Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is characterized by physical and emotional symptoms that occur after ovulating and resolve after the start of a period. It is extremely common affecting approximately 80% of women at some time in their life.
Symptoms can include heightened anxiety and depression, irritability, headache, breast tenderness and water retention, among other symptoms. The combination of symptoms experienced can vary greatly from woman to woman.
PMS is not fully understood since the simple act of ovulating does not produce PMS symptoms in all women. However, it has been found that diet, lifestyle and stress can contribute to presence and severity of PMS.
What contributes to PMS
There are many factors that can contribute to PMS, but the solution does not have to be complicated. Here are 3 things that should be included in your evaluation and supplementation when you are being treated for PMS:
- Vitamin D
Studies have shown that women who experience PMS tend to have lower levels of Vitamin D than women who don’t. In addition, when these women supplemented with enough vitamin D to bring their levels back to sufficiency their PMS symptoms greatly improved- especially mood, energy and water retention. If you have PMS, a vitamin D test should be part of your evaluation!
Many studies have now shown that low dose calcium supplementation can significantly improve PMS symptoms over just 2 cycles. This includes improvement in mood swings, irritability, anxiety, bloating, breast pain, cramping, aches and pains, swelling of the extremities.
- Omega 3 fats
Omega 3 fats have been shown to be beneficial for a number of women’s health concerns. When used for PMS, omega 3 supplementation improved both mood symptoms and physical symptoms. These benefits were more pronounced over time.
If you think that you are experiencing PMS you do not have to live with it. First step is to be appropriately evaluated to ensure that you are dealing with PMS- this may not include the hormone evaluation that you expect. If you are, in fact, suffering from PMS, the solution may be simpler than you expect.
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