Many women think that Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is simply PMS and always looks the same way for every woman: moodiness, cramps, irritability or depressive states, breast tenderness, etc. Also, most women think that this is NORMAL. I am here to tell you that PMS symptoms of ANY kind are NOT NORMAL. Common, sure (it is estimated that every 3 out of 4 women experience some PMS symptoms), but absolutely not “normal”. Symptoms of PMS have a predictable pattern, however they can range from mild to severe. You don’t have to let these symptoms control your life. Small adjustments can be made in your diet, lifestyle or treatment plan to reduce severity of symptoms or even eliminate them for good.
Symptoms of PMS are usually a sign of hormone dysregulation or chemical imbalances in the brain (depression in Serotonin levels). So what can you do?
Did you know that there are actually 4 different types of PMS?
PMS Type 1 – The Anxiety Type
Symptoms: These women are anxious before their cycle, usually have insomnia, are irritable and emotionally labile.
Cause: The cause of this type of PMS is usually an imbalance of estrogen-progesterone, estrogen being in excess or progesterone being deficient. These women have a diminished stress response and therefore feel emotionally overwhelmed very easily.
Solution: Try a botanical combination of Chaste Berry (hormone balancer which naturally boosts progesterone), St. Johns Wort (antidepressant and relaxant), Lemon Balm (relaxant), and Rhodiola (adaptogen – modifies stress response). In addition, introduce foods high in Vitamin B6 such as nuts, lentils and fruit, and eliminate estrogen dominators such as caffeine, sugar, and poor quality meat sources (these just add extra hormones into your body). Eat local and organic whenever possible!
PMS Type 2 – The Sugar Type
Symptoms – These women tend to get carbohydrate/sugar cravings before their cycle, increased appetite during their cycle, headaches, heart palpitations, and have a tendency toward hypoglycemia (low sugar episodes).
Cause: This is possibly caused by a dysfunction in insulin binding.
Solution: Maintain stable blood sugar by ensuring small frequent meals of high protein and high-quality complex carbohydrates, fresh fruit and vegetables, and nuts and seeds. Try drinking Nettle tea to combat the onset of your cravings and reach for healthier snacks such as nuts and dates, or an apple with almond butter. Bitter herbs such as Gentian and Dandelion can help with overall appetite control, digestion, and reduction in estrogen circulating load.
PMS Type 3 – The Depressive Type
Symptoms: A very common type indeed, these women cycle into despair, cry easily, have low libido, feelings of hopelessness, insomnia and sometimes have no emotional affect.
Cause: This is usually caused by Estrogen imbalances leading to increased neurotransmitter degradation.
Solution: Herbs such as St. Johns Wort or the use of 5HTP can be effective during your depressive state as they naturally enhance production of the neurotransmitter Serotonin. Cognitive therapies and counselling can also be very effective during this time. It is also recommended to introduce Chaste Berry (hormone modulation), and nerve relaxants such as Lemon Balm or Passionflower. An adaptogen such as Rhodiola or Ashwagandha is also highly recommended.
PMS Type 4 – The Water Retention Type
Symptoms: These women’s hands and ankles will swell, they will gain weight with their cycle, feel bloated, have breast tenderness and enlargement and will feel an overall ‘heaviness’.
Cause: A possible mechanism of action here is an increase in aldosterone in the late luteal phase (last half of your cycle) due to excess estrogen, low progesterone, magnesium deficiency, or stress.
Solution: Introduce herbal diuretics such as Dandelion root tea. Restrict high sodium foods (e.g. cheese, deli meats and canned goods), and increase dietary potassium in foods like vegetables and fruits. Chaste Berry can also be considered if an elevated Prolactin level is suspected or if breast tenderness accompanies your cycles.
So, which PMS type are you? Take our PMS QUIZ.
This information might raise questions for you, and you may find yourself hovering somewhere between 2 different types, and wondering what to do next. Should you have an inquiry, don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org – you may want some simple guidance in the right direction to explore your fertility. It can be overwhelming trying to find the right person to help you. Someone who can encourage you to make the changes necessary and empower you to take control of your fertility is much better than just having someone tell you what is wrong. Comprehensive testing and an individual plan is critical in getting you the results you are searching for. CONTACT US and speak with Dr. Jessica about your fertility challenges.