Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Nutritional Recommendations to Minimize PMS

Are you suffering from the effects of PMS?  Well, the road to feeling better has approached your doorstep, just follow-it, and your symptoms will start to improve.  PMS is a condition which is presented by many symptoms due to imbalances in our body.  Anxiety and irritability are likely associated with excessive estrogen and a deficiency in progesterone levels while your breast tenderness is due to increased fluid volume, an excess of the hormones aldosterone and prolactin.  Aldosterone is produced in the adrenal glands and causes water retention, and usually becomes elevated 2-8 days before we begin our period.  Prolactin increases as a result of stress, too much estrogen, or a magnesium deficiency and leads to PMS symptoms of breast tenderness and swelling, anxiety and irritability. The good news is that these symptoms can be reduced with making some small changes in your diet.  I am happy to suggest five dietary recommendations that should help to alleviate your own symptoms.  With this in mind, I want you to realize that decreasing symptoms can take time, and you may not notice complete dismissal of all symptoms during your next cycle; rather it may take 2-3 cycles. 

1.  Increase consumption of fibre-rich fruits.  Specifically, you can start by eating an apple every day.  Apples are packed with pectin, a type of dietary fibre that is very effective for carrying estrogen out of the body through regulation of your bowels.  This will help balance your hormones and decrease your PMS symptoms of anxiety, irritability and pain. 

2.  Take 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil daily.  Flaxseed oil supplies omega 3 essential fatty acids, which will reduce inflammation and corresponding pain associated with PMS.  

3.  Reduce Caffeine Intake. Caffeine consumption is strongly related to the presence and severity of anxiety and breast tenderness as it impairs estrogen metabolism.  Reducing the amount of caffeine will therefore help the process of eliminating the estrogen so that you have a better balance in the body.   Another great effect that reducing your caffeine will have is the ability to maintain vitamin and mineral content in your body, since caffeine is a diuretic which flushes the body of many of these essential components. 

4.  Include a high quality multi-vitamin/multi-mineral twice daily.  When selecting your brand, there are some specific aspects to look for as they will be beneficial in reducing your PMS symptoms.  I am going to give you some ranges, simply to make it easier as there are many multi-vitamins/multi-minerals on the market that have different dosages. Look for magnesium citrate (200-300mg) to help improve premenstrual pain threshold and emotional instability.  Please avoid magnesium oxide, magnesium glyconate, magnesium sulfate or magnesium chloride as they are not absorbed as well and have more laxative side effects.  Next you want to look for Vitamin B6 (50 -75mg) also known as pyridoxine as it shows positive effects on all symptoms of PMS by reducing estrogen levels and increasing progesterone levels throughout the cycle.  B6 will also help to keep the magnesium in the cells of the body, resulting in better sleep which may lead to less anxiety.  Zinc 200-300IUs) is a mineral that will help reduce your breast tenderness caused by reducing prolactin levels.  Finally, the multi should contain 200IU of Vitamin E.  There are different forms of Vitamin E but I want you to look for d-alpha-tocopherol as it is the more natural versus synthetic form. Vitamin E helps with anxiety and will also help to decrease breast tenderness.  In addition, it increases energy which will be beneficial while reducing your coffee intake.

5.  Take a Probiotic.  Our GI tract should contain thousands of bacteria beneficial to our health.  A side effect of taking antibiotics is the destruction of these beneficial bacteria.  Since you are taking Tetracycline, we want to re-inoculate the GI tract with some beneficial bacteria.  You are specifically going to look for a brand containing acidophilus and bifidus bacteria with 5 billion viable cells. This should be taken 2X daily with meals, (away from birth control pills) and is extremely safe.  You should not experience any detrimental side effects but should notice a decrease in symptoms of gas, and bloating. 

The sooner you make the changes, the faster you will note improvements.  Keep in mind, complete ratification of symptoms takes time and may take more adjustments.  Contact me for a free 15 minute consult so that I can specifically help you on the road to health.  Together we can evaluate your improvment and take more steps to reaching more stability of your cycle. 


Deanne Dietz, CNP

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