Medically PMS is defined as:
“Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common disorder in women of reproductive age that is characterized by the cyclic recurrence of physical, affective, and cognitive (or performance) symptoms. The symptoms occur in the latter half of the menstrual cycle, resolve after menses begins, and are absent during the early phase of the menstrual cycle. A diagnosis of PMS requires that symptoms are severe enough to negatively impact a woman's ability to function at home, in the workplace, or in personal relationships. As many as 85% of menstruating women experience one or more symptoms of PMS. Approximately 5% to 10% of women have symptoms severe enough to be debilitating.”
OK, where does that leave the rest of us who do not quite have enough symptoms to obtain an official medical diagnosis but are well aware that something just isn’t quite right????
The exact cause of PMS is not fully understood and may be related to a number of factors. The current theories on the underlying causes focus mostly on levels of sex hormones (e.g., estrogen, progesterone) and neurotransmitters (i.e., brain chemicals that control mood), as well as regulation of fluid balance by the kidneys and hormone balance by the liver.
Ok enough technical stuff …on to the good stuff!
Show of hands for those who have been to the doctor for PMS, menopause symptoms or hormone imbalances and your options were birth control pills or some form of synthetic hormone replacement therapy. We now know that those synthetic treatment options can cause adverse side effects that we really don’t want or care to deal with. But it’s left on us, the patients, to find “alternative” treatments.
Please conduct your own research and talk to your healthcare provider before starting any herbal supplements as they could interact with prescription drugs and/or illnesses that you are already experiencing.
First things first, reverse nutritional deficiencies by taking a quality multivitamin and maintaining enough vitamin B6, magnesium and calcium. Secondly know that a variety of herbal approaches have successfully been used to help manage PMS symptoms, many with a history of use dating back centuries. These natural interventions include herbs that support hormone and neurotransmitter balance, fluid balance, and liver health.
There are many however through my own personal experience and intense research, I’ve found the following herbal supplement approaches to be very helpful…although not all at the same time of course!
And just in case you wanted to read some highly technical medical jargon, check out the sources below...
In my free-time I enjoy studying Herbalism and reading/researching scholarly & scientific literature on various topics.