What is PMS?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a range of physical and/or emotional symptoms that is experienced by 30-85% of females, leading up to their period. More than 150 symptoms have been attributed to PMS!

These symptoms are usually experienced in the first two weeks of your cycle.

When it is more severe, it is called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). For 3-8 % of all menstruating women, the symptoms are so severe that they are incapacitated in their daily life on a monthly basis.

Considering that these symptoms may occur for up to two weeks each month, throughout a women’s entire reproductive years, the impact for those suffering either PMS or PMDD is significant.

What are the symptoms of PMS?

Symptoms can range in severity from mild discomfort and shift in energy, to extreme pain and emotional depression. Many women may only experience a few of these symptoms, however for some they are many and persistent.

Physical Symptoms

  • Fluid retention (swollen fingers or ankles)
  • Bloating and discomfort around the abdomen
  • Breast swelling and tenderness
  • Skin problems such as acne
  • Headaches and/or migraines
  • Poor coordination or clumsiness
  • Fainting of dizziness
  • Tiredness, lethargy, insomnia
  • Increase in weight
  • Changes in bowel habits: Constipation and/or diarrhoea
  • Food cravings: sweets, chocolates, alcohol and/or fatty foods
  • Aches and pains
  • Palpitation

Emotional Symptoms

  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Tearfulness
  • Anxiety
  • Nervous tension
  • Lower coping ability, feeling “overwhelmed” or “out of control”
  • Difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness
  • Wanting to be alone
  • Lower libido
  • Reduced interest in work and social life
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Aggression

What causes PMS / PMDD?

PMS is usually due to a combination of factors that lead to hormone and neurotransmitter imbalances.

Did you know “menarche,” “menses,” and “menstruation” has their origin in the word “moon”? This reflects the cyclical nature of a woman’s body in harmony with the monthly cycles of the moon. However, there are many factors that affect this natural rhythm.

Underlying factors:

  • Nutrient deficiencies: Especially B6, vitamin E, vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium.
  • Blood sugar dysregulation
  • Excessive caffeine intake
  • Environmental factors: excess estrogen from plastics and other chemical exposures
  • Stress (relationship, marital/sexual difficulties; workplace stress, money, etc.)
  • Thyroid problems

How do you view your menstrual cycle? It is said that if a woman views menstruation negatively, with dread, or shamefully, all of which are deeply entrenched attitudes about menstruation, she may be more likely to experience menstrual difficulties than a woman who has a positive outlook on her body’s natural functions.

How can Melbourne Wellness help Treat PMS?

Our specialist Melbourne Naturopaths work together with you to

  • Identify the root cause of your particular situation
  • Regulate the hormones and improve your stress response to stabilise your mood
  • Regulate your bowel movements and relieve the sugar cravings
  • Relieve physical discomfort and pain
  • Improve sleep quality

We will work together to develop an individual treatment plan to ensure optimal nutrition in the diet, improve lifestyle and prescribe herbal remedies and nutritional supplements when needed.

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