Make the Best Out of Your PMS!
Oh, PMS! For the dudes reading this, to sum it up, due to fluctuating hormones, we get mood swings (stop calling us crazy), painful cramps (imagine if there was a little Devil inside of your stomach cutting its way out out you), bloating (so you look 3 months pregnant), and breast soreness (even wearing shirts hurts like hell). And while ladies come together during this sacred time to vent about the feats of the female body, we should reclaim reclaim our nature rather than seeing it as an ailment. That being said, we are allowed to voice our frustration!
Since I don't drink or smoke, I also try not to take pain medication unless I'm in dire need of them. When it comes to cramps, I drink water or tea and try to ride out the pain most of the time. So, if you're also not the biggest fan of prescription drugs, or feel that Ibuprofen just isn't really working for you, there are other remedies. It should be noted that along with remedies or Advil, it is best to deal with PMS symptoms holistically: take a look at your exercise, stress, sleep, and diet.
- Chasteberry: Named for the Central Asian trees that produce the fruit, chasteberry can help relieve PMS symptoms. It boosts the production of the female hormone progesterone, which decreases after ovulation occurs, and lowers levels of prolactin, a hormone that helps prep the body for childbirth. But, there are several medications that interact poorly with chasteberry—like birth control pills and other forms of hormone therapy—so consult with your doctor before taking.
- Vitamins: Vitamin B6 (50 mg daily; which is involved in estrogen metabolism), Progesterone Cream (1/4 tsp, 10mg daily) (starting after ovulation until the day before your period begins), Magnesium (250 mg 2x daily; required in the metabolism of estrogen and can help relieve cramping), Ashwangandha and holy basil (two adaptogenic herbs that are believed to reduce cortisol, balance hormones, and reduce PMS symptoms).
- Exercise!: Exercising balances hormones and reduces stress
- Essential Oils: Clary sage oil helps balance hormones. Rub 2-3 drops of of oil on lower abdomen then apply warm compress for 2-5 minutes. Cypress oil, peppermint oil, ylang ylang oil, and lavender oil also help.
- Change in diet:
Foods that help reduce PMS symptoms are: plant foods (veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds), higher fiber foods (PMS can cause GI disturbances, so get that fiber in!), green leafy veggies (these have a diuretic effect + are a great source of calcium and magnesium), flaxseed (healthy estrogen metabolism), wild-caught fish (foods high in Omega-3 fats reduce inflammation and pain), avocado (can naturally balance hormones because of it’s healthy fat, fiber, magnesium and potassium)
- Be cautious of your intake:
What you should not eat: trans- and hydrogenated fats (can make PMS symptoms worse), food allergens (clearly, right), sugar (causes fluctuations in blood sugar that can exacerbate mood swings, headaches. Also, it depletes the body of critical minerals), high salt intake (water retention = worse if you have more salt), caffeine (it's dehydrating and can worsen depression, anxiety, and breast tenderness.)