What You need to know about PMS

PMS

What You need to know about PMS

Every month?! Seriously?

 

When you experience PMS symptoms it can feel like you never get a break from your vicious cycle. Having a cycle is a blessing and can be used to empower you through life. However, when our cycles are less than optimal, as they are when we experience PMS, then they just seem like a sick joke that no one is laughing about.

 

Body talk: What PMS means

PMS is a way your body communicates to you. It’s trying to tell you it needs something through a series of unfortunate signs and symptoms. Below are some common symptoms of PMS:

  • Cravings
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Cramps
  • Bloating
  • Breast Tenderness
  • Fatigue
  • Acne
  • Mood Swings
  • Hot Flashes
  • Headaches

 

Menstrual Cycle

There are four phases to a women’s menstrual cycle:

  • Follicular
  • Ovulatory
  • Luteal
  • Menstrual

There are five hormones that oversee your experience of your cycle. They are:

  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Follicle-Stimulating Hormone
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Testosterone

The ratio of these five hormones determines what phase you are in. During each phase the quantity of each of the five hormones change. These hormones not only dictate how fertile you are, but also how you feel physically and emotionally. If the ratio of the five hormones are out of balance in any way our body talk informs you with PMS symptoms.

 

 

Action Plan

Fortunately, there is a lot we can do to eliminate, or greatly reduce symptoms of PMS. Certain foods we eat can either contribute to PMS or optimal hormone levels. Changing your diet is the best way to saying goodbye to PMS once and for all.

  • Eat mostly vegetables
    • This includes starchy and non-starchy vegetables
      • Broccoli
      • Kale
      • Sweet potatoes
      • Beets
      • Peas
      • Green Beans
      • Asparagus
      • Turnips
      • Rutabaga
      • Squash
      • Carrots
  • Calcium rich foods
    • Kale
    • Broccoli
    • Kefir
    • Sardines
  • High fiber foods
    • Beans
    • Lentils
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Broccoli
    • Chickpeas
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Avocados
  • Vitamin E rich foods
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Almonds
    • Broccoli

What to avoid is just as important as what to add in. Foods to avoid include:

  • Added sugars
    • Check ingredient labels
  • All vegetable oils
    • Corn
    • Soy
    • Canola
  • Refined foods
    • Breads
    • Pasta
    • Crackers
    • Chips
    • Cereal
  • High sodium foods
    • Pre-packaged meals
    • Refined foods
  • Foods you are allergic and/or sensitive too

 

Lifestyle factors can also play an important role.

Do

  • Exercise regularly
  • Use natural/fragrance-free hygiene products
  • Practice stress reducing techniques
  • Acknowledge any emotional issues

Don’t

  • Use perfumes
    • Use essential oils instead
  • Toxic household cleaners
  • Overeat
  • Abuse alcohol or caffeine

 

If you have made the proper dietary and lifestyle changes and still experience symptoms of PMS or if you are having trouble implementing these changes, working with a qualified practitioner may be necessary.

 

You can say goodbye to your PMS symptoms and use your cycle as a way to empower and guide you through life. I encourage you to learn about each phase of your menstrual cycle. By doing so, you will gain understanding and respect for what your body is going through each month. This will allow you work with your cycle, instead of feeling against it.

 

Happy Eating!

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