Naturopathy for PMS

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Do you struggle with mood swings, anxiety, crying spells or weight gain one week out of every month? You’re not alone.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) describes the range of physical and emotional symptoms that a lot of women experience in the lead up to their menstrual period. Most women experience mild symptoms in the lead up to a period. But up to 30 per cent find that their PMS symptoms have a significant impact on their lives and a staggering 10 per cent of women report their symptoms as severe that their quality of life is affected[1].

Why does it happen?

There’s been much research into why PMS occurs, but the root causes are still unknown. A change in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle seem to be an important trigger, which may be influenced by many factors including stress, genetics, underlying autoimmunity, diet, nutrient deficiencies and sluggish liver function.

Spot the tell-tale signs

As many women know all too well, the symptoms of PMS aren’t easily hidden. Watch out for:

  • Pain – especially in the joints, lower back, abdomen or head. Pain is the most common symptom of PMS (thought to be caused by prostaglandins, chemicals that play a key role in the body’s inflammatory response).
  • Anxiety – which may indicate oestrogen dominance caused by a relative drop in progesterone.
  • Cravings – particularly for sugary, fatty or salty foods, which sees many women reaching for the Tim Tams and chips in the lead up to a period.
  • Depression – wanting to cry, curl up into a ball and watch tearjerkers is very common and may reflect low oestrogen levels. Associated symptoms can include insomnia and lack of clarity.
  • Hyper hydration – fluid retention and swelling, especially around the belly, breasts and ankles, thought to be caused by poor breakdown of progesterone in the body.

Knock out PMS, the natural way

Exercise, painkillers and a hot water bottle are often the go-to solutions for PMS symptoms. But, whether your symptoms are only mild or fill you with dread, natural therapies can also provide effective relief.

Naturopathy is an overall natural approach to well being, which may help bring your body back into balance. It focuses on you as an individual and works with the basic goal of giving your body the opportunity to heal naturally.

At Health & Wellness Australia (HWA) our practitioners are experts in correcting underlying imbalances, which may lead to PMS. For instance, research shows that diet can have a major effect on the occurrence and severity of symptoms[2] – so our practitioners may focus on your general nutrition and lifestyle. They may also prescribe a range of herbs and supplements – including vitamins B1 and B6, magnesium, St John’s wort, lemon balm and potassium – which may help relieve bloating, weight gain, breast tenderness and mood changes, among other symptoms.

Want to know if naturopathy is right for you and your symptoms?

Send our practitioners a question using our Ask a Practitioner service. We’ll give you a call back or reply straight to your email inbox within 48 hours.

[1] Victoria State Government. Better health channel. betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/premenstrual-syndrome-pms

[2] BDA The Association of UK Dieticians. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) bda.uk.com/foodfacts/pms.pdf

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