It’s the time of the month that so many women dread, the PMS days. For some, premenstrual syndrome is simply an irritating inconvenience, but for others it is a cause of extreme suffering. Yet because it is so common, many women don’t take PMS seriously, even though the effect on their lives is serious indeed.
Common or not, PMS, especially the extreme variety, is not normal or healthy. It is a sign that the delicate balance of female hormones is all out of whack. PMS symptoms may be a signal that the body is experiencing a progesterone deficiency due to chronic stress.
Symptoms of low progesterone include:
Natural remedies for PMS
Instead of reaching for the progesterone cream at your local supplement store, it’s safer to first address the underlying causes of low progesterone. For many women, progesterone levels take a beating because of chronic stress. Every time you experience stress, your body responds with cortisol, an adrenal stress hormone that works to keep the body in balance.
But in these fast-paced times, we experience stress so frequently that the body’s demand for cortisol is constantly high. To keep up with demand, the body borrows the materials needed to make reproductive hormones, including progesterone, and makes cortisol instead. This is called “pregnenolone steal,” when the body steals pregnenolone needed for other hormones to keep pace with the demands of stress.
Factors that can cause chronic stress:
Restoring hormonal balance naturally
Many times, the best way to reduce symptoms of PMS is to stop the pregnenolone steal, thereby allowing the body to make enough of its own progesterone. Strategies for stopping pregnenolone steal include an anti-inflammatory diet, which eases the body’s burden of stress. You may also need to work on restoring gut health, taming chronic inflammation, or managing your autoimmune disease appropriately, to name just a few.
Nutrients to ease PMS
Basic nutritional support can sometimes ease the symptoms of PMS. For instance, are you getting enough omega 3 fatty acids and gamma- linoleic acid (GLA)? There are a number of excellent dietary sources of omega 3, such as small, cold-water fish, grass fed beef, flax, hemp and chia seeds. There are fewer dietary options for GLA, but hemp seeds are one of them, making it potentially excellent source of essential fats for women with hormonal issues.
Vitamins B6, especially when combined with magnesium, can be close to miraculous for some women with PMS, and should be considered as first line therapy in these cases. In some cases, these nutrients may need to be intravenously administered initially, with oral supplementation in between treatments.
If you or someone you know has significant hormone related issues, contact my office right away, you don’t need to suffer any longer.