Common Causes of PMS

Do you experience these symptoms like clockwork, every month?

● Mood swings
● Food cravings
● Irritability
● Anxiety/depression
● Bloating
● Excess fatigue
● Difficulty sleeping
● Breast tenderness
● Headaches/migraines

Check, check, check?

PMS while common, is NOT normal.

PMS (premenstrual syndrome) refers to a group of symptoms women commonly experience a week or so before their period.

75% of women experience PMS, and other issues before starting their period each month. Most of us unconsciously accept this because we’ve been conditioned to believe it’s “normal”.

PMS is not an inevitable side effect of beginning your period, even though society would let us believe otherwise.

It DOESN’T have to be this way‼️

To think that 75% of women have an inherent design flaw that occurs EVERY SINGLE MONTH is crazy

Yet, why is it that some women’s PMS is so much worse than others? Why do some women experience it every single month while others breeze through life with little to no symptoms (YES – there are women who don’t experience PMS).

So what determines how severe PMS symptoms are?

One of the biggest factors lies in the fluctuation of hormones that occurs every month:

● How quickly are estrogen and progesterone falling?
● Is progesterone falling more rapidly than estrogen?

Progesterone buffers against those symptoms associated with PMS. Yet when there is too little progesterone in relation to estrogen (frequently known as estrogen dominance), this can lead to PMS symptoms.

Other factors that can exacerbate PMS:

Chronic stress

Feeling stressed leading up to your period can increase risk of experiencing more severe symptoms of PMS.

Focus on decreasing stress, especially in the second part of your cycle. Find stress reducing activities such as journaling, meditating, yoga, breathing, walking, etc that can help mitigate the overall stress placed on the body.

Exposure to xenoestrogens

Research has found that chronic exposure to endocrine disruptors such as BPA, phthalates, and parabens can lead to an increase in PMS symptoms.

Actively reduce exposure to xenoestrogens by decreasing exposure to plastics, choosing clean beauty & hygiene products, and using natural cleaning products.

Excess inflammation within the body

High levels of cytokines, which are produced during the inflammatory process, in the second of the menstrual cycle can lead to an increase in symptoms, especially those related to mood.

Reduce excess inflammation in the body by avoiding highly processed foods, excess alcohol, and sugar.

Nutrient deficiencies

Nutrient deficiencies such as Omega 3s, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6, selenium and calcium are all correlated with an increase in PMS symptoms.

Focus on foods rich in in these nutrients:
Omega 3s: organ meats, flaxseeds, fatty fish, pumpkin seeds
Magnesium: Almonds, dark leafy greens, avocados, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate
Zinc: Seafood, oysters, meat/poultry
Vitamin B6: red meat, poultry, eggs, and leafy greens

Selenium: seafood, organ meats, brazil nuts, eggs
Calcium: Winter squash, sardines, almonds, leafy greens

Blood sugar dysregulation

Chronic spikes and crashes in blood sugar are bad news for your hormones.

High levels of insulin resistance are linked to:

● increased testosterone production from the ovaries
● decreased levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which can lead to an excess
of estrogen within the body (estrogen dominance)
● a downregulation of the production of estrogen leading to low estrogen levels

To help bring blood sugar into balance, focus on eating regular meals full of healthy proteins and fats, go for a walk after each meal, and reduce the consumption of simple carbohydrates.

Feel like you can’t catch a break with your PMS symptoms? Find out how we can help you find the root cause of WHY you’re experiencing symptoms in the first place. The first step is to schedule a session for an initial functional health consultation with me, Schedule here

Birth Control Pills are often NOT the Solution to Irregular or Painful Menstrual Cycles

Question: do you look forward to your menstrual cycle every month? Or do you dread it and count down the days until the next?

Whether you look forward to it or not, your menstrual cycle is a key sign of health and vitality. Irregular or painful periods can indicate various things such as:

● Hypothyroidism
● Sex hormone imbalances
● Infections
● Nutrient deficiencies
● Infertility
● + so much more

Many women spend their whole lives feeling that their cycle is ‘normal’ when it’s actually indicative of something deeper going on within the body.

Common signs of an irregular period:

● Menstruation arrives 2+/- days than normal
● No period
● <25 days or >35 days
● Spotting 3-4 days before period
● No clear end to period
● Spotting throughout cycle
● Heavy bleeding (needing to change tampon, pad, or cup more than every few hours)
● Clots present
● Very light bleeding or spotting

This is why I always recommend tracking and keeping note of your cycle and what’s normal for you. There are several apps that can help you do this! By tracking every month you will be able to notice patterns within your monthly cycle, in addition to being aware when someone is amiss.

If you notice any of the above symptoms of an irregular period, in addition to symptoms such as:

● Acne
● Fatigue
● Severe PMS
● Migraines
● Low libido
● Hair loss
● Anxiety/depression

…I highly recommend finding someone to find and address the underlying root causes. More often than not, the traditional approach to addressing irregular and/or painful periods is to prescribe hormonal birth control, often an oral contraceptive.

Birth control does NOT treat the unwanted symptoms… it only masks them. Many women find that as soon as they go off the birth control, their symptoms come roaring back.

Birth control pills only suppress the symptoms of heavy/painful or irregular periods, rather than treating the root cause…here’s HOW:

The developing egg produces estrogen. After the egg is released during ovulation, the shell of the egg produces progesterone.

Estrogen & progesterone are responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle—estrogen causes the building of the uterus to build up, and progesterone causes it to thin out. Rinse, lather, repeat.

The synthetic hormones found in oral contraceptives tell the ovaries not to release an egg. Because the ovaries are not producing estrogen & progesterone, the body is forced into a withdrawal bleed so periods can become regular.

Since the ovaries aren’t allowed to produce estrogen, there is a reduction of the uterine lining build up, so periods are less heavy.

Long term effects

Studies have shown risks of using birth control pills (BCPs) for long term. Birth Control Pills may:

● Dramatically decrease testosterone levels, which can lead to low sex drive, vaginal dryness, and painful intercourse.
● Lower levels of several nutrients within the body, including vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B9(folate), B12, vitamins C and E, copper, magnesium, selenium, and zinc.
● Increase the risk of blood clots by threefold or greater.
● Increase the risk of breast cancer.

So what do you do to balance unwanted symptoms of hormonal imbalance without the Pill?

The more natural option is to measure the hormones through lab testing to see where the imbalance occurs.

Natural methods of hormone balancing, like supplementation, seed cycling, and other lifestyle factors like diet and exercise can provide relief without having to put young girls who aren’t sexually active on birth control and unnecessarily expose them to higher cancer risk.

While I recommend non-hormonal forms of contraception like the copper intrauterine device (IUD), cervical caps, diaphragms, and condoms, I understand they may not be for everyone.

For those of you who choose to remain on BCPs, I urge you to take note of any symptoms of hormone imbalance and work with a practitioner to address the underlying root causes.

Do you want one-on-one support regulating your cycles without birth control? Schedule here

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