Did you know that PMS is just another symptom of a hormonal imbalance? And that figuring out how to alleviate these symptoms can actually give your body a bit of a metabolism boost?
When I figured out how to pretty much eliminate all my PMS symptoms, life just got easier. Of course, now things just “sneak up” on me, which can be a bit problematic in its own way…However, I no longer get moody, hormonal acne, or feel icky and gross beforehand.
To be honest, when I went of the Pill, I suddenly got PMS and menstrual cramps that were SO bad. I hadn’t really experienced these symptoms before but that’s understandable…the Pill totally masks a lot of the symptoms of these things.
Which isn’t a good thing…
We don’t want to mask symptoms because all that’s doing is stopping you from figuring out how to eliminate the symptoms and feel a whole lot better. And, the longer you mask symptoms like PMS, the harder it’ll be to rebalance your body later. Plus, your menopause experience will likely be a living nightmare!
Why You Get PMS
Besides being related to an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone, your PMS can also be caused by nutritional deficiencies, allergies, and gut microbiome imbalances. Blood sugar imbalances and insulin resistance along with an underactive thyroid can cause your PMS symptoms.
And when you come off any type of hormonal birth control, your body will experience even worse symptoms because the Pill totally causes further nutritional deficiencies.
Learning To Read Your PMS Symptoms
One of the biggest success factors in my 90-day Hormonal Fat Loss program (The 40 or Less Method) is getting my clients to track all their symptoms each week. We connect these symptoms to sleep, stress, food, and so much more so that my clients can really see what their bodies are telling me.
And honestly, it’s this clarity in what your body is saying that helps you have the most success in reaching your goals.
So, when it comes to PMS symptoms, it’s easy to fall back on mainstream tips and advice and address it all in the same way. But this isn’t helping you eliminate the symptoms and actually feel freer and happier during those days each month.
Let’s look at what your PMS symptoms are telling you so you can actually address those instead of just living in pain and confusion!
For women with anxiety or who feel weepy or overly emotional in the week leading up to their period, your body is probably dealing with a copper / zinc imbalance. The actual problem is that you could have high levels of copper with low levels of zinc. Zinc is one of those minerals that can become really low if you’re not careful. Alcohol consumption lowers zinc levels and women who eat mainly a plant-based diet tend to have a hard time getting enough zinc in their diet.
If you typically feel depressed, forgetful, or withdrawn in the week before your period, or if you experience fear, paranoia or have suicidal thoughts during this time, your body is low in serotonin. Serotonin is your “feel good” neurotransmitter, and when it’s imbalanced, you feel listless and moody.
Cravings are totally an indicator of nutritional deficiencies too! The most common craving during your week of PMS is chocolate, which means your body is low in magnesium. Low prostaglandins due to high levels of stress can also cause cravings for sweets, comfort foods and carbs.
Headaches or feeling heavy before your period can also be due to low magnesium but also due to low vitamin B levels, especially B6.
Manage Your PMS Naturally
When you get your PMS symptoms managed, you’ll feel more balanced and freer to enjoy your favorite activities. PMS can totally hold you back from living your best life and, because it happens once every 4 weeks for most of us, it’s actually really lowering your overall quality of life.
You don’t want that, do you?
I’ll be honest – it can take up to 12 months to get your hormones balanced. The factors that affect this length of time are how committed you are to getting your hormones and your life back on track, the damage caused by poor food and lifestyle choices in the past, and your previous history with hormone replacement and prescription drugs.
But, you CAN get your hormones back on track and you CAN manage your PMS naturally.
First off, ditch as much processed, junk and “non-foods” as you can from your diet. Avoid sugar, gluten and dairy, and consume a lot of fresh vegetables, raw seeds, fruit, good quality protein, and healthy fats.
Eat more phytoestrogen foods, like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. If you have low functioning thyroid, make sure you eat these lightly steamed or cooked.
Work on balancing blood sugar by starting your day with protein, healthy fats and low-carb vegetables. Avoid high carb foods earlier in the day and only have them for dinner or bedtime snacks.
Because your liver and urinary tract systems help remove toxic hormones, you can improve your detoxification with natural diuretics and liver cleansing foods like dandelion, asparagus, parsley, watermelon, grapes and cucumber. Milk thistle and licorice teas are good too, especially in the week leading up to your period.
And, increase your intake of fibre, especially ground flaxseed, to remove excess estrogens.
Alcohol, caffeine and nicotine can make your PMS symptoms worse, so cut back on these in weeks 3 and 4 of your cycle.
And, finally, PMS is tied with chronic stress, so make sure you find ways to put yourself first. Relax more, laugh often, and do things that make you feel good and less stressed out. Getting out in the sunshine for 20 minutes a day can also help alleviate PMS symptoms.
Top Foods to Combat PMS
Since PMS symptoms are also due to nutritional deficiencies, if you make sure your diet includes these foods often, you can cut back on the impact of your symptoms each month:
- Leafy greens
- Whole eggs
- Brussels sprouts
- Bell peppers
- Citrus fruits
- Sweet potatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Grass fed beef
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Ground flaxseeds
The Key to Eliminating Your PMS Symptoms
PMS is often just a hormonal imbalance combined with nutritional deficiencies. Our environments, food and lifestyle choices and our habits can all make these symptoms worse because each impact how well our bodies remove excess and produce enough of our important hormones. Plus, exposure to certain non-foods and chemicals can reduce our detoxification abilities.
The best way to improve your PMS symptoms is to eat a whole foods-based diet that is rich in vegetables and lower sugar fruits, healthy plant-based fats, seafood, and good quality protein. The longer your PMS has been affecting you, the longer it’ll take to rebalance your body but you WILL get there.