I had mentioned in an earlier post that it is possible to lessen PMS symptoms. Today, I'd like to share with you how this is possible.
PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, is extremely common among menstruating women. It is estimated that 3 out of 4 women will experience PMS symptoms. These symptoms are often predictable and include mood swings, depression, fatigue, irritability, weight gain, bloating, food cravings, and tender breasts.
As you get closer to your period (luteal phase), estrogen and progesterone levels are high. Estrogen is responsible for the development and regulation of the female's reproductive system. It also helps regulate the menstrual cycle and is important for bone formation. Progesterone balances estrogen levels and is known as the pregnancy hormone. It is responsible for preparing the body for pregnancy, maintaining the uterine lining.
If you have low progesterone, you will likely have high estrogen. High levels of estrogen can cause irregular cycles, mood swings, headaches, bloating, infertility, acne, weight gain, osteoporosis, polycystic ovaries, low thyroid function, allergies, and more. The causes of estrogen dominance are very simple:
Poor diet; processed and fatty foods, soy, decreased magnesium and vitamin B6.
Xenoestrogens; environmental estrogens that can be found in plastics, canned foods, processed foods, body care products, cleaning supplies, and much more.
Poor liver function; bad diet can slow liver function causing estrogen levels to increase.
Stress; high cortisol inhibits other hormone functions in the body. The adrenals become overly stressed, constantly releasing cortisol which depletes progesterone levels, raising estrogen levels.
It is becoming more popular for women to struggle with high estrogen levels. I would even go so far as to blame all of our beauty, cleaning, personal care products. Why? Because they contain so many chemicals that have been proven to raise estrogen levels/lower progesterone levels. Check out Part 1 and 2 of my What Beauty Products to Avoid Like the Plague.
So, let's get back to how all of this can affect PMS.
First of all, if you already have high estrogen, when your estrogen is high during your cycle, you can experience heightened symptoms. The best ways to fix this problems is through diet and product avoidance. I encourage you to try and avoid products that contain estrogen-causing chemicals.
AVOID SOY! Seriously, this is one of the worst offenders when it comes to estrogen-causing foods. Just don't eat it!
Organic meats (grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, etc.) [organic is not the same as natural]
Organic dairy products (whole milk - non-fat and low-fat are high in sugar)
Wild-caught fish (they use so many chemicals in farm-raised fish)
Leafy greens (Brussels sprouts, collard greens, broccoli rabe, spinach, etc.)
Berries (organic only)
Seeds (pumpkin, flax, and sunflower)
Nuts (walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, etc.)
Try this seed rotation diet for balancing hormones: Hormone & Balance
I hope that this post helps you understand estrogen a little more. I could definitely go into more detail on this subject, but I'll just leave you with this for now. If you have any questions, please ask. Always do your own research.
Until next time,