PMS (premenstrual syndrome) is the name for a group of symptoms which women can experience in the weeks before their period, during and after. This means that women can be suffering from these symptoms for at least 21 days out of 28 which is an awfully long time. Therefore it is essential that we understand our cycle and how our lifestyles affect our periods.
Symptoms of PMS
Each woman's symptoms are different and can vary from month to month.
The most common symptoms of PMS include:
feeling upset, anxious or irritable
tiredness or trouble sleeping
bloating or tummy pain
changes in appetite and sex drive
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMSD) affects a tiny percentage of women who have more severe PMS symptoms (PMDD).
PMDD symptoms are comparable to PMS symptoms, but they are significantly more severe and can have a far bigger negative impact on everyday activities and quality of life.
In addition to the signs and symptoms are:
physical symptoms such as cramps, headaches and joint and muscle pain
behavioral symptoms such as binge eating
mental and emotional symptoms, such as feeling very anxious, angry, depressed or, in some cases, even suicidal.
Things that trigger PMS
PMS can be triggered by a number of things such as:
Blood sugar imbalances
Inflammation- contributors of inflammation are high fat, high processed foods, and high sugar diets. Also those that lack fruit, vegetables, healthy fats and omega 3’s.
Lack of exercise/sedentary lifestyle
Diet for PMS
A diet that provides an adequate amount of macro and micronutrients. It's important to eat until you are full to reduce snacking. This is important because every time we eat it causes a rise in blood sugar, and we want to keep this as stable as possible.
Go for whole foods- when choosing foods we want them to be as natural as possible with minimum ingredients. Try including some of the foods below into your diet. this is not an extensive list, but to give you and idea of what direction to head in.
Fats- Avocado, coconuts, oily fish, olives, nuts and seeds.
Carbohydrates- beans, vegetables, wild rice, fruit, dried fruit, sweet potato
Protein- Organic grass fed red meat 2x a week, organic chicken, wild source oily fish no more than 3x week, lentils, beans, hemp, and eggs.
Omega 3- Oily fish, pumpkin seeds, linseeds, fortified eggs
Magnesium- dark green leafy veg, raw cacao, quinoa, cashews, and Almonds.
If you have any other diagnosis in conjunction with PMS eg PCOS, endometriosis, acne, fibroids etc. It’s advisable to see a Nutritional Therapist for an individualised food and lifestyle plan, also functional testing can be carried out for a more targeted approach.