The most common PMS symptoms and the best natural treatment options.
This article is about premenstrual syndrome (PMS), its symptoms and possible causes. In addition, tips and advice are given on how women can cope with PMS and alleviate their symptoms. It also presents supplements that can help with PMS and foods that should be avoided.
What is PMS?
PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome and refers to a group of physical and emotional symptoms that many women may experience in the days or weeks leading up to their menstrual period.
Symptoms of PMS vary from woman to woman and can include physical discomfort such as headaches, abdominal pain, bloating and breast tenderness. Emotionally, women may experience mood swings, irritability, anxiety, or depressed moods during this time.
It is important to emphasize that PMS is not a mental illness, but a natural part of the menstrual cycle. However, in some cases, it can be severe enough to affect a woman’s ability to participate in daily life.
Overall, PMS is a common experience for many women and there are many ways to deal with and alleviate it. By becoming better informed about this, we can support each other and help make women feel less burdened during this time.
What are typical PMS symptoms?
Typical PMS symptoms can be both physical and emotional. Physical symptoms include abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, headache, nausea, back pain, fatigue and breast tenderness. Women may also notice water retention and weight gain. Furthermore, temporary vaginal dryness may occur due to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. If you are also interested in this topic, you should read our article “Vaginal dryness can occur at any age”.
Emotional symptoms may include irritability, anxiety, depression, mood swings, and tension. Women may also feel tired or excessively sleepy, have difficulty concentrating, or have decreased sexual desire. These symptoms may occur with varying intensity and frequency in different women.
Not all women have PMS symptoms, and your symptoms can also change from month to month and year to year.
What does your liver have to do with your PMS?
The exact causes of PMS are complex and not fully understood, but hormonal changes in the body are thought to play a central role.
The liver plays an important role in the body’s hormone balance, as it is responsible for the breakdown and excretion of hormones. A liver that is not functioning optimally can impair this process and lead to an imbalance of hormones, which can potentially increase the symptoms of PMS. Some theories and studies suggest that improved liver function may help alleviate the symptoms of PMS by working more efficiently in regulating hormones, thereby supporting hormonal balance in the body.
In addition, a poor diet that leads to liver overload (such as high consumption of alcohol, processed foods and certain medications) can indirectly affect PMS symptoms by impairing the liver’s ability to effectively metabolize and excrete hormones.
There are also specific liver diseases that can cause hormonal imbalances, which in turn could affect PMS symptoms. Promoting liver health can therefore be a way to manage or reduce the symptoms of PMS. You can learn about the signs of an overloaded liver, liver-friendly diet tips and more in our article “Tired all the time? Maybe your liver is whispering for help”.
What nutrients help with PMS?
In addition to a balanced diet, supplements can also be helpful for PMS
B vitamins, especially vitamin B6, are known to reduce stress and calm the nervous system. Since stress is an important factor in the development of PMS symptoms, B vitamins can help alleviate these symptoms.
Vitamin B6 and folic acid can also regulate hormone balance, especially estrogen and progesterone, which are responsible for the menstrual cycle and PMS symptoms.
B vitamins also play an important role in the body’s energy metabolism and can help increase energy and reduce fatigue that often accompanies PMS.
In addition, vitamin B6 is known to increase the production of serotonin in the brain, which can have a positive effect on mood and help reduce depressive symptoms associated with PMS.
Magnesium can help reduce cramping and pain, which are often typical PMS symptoms. It is also known to promote relaxation and can help improve sleep. Since sleep disturbances are a common PMS symptom, taking magnesium can help alleviate these symptoms. In addition, magnesium can help calm the body and reduce stress and anxiety that often accompany PMS. Magnesium can help increase the production of serotonin in the brain, which can have a positive effect on mood and help reduce depressive symptoms associated with PMS.
A recommended set of these three supplements is the PMS Support set from Ogaenics. It contains all eight natural B vitamins in B-Happy and magnesium from organic algae in CALM A LAMA. Natural supplementation with these vitamins and minerals in a kit can help you relieve your PMS symptoms.
What foods should you avoid with PMS?
Some women notice that certain foods can make their PMS symptoms worse or trigger them. Here are some foods you should avoid if you have PMS:
- Salt: High salt intake can cause water retention in the body and worsen PMS symptoms such as swelling and cramping.
- Sugar: Sugary foods and beverages can raise blood sugar levels and cause energy crashes and mood swings.
- Alcohol: Alcohol can worsen mood and increase PMS symptoms such as cramps, headaches, and fatigue.
- Caffeine: Drinks containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea and cola, can cause nervousness, restlessness and sleep disturbances.
- Fatty and fried foods: Fatty and fried foods can stress the body and cause digestive problems and nausea.
However, it is important to note that everyone’s body reacts differently and not all women may react to these foods.
Why you should avoid monk’s pepper for PMS
You may have heard of the natural herb monk’s pepper in connection with PMS. While it is very popular, there are a few reasons why some women may want to avoid the very common consumption of monk’s pepper for PMS, and rather rely on other natural supplements:
- Drug interactions: Monk’s pepper may interact with certain medications, especially hormonal contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy medications. It is important that women taking these medications talk to their doctor before using monk’s pepper.
- Pregnancy and lactation: Monk’s pepper may be harmful during pregnancy and lactation and should be avoided.
- Side effects: Although monk’s pepper is considered a natural remedy, it can still cause side effects such as nausea, stomach upset, headaches, and skin rashes.
- Uncertainty of effect: There is limited scientific evidence that monk’s pepper helps with PMS. Some studies have shown positive results, while others have not shown significant effects on symptoms.
It is therefore advisable to rather rely on scientifically proven supplements for PMS such as B vitamins and magnesium. In addition, however, it is crucial here to pay attention to quality. Natural sources of B vitamins and magnesium are better tolerated by your body than synthetic drugstore supplements because they are in a form that the body can more easily absorb and use. Synthetic supplements can also sometimes cause undesirable side effects such as gastrointestinal problems, which is not the case with natural vitamins and minerals from plants.
In summary, certain foods should be avoided in PMS because they can aggravate or trigger symptoms. Salt, sugar, alcohol, caffeinated beverages, and fatty and fried foods are among them.
In addition, it is advisable to rely on scientifically proven natural supplements such as B vitamins and magnesium. Monk’s pepper, on the other hand, should be avoided in PMS because it can interact with medications and the pill and cause side effects. Natural sources of vitamins and minerals like we use at Ogaenics are generally better tolerated by the body in PMS than cheaper, synthetic supplements from the drugstore.
1 Global study of women’s experiences of premenstrual symptoms and their effects on daily life. Dennerstein, L., et al, Menopause International; 17: (2011)88-95.
2 Exploratory study of premenstrual symptoms and serotonin variability. Clayton, A et al, Arch Womens Ment Health 9, 51-57 (2006).
3 Evaluating the effect of magnesium and magnesium plus vitamin B6 supplement on the severity of premenstrual syndrome. Fathizadeh N. et al, Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. ;15(Suppl 1): (2010)401-405.
4 Magnesium supplementation alleviates premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention. Walker, A F et al, Journal of women’s health vol. 7,9 (1998): 1157-65.
5 Pilot study of the efficacy and safety of a modified-release magnesium 250 mg tablet (Sincromag®) for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome. Quaranta S. et al, Clin Drug Investig. ;35(3):(2015) 183-90.