An estimated 75 percent of women experience monthly pain and discomfort caused by a condition called premenstrual syndrome or PMS.
With such a large number of women suffering from this condition many have sadly come to accept it as an inevitability. However, in actuality PMS is treatable and may even be prevented entirely. Resolving PMS requires the implementation of six essential steps that support healthy bodily function, encourage hormone balance, and eliminate contributing factors of PMS.
After a brief review of PMS, we will explain how you can defeat PMS by following six simple steps.
A Basic Review of PMS
PMS is highly individualized condition. It is most noted for its broad selection of frustrating and occasionally debilitating symptoms including but not limited to mood swings, depression, irritability, anxiety, bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, insomnia, and weight gain – check out this complete list of PMS symptoms.
PMS is caused by hormonal imbalances, which tend to be most severe during menstruation. Factors such as diet, stress level, and underlying disorders influence the various characteristics of PMS including its frequency, duration, and intensity. Unsurprisingly, improving individual patient factors such as lifestyle can dramatically improve PMS and potentially resolve it completely.
6 Simple Steps to Eliminate PMS
Conquering PMS may seem like a daunting task. However, the process is actually quite simple. All that is required is comprehension and dedication. These elements manifest as understanding the various elements of an effective PMS treatment protocol and commitment to its effective implementation. Below is a brief outline of the six steps needed to alleviate and ultimately eliminate PMS.
Step 1: Optimize Your Diet
Although the adage “you are what you eat” may be an oversimplification, it is true that diet plays a pivotal role in our health including the occurrence of PMS. Unfortunately, our Western diet containing a variety of inflammatory agents like sugars, caffeine, alcohol, and dairy, contribute greatly to PMS symptoms. To improve PMS and achieve greater wellness it is essential that your diet be optimized.
Implementing the following dietary practices can alleviate PMS significantly:
- Avoid eating before bed
- Choose organic foods whenever possible
- Eat smaller meals throughout the day and do not skip meals
- Eliminate processed foods and refined flours or sugars
- Exclude caffeine and alcohol
- Include healthy proteins like eggs or nut butters in your breakfast
- Increase intake of high fiber foods like vegetables, nuts, beans, seeds, fruits, and whole grains
- Load up on omega-3 fatty acids by eating walnuts and wild caught fish like sardines, herring, and salmon
- Remove common allergens such as dairy and gluten
Step 2: Supplement Safely
Achieving proper nutrition is essential for combating PMS. However, even after dietary improvement, many fall short of getting the nutrients they need. Fortunately, you can fill in dietary gaps and improve other factors of PMS through supplementation.
Some of the best PMS supplement options are listed below:
- B vitamins
- Calcium citrate
- Magnesium citrate or glycinate
- Omega 3s like EPA or DHA
In addition to these specific nutrients, you may consider using herbs and phytonutrients known to improve symptoms of PMS.
Effective options include:
- Dandelion root
- Dong Quai
- Flax seeds
- Wild yam and cramp bark
When supplementing, safety should be your top priority. Before beginning any supplement regimen, speak with a knowledgeable doctor. They will be able to inform you of any possible medication interactions and various factors that may induce unwanted side effects.
Step 3: Reduce Stress
Stress has become a near constant in everyday life. This can be exceptionally harmful as chronic stress may induce a wide range of dysfunction including hormone irregularities that encourage PMS. Therefore, taking action to reduce stress in your life by engaging in relaxing activities and eliminating major sources of stress is an important part of a PMS treatment protocol. Try to make relaxation a priority by regularly enjoying a hot bath, soothing meditation, or a calming hobby.
Step 4: Exercise
Exercise is an important part of maintaining healthy bodily function. One of the many benefits of exercise is that it improves hormone regulation, which may alleviate symptoms of PMS.
To get the best PMS-reducing results, try to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise between four and five times a week. In addition to supporting hormone balance, light to moderate exercise can reduce stress, improve mood, and increase energy level. Each of these elements are highly desirable for those with PMS.
Step 5: Explore Different Treatments
Standard practice for treating PMS typically involves various medications to attend to specific symptoms. Unfortunately, the outcome of standardized treatments is often temporary relief followed by various side effects that may actually be worse than the original symptoms. Instead of relying on potentially damaging pharmaceuticals, consider other treatments such as acupuncture and homeopathic medicines. Patients often report greater improvement of their PMS symptoms after trying one or more of these alternative treatment options.
Step 6: Identify and Address Underlying Contributors
An undiagnosed or undertreated condition can greatly contribute to PMS severity. In many cases, chronic illness or dysfunction such as thyroid disease, leaky gut syndrome, and even physical trauma from a surgery can encourage PMS development and perpetuation. Therefore, to truly defeat PMS it is essential that your entire system be assessed, and any possible contributing dysfunction be resolved. Without resolving underlying contributors, the likelihood of eliminating PMS is low.
PMS is a frustrating condition that is notoriously difficult to resolve. Currently, the standard approach relies on a collection of anti-inflammatory drugs, hormone regulators, antidepressants, and other medications to manage specific symptoms. This is not only ineffective for total resolution but also potentially damaging for long term wellness. Fortunately, despite popular belief, it is possible to attain lasting PMS relief without the use of potentially disruptive medications. Improving PMS simply requires attending to the various factors that encourage its continuation by implementing healthy lifestyle adjustments. By following the six steps described above, you can neutralize PMS contributors, eliminate PMS and its symptoms, and achieve greater wellness.
At Holtorf Medical Group, our physicians are trained to provide you with cutting-edge testing and innovative treatments to find the answers you deserve and a treatment plan that is personalized to your specific condition. We can help you both uncover and treat the underlying cause of your PMS symptoms. If you are among the 80% of women suffering from PMS symptoms, give us a call at 877-508-1177 to see how we can help you!
Resources1. OWH Staff “Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).” WomensHealth.Gov.
2. Mayo Clinic Staff. “Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).” Mayo Clinic.