For most women we don’t need to explain PMS stands for!
Let’s explain it a little, it’s a very common condition that affects many women during certain days of the menstrual cycle, usually before the menstrual bleed. The symptoms are so common that most think it’s normal, but is this really true! Some women experience symptoms so severe that they are out of action every month. Many women with moderate symptoms still find it interferes with their work, parenting, and social relationships.
The causes of PMS are actually less about hormonal imbalances than they are about imbalances in the stress hormones and the neurotransmitters that control mood. They can also be related to how well the liver is detoxifying hormones and how the gut is functioning. Diet also plays a big role in all of these and it isn’t unusual for PMS symptoms to disappear when women make dietary changes – which is where we should start!
Factors related can also include:
- Nutrient deficiencies (especially B6, vitamin E, vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium)
- Low blood sugar
- Stress and adrenal dysfunction
- Thyroid problems
How Does Calcium Fit In?
Whilst therapeutic doses of magnesium and vitamin B6 are a great combination to address the common symptoms of PMS. Calcium is one nutrient that may be overlooked in PMS. A 2020 systematic review showed women who experience PMS have lower serum calcium levels. In addition, supplementing with calcium significantly improved their incidence of PMS symptoms.
Taking 500mg of calcium daily for two cycles can reduce the number and severity of PMS symptoms including mild anxiety, poor mood, emotional changeability, fluid retention and somatic changes with the first month and, greater still, in the second month.
*please note I recommend that calcium be taken in divided doses and with food
It is more effective to control the symptoms when combinations of nutrients are taken rather than one alone.
- Combining 500g of calcium and 40mg of vitamin B6 can further reduce the symptoms experienced in PMS.
- Daily intake of magnesium citrate (200mg) and vitamin B6 (50mg) was more effective than just magnesium at decreasing anxiety-related PMS symptoms.
Listening to your body and getting plenty of rest is also important in this phase. Getting enough sleep and moderate exercise such as walking can reduce fatigue and improve mood. Take this time to slow down and look inwards to honour your body and support your cycle.
Aviva Romm: https://avivaromm.com/pms/
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