Tricks for Alleviating Symptoms of PMS

(October 2009)

  1. Decrease caffeine consumption to prevent aggravation of PMS. Heavy caffeine consumption often causes shorter menstrual periods and cycle length.
  2. Supporting proper processing of hormones is important during the days leading up to menses. Antioxidants such as vitamin E and vitamin C, as well as other nutrients such as a B-Complex, amino acids, and n-acetyl cysteine all help the liver to better process hormones.
  3. Calcium supplementation has been shown to reduce PMS symptoms up to 48%.
  4. Herbal extracts such as black cohosh, yarrow, dong quai, peony, osha, and ginkgo are commonly used to alleviate symptoms.
  5. At least 200mg of magnesium may significantly reduce menstrual cramping, as well as have a modest effect on fluid retention, weight gain, bloating, and breast tenderness. It also helps muscles relax, contributing to fewer menstrual cramps and migraine headaches.
  6. Evening primrose oil and gamma linolenic acid supplementation has been shown to decrease breast swelling and tenderness.
  7. Some studies have shown that 100-200mg of vitamin B6 per day for several months helps relieve symptoms of PMS. It helps in the production of serotonin and adrenal stress hormones which regulates mood and decreases fatigue and weight gain.
  8. L-Tryptophan and 5-HTP relieve mood swings, tension, irritability, breast sensitivity, water retention, and headache.
  9. Vitex Agnus-Castus re-establishes normal balance of estrogen and progesterone during the menstrual cycle. It also blocks prolactin secretion which can lead to breast tenderness. Studies have shown that taking 20mg per day of the extract for three cycles can significantly reduce PMS symptoms.
  10. Fish oil, krill oil and flax oil contain the omega-3 fatty acids that decrease irritability and menstrual cramping. Omega-3 also has been shown to reduce cardiovascular-related mortality by 32%, and all-cause mortality by 20%, and should be part of your daily diet.
"Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food."
- Hippocrates