woman suffering from PMS

PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)

PMS refers to the cyclic occurrence in some women of a variety of undesirable symptoms before getting their period. Symptoms can be physical, emotional or a combination of both. There are many symptoms of PMS and they can range from mild to intense. Here we list some of the more common symptoms.

What are the signs and symptoms of PMS?

  1. tension/anxiety/depression

  2. mood swings & irritable behaviour

  3. insomnia

  4. appetite changes & food cravings

  5. fatigue

  6. fluid retention

  7. abdominal bloating

  8. breast tenderness

  9. constipation or diarrhea

  10. acne flare-ups

What causes Premenstrual Syndrome?

It can be caused by a number of factors:

  • Diet – your body may not be getting the nutrients it needs. Deficiencies of vitamin B6, magnesium and essential fatty acids are associated with worse PMS symptoms.  We can assess which of these you may be lacking and supplement appropriately.
  • Stress – stress can wreak havoc on your body, your hormones and your emotions, potentially making your symptoms worse. Exercise along with naturopathic treatment is the best way to balance hormones and relieve stress.
  • Acupuncture – acupuncture can help with your symptoms while getting to the cause of your PMS.  Our naturopathic doctors and acupuncturists can help relieve PMS symptoms.
  • Neurotransmitter imbalance – an imbalance in the neutrotransmitter serotonin has been associated with particularly severe PMS, termed PMDD or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
  • Hormone imbalance – the most common hormonal presentation in PMS is estrogen dominance, relatively higher estrogen than progesterone, herbs can help modify that imbalance.

Naturopathic Medicine – your naturopathic doctor will work with you on to help you manage your symptoms, get to the source of and devise the most appropriate natural treatment for your PMS so that you can feel like yourself no matter what day of your cycle it is.

Natural Treatment for PMS – Research:

Vitex agnus castus

Vitex agnus castus extract was found to be an effective and well-tolerated treatment for the relief of mild to moderate PMS symptoms. Source: Acta Med Iran. 2012; 50(2):101-6.

Magnesium and vitamin B6

A study found that supplementation with magnesium and vitamin B6 led to the greatest decrease in PMS symptoms.  Source: Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, Volume 15, Issue 1, pages 401-405, December 2010.

Omega 3’s

Taking a daily omega-3 supplement led to a reduction in PMS symptoms including decreased severity and duration of depression, anxiety, lack of concentration and bloating. Source: Complementary Therapies in Medicine Jan 2013 (In press).