Heavy, painful periods, breast tenderness, water retention and bloat, maybe a total transformation to your not so pleasant alter ego, Falisha, who has a quick temper. You may even turn to Google asking “Why do I get so angry before my period?” This is all just part of the female experience right?
Wrong! It is always shocking to me how many woman come to my office and have been experiencing horrendous PMS symptoms for years. Always they say the same thing, “this is just how my periods are”, “my mother and sisters are the same way”. Although your genetics do play a part in your hormone picture it is much more common that your hormone issues are related to toxicity and liver congestion. You DO NOT have to live with PMS.
Below are 4 natural ways to reduce PMS which help to support your body during the different phases of you cycle. You will recall the four phases of your cycle… you know back from sex ED class (if you ever had it):
Phases of the cycle
Menstruation: The first day you bleed is considered Day 1. Bleeding or the shedding of the uterine lining last 5-7 days. This is the time to rest and go easy on yourself. If you work out during this time keep it short and less intense. Try yin yoga and speak loving words over your uterus.
Follicular phase: This is your “Power Suit” phase, day 8-14 when estrogen is on the rise and you feel like you can conquer the world. This is the time to kick up the HIIT workouts or go all out in whatever exercise you love. To boost your estrogen during this time try eating pumpkin seeds and flax seeds. Fresh ground about 2TBS or each a day. They can be added to the top of salads or made into crackers or seed balls.
Ovulation: Day 14-21 is the time period when an ovary will drop an egg into the uterus allowing for conception to happen. DRINK WATER!! During this time support your body by being fully hydrated and increasing you raw veggies! Stay away from the processed and inflammatory foods like sugar, gluten, and milk.
Luteal phase: This phase is commonly our problem child, week just before our period comes. During the luteal phase progesterone rises, if pregnancy does not take place progesterone falls again and estrogen rises. It is here that poor metabolism or detoxification of estrogen really gets you feeling yucky, and by yucky I mean tender breasts, irritability or weepiness, and water retention/bloat.
4 Natural Ways to Reduce PMS
Support healthy estrogen metabolism by increasing your fiber intake. This food by increasing veggies, especially cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussel sprouts which contain Diindolylmethane or DIM for short. This compound naturally supports estrogen metabolism in the liver.
Support progesterone levels with Sunflower seeds and sesame seeds during this phase. Again fresh round is best, but making seed balls is a really easy way to get 2TBS in daily.
Magnesium during this week can be very helpful for several reasons. First, it helps relax the muscles so it useful for cramping. It is also an essential nutrient for regulating the pituitary gland which helps normalize progesterone.
Remove Coffee and Alcohol – these guys gum up the shared detox pathways in your liver. The move coffee you drink the less estrogen you will be able to metabolize in the liver. You may notice when you are drinking lot of coffee or alcohol that you get worse breast tenderness or even decreased alcohol tolerance; this is why.
There are several herbal and nutraceutical products to help balance progesterone and estrogen. It is best to discuss your specific hormonal complaints with your health care practitioner before starting on supplements.