reducing-PMS

A Naturopath’s guide to reducing PMS

Before we get into the guide to reducing PMS we’re excited to introduce you to our beautiful friend and amazing naturopath… Tia Miers. We met her online and then at the studio (Yoga and Pilates obz hehe). She’s also an iridologist which is mega cool, she took photos of our eyes and pretty much nailed all our health issues just by looking at the colourings and lines and dots. So cool! 

Tia specialises in women’s health, hormones, digestive disturbances, fatigue, anxiety, depression and detoxification. 

Have you ever had PMS…? Surely everyone just nodded (wait we may have a few men here…haha and we LOVE you, feel free to pass this onto the amazing women in your life).

We definitely both have had PMS many times. We feel like it was a lot worse in our teens and early 20s. This probably comes with crazy hormone changes as a teen and then lifestyle choices.

Anyway…

Did you know that PMS affects approximately 75% of women? We thought that number would be higher! So if there are ways we can decrease our PMS symptoms… we want them! 

Take it away Tia! 

A Naturopath’s guide to reducing PMS

The severity and management of PMS symptoms differ significantly for every woman. Symptoms can lead to problems carrying out everyday activities and in relationship communications. These are my top tips and handy hints to help reduce these problematic PMS symptoms.

SYMPTOMS INCLUDE:

  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Anxiety and depressed mood
  • Appetite changes and food cravings
  • Social withdrawal
  • Change in libido
  • Fatigue
  • Fluid retention
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Acne flare-ups
  • Constipation or diarrhoea

TOP TIPS FOR REDUCING PMS SYMPTOMS:

Crown yourself the Self-Care Queen – essential oils, early nights, bubble-baths, boundaries, books. This week is all about nurturing you.

Diet – Eat less from a packet and more from the earth. Consume an organic/spray free wholefoods diet.

Sleep –  When you’re experiencing PMS you’ll be craving more sleep, so get to bed earlier and let yourself have a little sleep in.

Sweat – It might feel like the last thing you want to do, but a walk in nature or a sweaty yoga class will stimulate the pick-me-up endorphins and provide an emotional release.

Space – Simplify your life, slash your to-do list- prioritize your self-time.

Swap Instagram for a good book. Emotions are high it’s easy to feel triggered so reduce time on social media where you can.

Lifestyle is key for rebalancing hormones. Our physical and emotional state is intrinsic to our response to emotional or stressful cues. There is a lot of research into the mind-body and emotional links to disease. Therefore, it is so vital to give yourself love and promote positivity towards yourself.

SKIP IT:

Salt – the foods we tend to crave most during our periods, salty chips, sugary treats and fast food, unfortunately, cause more harm than good when it comes to relieving cramps and bloat. We may retain excess water during our periods so eating a diet high in salt can increase this.

Alcohol – as much as we love to relax with a glass of wine after work or a beer with dinner, you may want to skip this ritual when on your period. Alcohol naturally dries out the body, causing you to retain excess fluid.

Inflammatory foods – this includes sugar, gluten, processed deep fried foods. Increased levels of inflammation in the body cause issues with the GABA (neurotransmitter) receptors which can exacerbate symptoms such as anxiety, moodiness and irritability.

HANDY HINTS:

Energetically wearing tampons isn’t supporting your flow of the body- consider investing in a menstrual cup, it is amazing for the environment and also saves money in the long run.

A cold green smoothie with frozen banana is not actually the best fuel for your body when you have your period. Yes, the nutrients it contains are wonderful, but the temperature is not. Where possible, try to eat warming, slow cooked and nourishing foods.

Herbal medicine is one of the most beautiful ways that we can support ourselves! I recommend having a consultation with your local naturopath so they can create the perfect little tonic for you!

Relax with magnesium. You may also like to increase your magnesium during this time, to help relax your muscles and reduce pain. Good sources of magnesium include legumes, nuts, seeds, dark leafy green vegetables and cacao.

Keep your gut bacteria in check! healthy gut bacteria is essential for neurotransmitter production and to ensure oestrogen metabolites are removed from the body. Eat fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, miso and sauerkraut. Also consume prebiotic foods (that feed the good bacteria) stewed apples with cinnamon, flaxseeds, oats and legumes.

Eat regular healthy meals. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels by eating regular snacks and meals means fewer cravings for sugar and refined carbs, plus your body is then getting plenty of essential nutrients to keep the symptoms at bay.

Get familiar with B6. vitamin B6 is found in foods like poultry, fish and nuts (though often you may need to supplement to get the symptoms under control), the activated form of B6 (P5P) is excellent for addressing irritability, teariness and fluid retention. It helps the body metabolise oestrogen and is involved in the manufacture of important neurotransmitters and anti-inflammatory mediators.

REDUCE BLOATING + CRAMPING:

Castor oil abdominal massage – castor oil massages reduce inflammation + cramping, sheds stagnant tissue and enhances circulation of freshly oxygenated blood. It also promotes a complete bowel motion.

Heat pack – hot water bottles or heat packs applied to the abdomen is amazing at reducing acute pain and bloating.

Herbal teas – chamomile will calm the body and peppermint will ease bloating and added water consumption will help to stabilise fluid retention.

I hope that this helps to support you and your body,

Love,

Tia x  

If you’d like to follow along with Tia, check out her beautiful Instagram page and find all her info HERE.

Photo by Imani Clovis on Unsplash