After the other week’s look at menopause, this week we are starting to attack PMS.
There are three main hormones which have an impact on PMS. This week I am going to start by having a look at the most common hormonal issue for those suffering with PMS symptoms – Low progesterone. Progesterone is one of the main hormones involved in maintaining your menstrual cycle, it is also really important in female fertility and for maintaining the beginning of a pregnancy. Therefore, those who suffer with the symptoms of low progesterone, could benefit in many ways from looking at ways to help balance their hormones.
As well as being important in the maintenance of your cycle, progesterone also has a major impact on your moods. Therefore low progesterone is highly likely to give you mood issues, would include anxiety, frustration, anger, irritability, irrational behaviour and poor sleep. Your periods may also be heavier, with clots and could be painful. You may also suffer with swollen, heavier, maybe painful breasts, headaches, fluid retention and acne flare-ups with your cycle.
If this sounds like you, low progesterone levels could well be at the bottom of your PMS issues, in which case, the following options could be worth considering.
Many herbalists will often suggest the use of the herb Agnus Castus in these situations as it is thought to help regulate that part of the cycle where progesterone should be produced. We have been using Agnus Castus in our clinic for many years and the feedback we have had has been brilliant. We have had many women tell us it has really helped them regain control of their mood and anger issues, which played a big part in their PMS.
We have even had one lady tell us she believed it had saved her marriage – because previously she had been so vile to her husband in the week before her period, she thought he was going to leave her! However, please note because of its potential hormonal action, Agnus Castus should NOT be used in conjunction with the pill, but if you are not on the pill, it could be worth a try.
If you are on the pill and can’t try the Agnus Castus, fear not – there are great options for you, too. Naturopathic Practitioners often link low progesterone with high oestrogen and talk about a condition called oestrogen dominance.
This is often linked to the liver, which is responsible for breaking down and eliminating excess oestrogen. Therefore something like Milk Thistle, a product often used to support the health of the liver and its ability to breakdown oestrogen could be helpful.