Although PMS has become a typical experience for women in our culture, it doesn’t have to be your monthly downfall. Believe it or not, PMS is not “normal.” It is often a result of lifestyle choices and environmental exposures that negatively impact your hormonal functioning.
Toward the end of your cycle, the amount of estrogen being produced should be less and progesterone should be the dominant hormone (unlike the the follicular and ovulatory phases). As estrogen decreases and progesterone increases, women may have slightly less energy and turn inward; however, the kind of cramping that has you calling in sick to work, experiencing drastic emotional swings, or crying if someone accidentally touches your painfully tender breasts is a sign of hormonal imbalance.
Many of us women have too much estrogen and aren’t able to follow this natural cycle of decreased estrogen in the second half of the menstrual cycle (known as the luteal phase), causing this monthly phenomenon.
One of the keys to treating PMS is to allow your body to detox excess estrogen. We are constantly bombarded with estrogenic sources that impair our natural functioning. A few modifications can help to restore hormone balance and reduce symptoms of PMS.
Here are the top 4 ways to reduce PMS symptoms naturally:
Remove estrogen mimickers
Chemicals such as triclosan, BPA, and oxybenzone increase unnatural estrogen in the body. Products such as antibacterial gels, sunscreens, plastics and cans contain these chemicals. Look for products with fewer ingredients with less scientific-sounding names. If you want to check on the products you’re using, visit EWG’s site for a rating.
Reduce refined sugar
Diets high in sugar promote insulin surges; insulin is your fat storage hormone, and surges cause sugar to convert to fat in the body. Fat makes estrogen. Natural sugars such as 1–3 servings of fruit are OK, I’m talking about the sugar in pastries and sodas, for example. Parsley Health’s 5 Day Clear Mind and Body Reset is an excellent place to start, and comes with a meal plan that makes it easy to get back to feeling your best.
Eat more cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower contain DIM (Di-Indolyl Methane) which helps the body process and eliminate unwanted estrogens.
Make sure you’re getting your B vitamins
B vitamins are important for liver detox. The liver is the main organ that is going to get rid of excess hormones. We recommend taking a B Complex.
If there’s one thing you take away from this article, let is be that PMS is not normal. PMS is a symptom of a hormonal imbalance and that imbalance can be fixed. You can prevent PMS completely naturally and the tips above are a great place to start.
As always, it’s best to work with a functional doctor to get the right testing in order to understand your exact hormone imbalance and to create a personalized plan for you to balance your hormones with the right diet, lifestyle modifications, and supplements and get you back to feeling your absolute best.