Almost 30 years ago now, doctors claimed that PMS did not exist. Today it is everywhere. I have very few friends, clients or even family members whose periods come and go without them noticing.
Luckily for a few, women can sail through their cycles without a mood swing or a hint of discomfort. But like I said, it’s a lucky few!
PMS is estimated to affect now 9 out of 10 women and 30-40% of these women are believed to have symptoms severe enough to interfere with their daily lives.
So what exactly is Pre- Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)?
This is generally a term used to describe any symptom which occurs after ovulation (middle of your cycle) and disappears generally as soon as your period arrives.
What are some of the symptoms?
It is thought that there are over 150 symptoms of PMS which all form this umbrella term. This includes:
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and tension
- Breast tenderness and swelling
- Water retention
- Weight gain
- Headaches / weight gain
- Crying spells
- Sugar and food cravings
The personality change for most of my clients who come to me with PMS tends to be what gets women to seek help about in the first place. The ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ personality swings can become too much as thought processes change whilst having no control over this change of thought.
Most women tend to suffer with a predominant type of PMS including:
Each has been thought is caused by it’s own hormonal imbalance but of course can all be reduced or completely alleviated by lifestyle and food choices.
Unfortunately, there is not a one fits all approach pharmaceutically to PMS. However, naturally by changing some of our daily habits things can really change for the better.
With your nutrition we’re looking for a whole based approach to your nutrition. When looking at your plate for both lunch and dinner you want to have half a plate of veggies, quarter protein source and a quarter carbohydrate choice.
The more nutrient dense carbohydrate choices would be: root vegetables, quinoa, rice and potatoes.
Protein sources: beans, legumes or good quality meats and fish.
We also need to make sure you’re actually eating plenty of foods! A lot of women feel the need to starve themselves to help them to lose weight by reducing the amount of calories you’re consuming. Which does not have to be the case at all!
Having 3 decent meals per day, along with 2 snacks is the perfect start for those trying to alleviate their PMS symptoms to help reduce any blood sugar imbalances.
Exercise can be key for most women to help with PMS. It helps your blood flow and releases endorphins which ultimately makes you feel better.
Reducing stress levels, where possible, is also key. We are constantly on the go. If you have children, it’s dropping the kids off somewhere, getting to work, dealing with the stress of work, coming home, cooking dinner for the family (sometimes multiple dinners as not everyone eats the same dinner!), getting everything cleaned up, washing the kids, bedtime, trying to get to the gym for an hour of ME time, then trying to be asleep in bed by 10.30/11am. Gosh, even writing it makes my heart rate increase!
Where possible trying not to always think of your release as a HIIT workout however but perhaps some mindfulness, yoga or going for a recovery float are all perfect alternatives to get your stress levels down.
Learning to think about nothing – really is a work of art.
If you suffer with PMS then please do not hesitate to ever message me, to see how I can help.