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Road to Pre-Menstrual Syndrome Relief: Your Essential Supplement Strategy

Pre menstrual cramps
For many of us, our menstrual cycles are often perceived as a regular inconvenience. However, for some, the premenstrual and menstrual symptoms can be particularly challenging. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a recurring occurrence characterized by a set of symptoms typically manifesting about a week before the onset of menstruation and usually subsiding within four days after menstruation begins. PMS encompasses a range of physical and psychological symptoms, including:

​Psychological Symptoms

​Physical Symptoms

​Irritability Outbursts of anger Anxiety Mood swings Depressed mood


Headaches Breast tenderness Bloating Digestive issues Insomnia

The severity of these symptoms can vary from person to person. According to Jarvis (2008), approximately 90% of women experience some form of PMS during their reproductive years. Additionally, about 5% to 8% of these women suffer from severe affective symptoms that significantly impair their daily functioning. If you're struggling with premenstrual or menstrual problems, your body is sending signals that something might be amiss on a physiological level. While medications are crucial in severe cases, such as endometriosis or cancer, it's essential to explore long-term lifestyle changes. For women dealing with non-emergency health issues, adopting natural methods to rebalance hormones can often provide relief within just a few months. Your periods can normalize, and you can regain control of your life.
Understanding the Hormones at Play
Let's take a closer look at the hormones involved in menstruation and why their levels may affect you:
1. Estrogen: As the primary female sex hormone, estrogen shapes your physical features and influences your mood. It's responsible for the first half of your menstrual cycle, impacting your sex drive and maternal instincts. Estrogen can elevate serotonin levels, leading to improved mood, sleep, and appetite. However, an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone, known as estrogen dominance, can lead to symptoms like PMS and painful or heavy periods. To lower your estrogen levels, focus on a diet rich in vegetables, as the fiber can help eliminate excess estrogen from your body.
2. Progesterone and Allopregnanolone: These are the main players in premenstrual or menstrual mood swings. When your body produces the right amount of these hormones, they have a calming effect that can ease feelings of anger and help you sleep better. If you have too little progesterone, you might experience PMS symptoms like mood swings, reduced stress resilience, fluid retention, and breast tenderness. If low progesterone is a concern, you might consider supplements like vitamin C and chasteberry.
3. Cortisol: As the primary "stress hormone," cortisol's levels can impact your estrogen and progesterone balance, especially during menstruation. Chronic stress can lead to what's known as the "Pregnenolone Steal," where your body diverts resources from progesterone production to generate more cortisol. High cortisol levels can also block progesterone receptors, making you feel progesterone-deficient and exacerbating PMS. To manage cortisol, consider activities like massages or workouts with friends in the week before your period.
4. Thyroid: Thyroid function is closely linked to estrogen and progesterone and plays a significant role in your menstrual cycle, weight, and energy levels. Estrogen dominance can affect the availability of thyroid hormones, while low thyroid function can reduce progesterone levels, exacerbating PMS symptoms. To naturally boost your thyroid levels, ensure you're getting enough iron, selenium, and vitamin A, all of which are crucial for thyroid health.
5. GABA and Serotonin: These brain chemicals interact significantly with progesterone, contributing to feelings of calm and happiness. PMS often arises from an intricate interplay between progesterone, its derivative allopregnenolone, and the GABA and serotonin pathways in your brain.
Explore natural methods to address hormonal imbalances, providing you with the opportunity to enjoy a more harmonious and symptom-free menstrual cycle. A Comprehensive PMS Protocol:
1. Exercise: Engaging in regular exercise can help alleviate PMS symptoms by improving circulation. It is more effective to exercise frequently for shorter periods than infrequently for longer durations. I recommend moderate-intensity exercise at least five times a week for optimal results.

2. Stress Management: Maintaining healthy cortisol levels involves avoiding caffeine and alcohol and ensuring you get sufficient sleep.

3. Several natural supplements provide safe and healthy alternatives to the conventional treatment of PMS, which often involves the use of oral contraceptives and antidepressants. To balance the menstrual cycle, consider the following supplement regimen:
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements:
  • Vitamin B6: It plays a role in the production of mood-regulating neurotransmitters. Daily supplements of vitamin B-6 can help alleviate psychological symptoms associated with PMS. Take 50-100 mg per day, following the manufacturer's recommendations. Exercise caution if you are taking other medications that may interact with B-6 supplements.

  • Calcium (carbonate or citrate): PMS symptoms are often associated with calcium deficiencies. Clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of calcium supplements in reducing symptoms like bloating, fatigue, sadness, mood swings, and anxiety. Begin with a daily dose of 500 mg. Consume 600 mg twice a day during your PMS. Consider the optimal calcium to magnesium ratio of 2:1, e.g., take 600 mg of calcium for 300 mg of magnesium per day.

  • Magnesium: Include 150-300 mg per day. Low magnesium levels may be linked to PMS. Research indicates that magnesium, when combined with vitamin B-6, can relieve PMS symptoms like depression, anxiety, insomnia, and breast tenderness. A daily dose of 200-250 mg is recommended, optimally 30 minutes before sleep, taken together with the amino acid taurine to increase magnesium absorption. Consider possible interactions with other medications.

  • Vitamin B2: Migraine and headache: Take 2x200 mg of vitamin B2 per day to alleviate headaches.

  • Essential Fatty Acids: Primrose oil and Omega-3. These anti-inflammatory fatty acids may offer relief from PMS symptoms. Traditionally, evening primrose oil, containing gamma-linolenic acid, is used for PMS. Studies have shown symptom improvements with daily intake of: Primrose: 1-2 grams, Omega-3: Approximately 1g of EPA and 0.5g of DHA

  • Vitamin D3: Insufficient levels of vitamin D could potentially contribute to the worsening of certain PMS symptoms, though not necessarily all of them. If you're grappling with PMS and seeking a natural remedy that can also enhance your general well-being, it's advisable to have your vitamin D levels assessed. It is considered safe to supplement with 1000 UI of D3 daily.

Herbal Supplements and Botanicals:

  • Chasteberry: A common choice for enhancing female reproductive health, research suggests it may benefit those dealing with PMS, particularly in alleviating physical symptoms like bloating, breast tenderness, and headaches. It may outperform fluoxetine (Prozac) in addressing these physical symptoms but might not be as effective for psychological ones. The average dose is 500 to 1,000 mg/day.

  • St. John's Wort: Occasionally viewed as an herbal substitute for prescription antidepressants, it has demonstrated its effectiveness in addressing both physical and emotional PMS symptoms. This botanical improves PMS on its own but is especially effective in perimenopause when combined with chasteberry. The recommended dose is 300 mg three times per day during PMS

  • Ginkgo biloba: It is renowned for its memory-enhancing properties, offers surprising assistance in alleviating PMS symptoms. Take 40 mg tablets three times daily during PMS, it might significantly reduce the severity of both physical and psychological symptoms.

​Summary of a PMS Protocol

1. Vitamin B6: 50-100 mg per day, ideally taken at least 4 hours away from caffeine.

2. Vitamin B2: 2x200 mg daily during your PMS to alleviate headaches, ideally at least 4 hours away from caffeine.

3. Magnesium: 150-300 mg per day, to be taken 30 minutes before sleep, with 500 mg of Taurine and 30 mg of Zinc.

4. Calcium: 600 mg twice a day during your PMS.

5. Essential Fatty Acids: Evening Primrose: 1-2g daily and/or Omega-3: 1g of EPA and 0.5g of DHA.

6. Vitamin D3: At least 1000 IU.

7. Chasteberry: 500 to 1,000 mg per day.

8. St. John's Wort: 300 mg three times per day during PMS. Caution: May interact with various medications.

9. Ginkgo Biloba: 40 mg tablets three times daily during PMS. Caution: Talk to your doctor, especially if you're taking other medications or have a history of seizures.

Safety Precautions: Remember to inform or consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any supplement regimen, especially if you are taking medications or have underlying health conditions. While these natural supplements may offer relief for PMS symptoms, their safety and efficacy can vary among individuals.
Schedule a free consultation and experience the compassionate care of Kus Counselling. Our aim is to empower you to enhance your overall well-being, with a holistic approach to women's health. We offer a comprehensive strategy to address PMS, which includes dietary adjustments, supplementation, emotional support, as well as expert psychological counseling and hypnotherapy. Our goal is to provide you with effective and compassionate solutions for your well-being. REF: Brizendine L. The Female Brain. (New York: Broadway Books, 2006). Gottfried, Sara. (2014), The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep and Sex Drive; Lose Weight; Feel Focused, Vital, and Energized Naturally with the Gottfried Protocol. Lovallo, W. R., et al. “Cortisol responses to mental stress, exercise, and meals following caffeine intake in men and women.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 83, no. 3, PMID: 16631247

Nillni, Y. I., et al. “Anxiety sensitivity, the menstrual cycle, and panic disorder: a putative neuroendocrine and psychological interaction.” Clinical Psychology Review 31, no. 7 (2011):1183-1191, doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2011.07.006

Siminiuc R, Ţurcanu D. Impact of nutritional diet therapy on premenstrual syndrome. Front Nutr. 2023 Feb 1;10:1079417. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2023.1079417. PMID: 36819682; PMCID: PMC9928757.

Sultana A, Heyat MBB, Rahman K, Kunnavil R, Fazmiya MJA, Akhtar F, Sumbul, Vidal Mazón JL, Rodríguez CL, De La Torre Díez I. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Premenstrual Syndrome with Special Emphasis on Herbal Medicine and Nutritional Supplements. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2022 Nov 8;15(11):1371. doi: 10.3390/ph15111371. PMID: 36355543; PMCID: PMC9699062. Whelan AM, Jurgens TM, Naylor H. Herbs, vitamins and minerals in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome: a systematic review. Can J Clin Pharmacol. 2009 Fall;16(3):e407-29. Epub 2009 Oct 29. PMID: 19923637.

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