Dr. Robert Hedaya answered:If you think you have premenstrual syndrome (PMS), carefully track your menstrual cycles and moods on a graph for three months. Get your female hormones measured several times during the first half and second half of your cycle, using blood samples or saliva samples, being sure to measure the pituitary hormones (FSH and LH) in your blood at least once in each half of the cycle. Measure your melatonin in the second half of your cycle via saliva testing, and journal what you are eating during that time of your cycle. Also journal whether or not you notice more aches and pains during that period of time, as this indicates an inflammatory component, which lowers brain serotonin. This approach will help you be sure it is PMS and help shed light on what to do.
Some women with PMS benefit from light therapy with improved mood, perhaps via its effect on biological rhythms, improved timing of adrenal output, or melatonin release. Sleep deprivation (sleeping from 3-7 AM) seems to normalize circadian rhythms and REM sleep, as well as improve mood during the second half of the menstrual cycle, however this treatment was only studied for short, one-day periods of time. Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) are also effective in treating PMS.
Progesterone supplementation is very often useful if you have documented progesterone deficiencies, or estrogen excesses. Melatonin levels can be measured at night, and melatonin can be effective in alleviating the insomnia of PMS. Dietary changes may be indicated if aches and pains (which indicate an inflammatory process) are a significant symptom, since reduction in inflammation increases the brain’s ability to make serotonin and melatonin, and maintain a good mood, and low levels of anxietyIf you think you have premenstrual syndrome (PMS), carefully track your menstrual cycles and moods on a graph for three months. Get your female hormones measured several times during the first half and second half of your cycle, using blood samples... More
Marcy Holmes answered:
While we can’t really control the little bit of genetics and the PMS brain we may have inherited, we can certainly do a lot about our lifestyle, nutritional support and how we nurture our body and reduce PMS! For over ten years I have seen this platform of support transform women with PMS!
Supplementing with high quality key Multi-Vitamins, Minerals, including b-complex, calcium and magnesium, vitamin D- are all amazing support options that make a huge difference in how we feel.
There are various herbal formulas if you desire a botanical approach for even more support, but quality matters often to get the best results so a trusted source is crucial. I am seeing amazing results with women using MACA. Others do well with DIM, Chasteberry, isoflavones and Don Quai. Often a quality herbal blend with variety works best.
Some women find low dose natural progesterone cream from health food stores a great fast support that helps reduce PMS. This helps with estrogen dominance type of PMS in particular. Natural Progesterone seems to promote the calming response in many women, thru its influence on Serotonin and Gaba in particular in the brain, it is very different than synthetic progestin.
There are also more complex combinations of bioidentical hormones that can be considered for women who need higher potency or more than just progesterone to feel balanced. We have various articles on bhrt at womentowomen.com if that interests you- and even using hormones, the nutritional support measures are critical as well!
I urge women looking to remedy PMS- to curb the 4 C’s: Candy, Coffee, Cocktails and Couch time! A healthy lifestyle to curb the 4 C’s helps tremendously to reduce PMS. Reducing sugar and carbohydrates is critical for health and hormone balance. Cutting down or eliminating coffee reduces the stress response and promotes more stable blood sugar and mood. Saying no to daily cocktails and alcohol as well as getting off the couch, to be active daily will help burns off steam, and stimulate endorphins to feel good from the brain!
Maybe you can take this on, or maybe you could use some help? We have an amazing support staff of advisors, coaches and nurse educators at the Personal Program to help women make progress they are looking for- using our Personal Program for Hormone Imbalance and soon our PMS program in 2012~. Check it out at womentowomen.comWhile we can’t really control the little bit of genetics and the PMS brain we may have inherited, we can certainly do a lot about our lifestyle, nutritional support and how we nurture our body and reduce PMS! For over ten years I have seen... More
Intermountain Healthcare answered:Here are some things you can do to ease premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms:
Exercise 30 minutes every day - all month long. This can help prevent and treat PMS symptoms. It's also good for your total health.
Eat healthy. Pay extra attention to these things before your period:
- Limit salt. You may feel better and have less swelling.
- Eat smaller meals, more often. This can help with food cravings.
- Stay away from caffeine and alcohol. This may help ease aches, pains, and mood swings.
- Get enough calcium. Drink low-fat milk. Eat yogurt and broccoli. Drink soymilk with calcium.
- Take a multivitamin.
Lower your stress. Take time for yourself. Do things that make you feel happy and calm.
Take medicine for pain and discomfort. Try acetaminophen (like Tylenol) or ibuprofen (like Advil). You can also try medicines especially for PMS. These often combine pain medicine with something to help with bloating. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Call or go to the doctor or clinic if:
Here are some things you can do to ease premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms: Exercise 30 minutes every day - all month long. This can help prevent and treat PMS symptoms. It's also good for your total health. Eat healthy. Pay extra attention... More
- PMS symptoms are very bad and nothing helps
- PMS symptoms get in the way of normal life: work, family life, friendships, or school