PMS can be such a debilitating condition for so many women. The symptoms can range from headaches, nausea, cramps, bloating, skin break-outs and digestive issues to crying jags, anxiety, depression, irritability and rage. While modern medicine tends to look at symptoms as physical things leading to a physical cause, PMS is largely a sign that your body is communicating with you. If we can listen to the messages it is trying to share, we may find balance and peace within.
Imagine that a portal opens once a month. A portal that allows us the chance to see, hear, perceive and understand all the layers to who we really are. Prior to this portal opening, all month long we serve others, care for others, give of ourselves. We are able to put own own needs aside for a moment and send our energy outwards. Then, the portal opens and we suddenly see a mirror into our own selves. We suddenly have awareness of all the ways that we have not honored our own self-care. And because this awareness was previously suppressed, it comes through with powerful clarity. We feel angry, hurt, vulnerable.
Simply paying attention to your “triggers” during the week leading up to your period will give you valuable insights into where you feel hurt in your life. It can allow you to find a voice with which to speak up about your own needs, take time for yourself and turn your energy inwards. It can also help you to heal past traumas that you may still be hanging on to.
Take time to listen to yourself.
So, when addressing PMS, first focus on your feelings, then your diet, and then add in supplements as needed. Too often , we reach for supplements first, thinking that a pill will fix things. I find that most cases of PMS respond most dramatically to awareness of your inner state of being.
The dietary suggestions I like to recommend are:
Eliminate dairy and conventional meat, these are sources of unneeded hormones and possibly inflammatory foods.
Eliminate sugar. This is so hard to do, but just try it as an experiment. Fruit is ok in moderation (1-2 servings a day) and whole grains. Avoid added sugars like maple syrup, honey, table sugar etc.
No industrial oils (soy, corn, canola) or processed grains (flours, even gluten-free). These cause and contribute to inflammation.
Avoid caffeine. Sorry, I know coffee is big but just try this out for a month and see how you feel overall.
Increase your intake of all vegetables, even starchy ones. Moderate fruit and whole grain intake. Fatty fish such as sardines, trout and salmon. Eat more raw nuts and seeds.
Try to eat at regular intervals to keep your energy levels and blood sugar steady.
There are a few supplements that may help to alleviate symptoms and balance hormones:
Fish oil (1,000-5,000 mg) taken daily
Flaxseed meal (2 Tablespoons) taken daily
Then, during the second half of cycle:
B6 100 mg daily
Magnesium and Calcium (preferably in a balanced ratio. I like Natural Calm)
If more support is needed:
Chaste Tree, also called Vitex (100 mg) taken daily
Saffron ( 1/4 teaspoon) taken daily, helps with anxiety and irritability
Some final measures include taking conscious time every day for relaxation and stress relief. This can look any number of ways. Some popular options include yoga, meditation, gentle exercise, journaling and counseling. But each of us is an individual. Explore what helps you to unwind and release unneeded stress.
Taking these recommendations and finding what fits you and what works for you may be a key in helping to find your inner wisdom, balance and peace during your cycle.