Did you know there are 4 different types of PMS and knowing which type affects you most can help determine what foods and supplements will be most helpful to you?
Premenstrual Syndrome describes the symptoms that can occur during the menstrual cycle between ovulation and the beginning of your period. PMS symptoms can be mild or severe, lasting between 2 and 14 days. Over 30 different symptoms can be attributed to PMS although the common symptoms are fatigue, food cravings, headaches, bloating, constipation and night sweats. By paying attention to which symptoms are the most prevalent for you, you can find an effective natural treatment to help ease these symptoms.
PMS Type A
PMS-A symptoms are centered in the nervous system. Women with PMS-A experience more irritability, mood swings, anxiety and nervous tension along with muscle tension. The best foods for PMS-A are those high in calcium and magnesium such as nuts, seeds, beans, and hummus. Many women also finds taking between 600 and 800 mg of magnesium a day during PMS helps to reduce their symptoms.
PMS Type H
The predominant symptoms of PMS-H involve water retention. Women with PMS-H experience dramatic weight gain around their period, breast tenderness, abdominal bloating, and swelling in their legs, feet, arms or hands. Women with PMS-H may also notice worsening symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome during PMS. Women with PMS-H should avoid salt and foods high in sodium and can benefit from taking vitamin B-6, 100 mg 1-2 times a day with food.
PMS Type C
Women with PMS-C tend to have more cravings for sweets, chocolate, carbohydrates or in increased appetite in general during PMS. PMS-C can also cause lightheadedness or dizziness. The crucial nutritional strategy for PMS-C is blood sugar and insulin control with a hypoglycemic diet focusing on healthy protein, whole grains and vegetables while avoiding sugar. Taking 200 mcg of chromium picolinate per day can also reduce cravings for sweets.
PMS Type D
PMS-D symptoms are also centered in the nervous system but these women experience more sadness and depression versus anxiety during PMS. PMS-D symptoms can also include crying easily, trouble sleeping, forgetfulness, feeling easily confused and clumsiness. The best foods for PMS-D are leafy greens such as spinach or kale and eggs. Taking 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) per day can also reduce PMS-D symptoms.
There are some conditions that can make PMS worse in general no matter what type of PMS you have. These conditions are hypothyroidism, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibromyalgia and depression.
If you use these nutritional strategies and supplements for three menstrual cycles and do not notice a change in your PMS symptoms, you may need additional support. I suggest making an appointment with a naturopathic doctor, such as myself. An ND can put together a more comprehensive plan including amino acids, minerals and herbs to balance your menstrual cycle.