Don’t you want to feel good in your body? That’s what we want for you!
The time has come to talk about what’s normal PMS and what’s not.
What is PMS?
First, let’s start with defining PMS and what it really stands for.
PMS stands for Premenstrual Syndrome. Syndrome means a set of symptoms that recur in a predictable pattern. In this case, we’re talking about a set of symptoms that typically show up before a woman’s period starts.
What are typical PMS symptoms?
Many women experience:
- Mood swings
- Breast Tenderness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Weight gain / fluid retention
But these aren’t the only symptoms you can have with PMS. There could be others, and it really boils down to any symptoms that happens regularly before your period starts.
Is PMS normal?
Even though so many women experience these symptoms, that doesn’t mean PMS should be accepted as normal. From my perspective as a holistic health doctor, I feel we’ve normalized symptoms too much.
When we label things as normal, that typically means we’re dismissing a deeper problem.
What I consider to be normal is mild changes in overall mood and energy throughout the month. Hormones go up and down throughout the monthly cycle, and that definitely causes some shifts in the body and mind – but it should not be debilitating.
You should not have to take over-the-counter pain medication for PMS. You should not have to call in sick from work.
Basically, if you experience any of the above symptoms at a moderate to high severity, I would say this is not normal. You deserve better!
Is PMS bad?
The symptoms on this list are all signs of hormone imbalances. Particularly high estrogen in relation to progesterone.
The key hormones at play during your menstrual cycle include Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone. These are all important hormones and their levels are supposed to fluctuate throughout your cycle.
The extent to which they fluctuate relative to each other is what causes hormone imbalance symptoms. So if progesterone is too low and estrogen is too high – PMS symptoms tend to be worse.
What hormones cause PMS?
Estrogen and Progesterone are key players. You want them to be at a ratio of about 500-100. We can calculate your ratio by testing a saliva sample.
Other hormones that affect your menstrual cycle include thyroid hormones and adrenal hormones. These also need to be balanced in order to have a healthy menstrual cycle.
What causes Hormone imbalances?
For example, some causes of hormone imbalances include:
- Inflammation caused by diet high in refined carbohydrates, caffeine and dairy products
- Toxin exposure
- Imbalances in digestive bacteria (dysbiosis)
- Chronic infections
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Genetics / methylation
Natural remedies for PMS
Conventional treatments for PMS include birth control, over the counter pain medication, antidepressants. None of these treatments address the cause and can lead to further imbalances in the future.
Compared to medications that cause harm, naturopathic doctors use a more holistic approach to PMS symptoms:
- Addressing nutrient deficiencies
- Magnesium, Vitamin B6 and Zinc are some examples of important nutrients for hormone balance
- Lowering Inflammation
- Making diet and lifestyle changes like transitioning to wholefoods diet, increasing exercise
- Optimizing thyroid and adrenal health
- Screening for and addressing high or low cortisol and suboptimal thyroid hormone levels can improve PMS symptoms
- Supporting liver health and detox pathways
- Eliminating toxins and endocrine disruptors to decrease your liver’s burden so it can better metabolize hormones
- Addressing your gut health
- Dysbiosis can lead to increased beta-glucuronidase, which leads to high estrogen levels
- Using hormone balancing botanicals such as Chaste berry, St. John’s Wort, Peony, Dandelion and Abhwagandha
If you would like to discover the root cause of your PMS and period problems, join my next free consult session!
Dr. Liora Mor, ND