Photo by Pedro Ribeiro Simões
By Dr. Alison Buehler, Contributing Writer
PMS visited me monthly for years and became worse with every child I had. Mainstream treatments for PMS (premenstrual syndrome) leave many women wishing for better answers, including me. Antidepressants, birth controls pills or shots to control the menstrual cycle come with side effects many women want to avoid. Taking pain relievers for cramps or diuretics for bloating just doesn’t cut it as a solution for some women.
There are effective natural treatments for PMS available, you just have to do your homework. I wrote up my finding in the PMS chapter of Rethinking Women’s Health extensively. Here is a summary of solutions from women who found relief from PMS.
Effective Natural Treatments for PMS
Suggestions From Women Who Found Solutions to PMS
The women I spoke to who found effective natural treatments for PMS suggested: looking for and treating underlying causes like fibroids; changing your diet and taking out inflammatory foods like caffeine and sugar; starting an exercise program; looking into vitamins, herbs, and minerals with proven effectiveness to balance hormones (chaste tree taken daily causes PMS to disappear in some women); looking into alternative therapies; and seeking the least invasive surgical solution (a procedure called an ablation that is considered low risk ends heavy flow for many women).
Balance Your Hormones Naturally
Our hormones control the way our bodies react to so many things! Getting our hormones balanced can be done by eating a diet of healthy foods, removing toxins from our environment in beauty and cleaning products, and taking supplements that help balance hormones and blood sugar.
Dr. Kelly Brogan uses diet and herbs such as maca root along with topical bioidentical progesterone to treat her patients. One woman I interviewed said, “It took me three months of cleaning up my diet to put it together with my dramatically improved PMS. I ate whatever I wanted during the holidays and it came back with a vengeance!”
Diet and exercise can impact PMS significantly. While the studies on aerobic exercise decreasing PMS are well-established, new studies on walking and yoga as effective practices for lowering symptoms such as irritability, bloating, and cramping are also arriving on the scene.
Dropping sugar and a diet high in carbohydrates significantly reduce PMS symptoms for women. Increasing magnesium tops Dr. Kelly Brogan and Dr. Mark Hyman’s lists for supplements that decrease symptoms of PMS.
There are some effective alternative treatments for PMS. One study showed that acupuncture quelled symptoms in 78% of women. Many women I spoke with said Traditional Chinese Medicine offered effective natural treatments for their PMS. Other women found relief with homeopathic medicine. Ask for reviews when choosing an alternative care provider, or ask to speak with former patients.
Solutions that Ended a Battle with PMS
After years of searching, I found effective natural treatment for my own PMS. Desperate for relief from debilitating PMS and heavy periods, I had an ablation which did practically stop my flow, but did nothing for moodiness or cramps. When I changed my diet to exclude most sugar and many carbs, I noticed a significant improvement in PMS symptoms. When I added a daily chaste tree herbal supplement my symptoms almost completely disappeared.
How Have You Effectively Treated PMS?
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