I can’t tell you how many times my female patients have said … “Dr. Sara, I’m a crazy mess! Please help.”
Did you know that 75%-90% of women frequently experience symptoms of PMS, also known as premenstrual syndrome. Women commonly report feeling anxious, sad, irritable and angry just before their period.
Perhaps you’re wondering why PMS is so common?
Health experts agree that women in today’s modern world are overexposed to hormones. They are found in our food supply, the environment, and even our personal care products.
Not to mention the number of women that use the birth control pill. Synthetic hormone use alters a woman’s natural state.
In general, women have stepped away from nature. With increased levels of stress and the normalization of our North American fast-paced, go-go-go, lifestyle, the liver is doing a poor job metabolizing hormones, particularly estrogen.
The good news is, PMS is 100% treatable.
By improving liver health, we enhance the breakdown of hormones.
Reducing stress, eating a healthy diet, taking the right supplements, and maintaining overall good health, also help women balance hormone levels and avoid PMS.
6 Steps To Re-Balance Hormones & Avoid PMS
1) Reduce Stress
Practice meditation, put your phone away, and leave work at work. Recognize the need for down time and commit to re-charging your batteries (even if it’s just one day per week).
2) Get Adequate Sleep
Restful sleep helps regulate hormones. I recommend at least 6-8 hours of sleep to my patients, with no use of digital devices 1-2 hours before bed.
3) Consider a Plant-Based Diet
If you’re not a vegetarian, choose hormone-free organic chicken and meats. Your grocery bill may unfortunately be a little bit higher, but your hormones will thank you.
4) Keep Blood Sugars Stable
Going more than 6 hours without food, or eating sugar and junk food, can affect hormones and make PMS worse. Choose healthy snacks and treats, and aim to keep your blood sugars stable by consuming regular meals (with adequate fats/protein).
Naturopathic Doctors often recommend specific seeds to support healthy hormones during certain times of a woman’s cycle.
For the first half of the cycle, ND’s often suggest consuming 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax or pumpkin seeds daily. For the second half, they suggest 1-2 tablespoons of ground sunflower or sesame seeds each day.
ND’s call this method of hormone support “seed cycling”. It helps with normal hormone production and metabolism. Thanks to the seed’s lignans and essential fatty acids, hormones are more easily eliminated, reducing the buildup of excess hormones (particularly estrogen).
The selenium content of sunflower seeds is particularly helpful in liver detoxification.
5) Take the Right Supplements
In addition to taking a high-quality multivitamin, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and B vitamins, women who suffer from PMS or other hormonal imbalances require additional liver support.
I generally recommend a 30-day Liver Detoxification program to my patients, followed by daily Liver Support.
Ingredients to look for include:
- Milk Thistle
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid
- Artichoke Leaf
- Dandelion Root
6) Hit the Gym For a Workout
This will release endorphins, increase energy levels, and help improve sleep quality.
Medical doctor and author of The Female Brain, Louann Brizendine, claims that:
“The female brain is so deeply affected by hormones that their influence can be said to create a woman’s reality.”
Thankfully, there are many natural ways to balance erratic hormones, which unfortunately have a mind of their own.