the immune system. Lowers stress, anxiety, cortisol levels and food cravings. Improves energy levels, cognitive function and concentration. Enhances sexual performance health.
- B-Complex Vitamins: Balances hormone production. Vitamin B deficiency can create estrogen imbalance contributing to fatigue and mood swings. Produced from quinoa sprouts from certified organic cultivation.
- Black Cohosh: Balances hormones because it is a phytoestrogen, which can help to lower elevated estrogen or raise low estrogen. Used to treat menopause symptoms, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and dysmenorrhea (or painful periods).
- Chasteberry: Decreases levels of prolactin, which in return balances out estrogen and progesterone. Reduces PMS and menopausal symptoms, heavy periods, migraines, and acne. Also used as an infertility treatment for women. Studies of over 5,000 women have found it effective.
- Coconut: Coconut Milk & MCT are great sources of medium-chain triglycerides that play an important role in the production and balance of hormones. Healthy fats are key to a balanced biology and energy production.
- Dong Quai: Used for menstrual cramps, PMS, menopausal symptoms and to manage infertility. Has been used as an herbal medication for over 2,000 years.
- Fu Ling: Aids with weight loss and removes fungus to counteract mushroom content. Also known as Poria Mushrooms.
- Saffron: Clinical studies show a reduction of mood swings, irritability, and depression from hormone imbalance.
- Shavatari: Helps regulate cycles, relieve menstrual cramps, balance hormones, and addresses polycystic ovarian syndrome, oocyte quality, follicular growth/development and infertility
- Wild Yam: Supports women’s reproductive health system and contains a powerful antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that relieve menstrual cramps and chronic pelvic pain
- Stop eating refined flour, sugar and processed foods
- Cut out caffeine and alcohol
- Cut out all dairy (dairy can worsen hormonal imbalances because of all the hormones in milk)
- Balance your blood sugar by eating protein for breakfast like eggs or nut butters
- Increase fiber intake from vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains
- Try seed cycling (involves eating flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds at different times of your menstrual cycle)
- 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
- Eat evenly throughout the day, don’t skip meals and don’t eat right before bed
- Cut out gluten if sensitive
3. Move your body
Exercise is very important for balancing hormones. Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, 4 to 5 times a week.
4. Remove or limit 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. Talk to a functional medicine doctor
Functional medicine doctors can order tests that give you a clear picture into what is happening inside your body. With their knowledge and insights, you can get an individualized game plan to help you tackle the issue and get well quickly. We highly recommend Michelle Hirsch at Beyond the Mountain Wellness. She is a women’s hormonal health expert.
Remember, women do not have a design flaw! You can thrive on a daily basis by adopting a lifestyle you probably already know is good for you and adding a layer of supplements on top to get your hormones in balance. For something that happens every month. It’s worth it.
We recommend Ladywell’s Daily Hormone Balance as your daily supplementation for hormone health. Its comprehensive formula contains the most powerful natural ingredients to relieve symptoms of PMS, reduce the effects of hormonal stressors, combat cravings, improve overall egg health and balance hormones to help your body run optimally.