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5 Types of PMS & Simple Remedies

Premenstrual syndrome, more commonly known as PMS, is a collection of symptoms that affects high numbers—almost 75 percent—of menstruating women. It usually occurs a week or two before a woman's cycle (the first day of the period) begins and is characterized by a wide range of symptoms, including (but not limited to) bloating, breast tenderness, emotional changes, cramps, and fatigue.

We are taught to accept this as normal, pop a few Ibuprofen for a few days, and then repeat the cycle.

PMS and cramping have gotten so severe for some of us that we have to miss work for a day due to bad cramping and nausea. It's called "menstrual leave" and is already widely accepted in other countries. For the majority of the women, I work with, decreasing these symptoms or eliminating them is the end goal.

I'm here to tell you that although these symptoms are common, they aren't actually normal and they don't have to be your normal either.

The 4 Root Types of PMS

Getting to the root cause of your PMS plays a key role in working towards a symptomless period (which is possible). Your hormones (and any imbalances in them), natural fluctuations, and symptoms are messengers that help us get the answer to what's happening on a deeper level.

So let's explore the types of PMS and their root causes

PMS-A: Anxiety

This is the most common type of PMS and symptom that affects roughly about 70% of women. You may notice that anxiety sets in a couple of weeks leading to your period and is often paired with moodiness, irritability, and feeling a little more emotional than usual. Self-doubt also creeps in sometimes as well during this time.

Why? Higher levels of estrogen as opposed to progesterone and possibly low thyroid. Progesterone is the hormone of contentment (mood, metabolism, and bones) and is necessary to keep estrogen from spiraling out of control.

Remedy: A natural way to boost progesterone is via cream or with Chaste tree berry (an ingredient in my favorite hormone balancing supplement Fem Rebalance)

PMS-D: Depression

I wanted to include this type next as it often occurs alongside PMS-A. That feeling of emotional instability, random tears, and feeling just down, out, and "blah". We've all been there and oftentimes want to distance ourselves and have some "space".

Why? Low estrogen and low serotonin (another "mood-boosting" hormone).

Remedy: Leading up to your cycle, try switching your high-intensity workouts to medium-low-intensity workouts (like yoga, walking, easy Pilates) to create less stress on your hormones and boost your "good-mood" hormones.

PMS-H: Hyper-Hydration

With this PMS type, we experience symptoms of bloating and swelling. This is more common in the abdominal area, but can also happen in the face, breast, and fingers. Sometimes weight-gain likes to pair up with this type of PMS as well.

Why? Dietary sensitivities like FODMAP, excess estrogen, and increased stress (which triggers the release of cortisol and aldosterone) - contribute to water and salt retention and bloating.

Remedy: Incorporating electrolytes and minerals (see this post here), celery, parsley, watermelon, and cucumber alongside being mindful of the type of sodium you consume can be very helpful with this. In my free PMS guide, I give a few of my favorite holistic remedies for bloating.

PMS-C: Cravings

Oh yes, the salty, sweet, and carb cravings that tend to ramp up a few weeks leading to your period. Sometimes the cravings before our cycle are the hardest to control and make us feel ravenous. Not only are we getting these cravings, but then we get the headaches, mood swings, and fatigue to go along as we are trying to keep up with the good mood and sugar boost these "treats" give us.

Why? Both estrogen and serotonin drop during this time and they both help in naturally suppressing hunger. Concurrently, progesterone is higher at this time and this hormone increases appetite. Not to worry, progesterone also increases your metabolic rate so those calories are easier to burn.

Remedy:One thing to note is if your appetite increases, meet it where it's at, and don't cut calories, but avoid the excess/added sugar to avoid unnecessary inflammation.

Check out my carb swaps in my free PMS Guide inside our community.

PMS-P: Pain (High Inflammation)

This PMS type is also very common and characterized by painful cramps leading up to the days of your period. For some women, unfortunately this pain is debilitating that they are unable to have a normal day.

Why? Normal period pain is caused by the release of prostaglandins to your uterus. During the first half of your cycle and leading into your luteal phase, estrogen peaks, which is exactly what is supposed to happen. However, excess estrogen and less progesterone cause a higher level of prostaglandins which equal more pain. Magnesium glycinate and some of the other herbal remedies that I list in my PMS guide are a great way to ease period cramp pain. Start this the week before your cycle and during if period pain has been a discomfort for you.

PMS can be reversed with dietary, lifestyle, and proper detoxification of not only your body, but environment as well as our endocrine systems are exposed to so many toxins.

I hope this post is helpful in understanding some of the root causes of PMS. If you would like to work on this more, join me inside the PMS to B.L.I.S.S Co for more tips and sustainable habits toward a better period.

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