It’s that time of the month again. And it can be really frustrating… Despite all our best-laid plans to live our best life, when PMS happens, everything goes out the window.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is one of the major health issues for childbearing-age women. It’s both physically and psychologically challenging for us when experienced. And the complaints vary from woman to woman.
PMS can include: bloating, tender breasts, headaches, sometimes debilitating abdominal pain or cramps, weight gain, swelling, anxiety, and depression. As we experience the ebbs and flows of the pain, many of us are often left feeling like there’s nothing we can do about it.
But on today’s blog, we’re here to tell you the truth – there is something we can do. We can have better days! It is possible to feel like our best selves again.
At Casa Natal, we’ve been vocal about our passion and commitment to the optimal health and empowerment of women.
We’re going to be clear right here and right now. The solution to PMS is not a drug. If you want a quick fix (without lasting solutions) you won’t find it here. There is also not one hormone that’s fully responsible for the avoidance of PMS. Instead, it is a complex relationship between different hormones.
A Functional Medicine Approach To PMS
Functional Medicine is an approach that looks at the root cause of diseases and uses science-based tools to treat them. This approach will help you understand why your body reacts to certain foods or stressors in ways that it doesn’t react normally (it may even help you realize what foods are causing you some of these symptoms).
This can be very empowering because then you will know what works for YOU and what doesn’t work for YOU.
Functional Medicine also helps with detoxification by removing toxins from your body through various methods including food-based therapies such as fasting or using specific diets; herbal therapies; supplementation with specific vitamins/minerals; stress management techniques such as meditation/yoga and more.
Exercise, Diet, and Supplements
There are many treatments for PMS capable of bringing some physical relief, but most come with side effects. The Functional Medicine approach is to look first at lifestyle factors, including nutrition.
Exercise and a healthy diet are just a couple of natural ways you can keep PMS at bay. Exercise has been shown to help alleviate symptoms like bloating and water retention, as well as improve mood. It also helps you sleep better, which is key for managing the emotional symptoms of PMS.
A healthy diet is crucial in managing your symptoms as well. Eating foods rich in B vitamins, magnesium and calcium can help prevent symptoms like headaches, insomnia, and anxiety. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may also help reduce moodiness and irritability associated with PMS.
The Don’t List
Eating right can be a big help in relieving your PMS symptoms. The best way to eat for PMS is to cut down on foods high in solid fats and added sugars, limit foods high in salt, and eat mostly whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
If you’re eating more salt than usual during the week before your period, consider cutting back on sodium by limiting processed foods like deli meats and canned soups—or even by using less salt when cooking at home. Be aware that some foods like milk chocolate contain more sodium than dark chocolate.
When it comes to caffeine and alcohol, try to limit your intake during your period because both can cause bloating, water retention, and breast tenderness—all common PMS symptoms that can be helped by cutting out caffeine altogether or at least cutting back significantly. Alcohol can make anxiety worse so if you are prone to feeling anxious or stressed out during PMS then consider avoiding alcohol altogether during this time of the month or at least limiting it as much as possible.
And let’s not forget the worst of them all – sugar. When you eat too much sugar, your body releases hormones called insulin and cortisol. These hormones help regulate your blood sugar level, but they also trigger the ovaries to release estrogen and progesterone—hormones that cause PMS symptoms like bloating, irritability, and cramps.
Diet is just one aspect of the functional approach to medicine that we practice here at Casa Natal.
In this approach, we also look at your gut environment, hormones, inflammatory markers, and lifestyle. This way, we can reduce symptoms and get you back to feeling great again.
To learn more about integrative and functional medicine, Connect with us today!
Casa Natal Birth and Wellness Center has birth centers dedicated to your needs in Morgan Hill and Los Gatos, California. We also serve Palo Alto, Milpitas, Santa Clara, Cupertino, Saratoga, and more.