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Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH
Did you know that the majority of women experience PMS, which is premenstrual syndrome? It’s estimated that nearly 90% of women experience some symptoms of PMS such as bloating, headaches and moodiness. For some women, these can be incredibly severe. I want to talk a bit about PMS today in terms of what it is and what you can be doing for PMS symptoms.
What is PMS?
PMS is a term that has been tossed around quite a bit. If a woman has a tendency to be a little bit moody, oftentimes people will say it must be PMS. Technically, that could be true, but it may be other factors as well. PMS is really so prevalent because so many women are experiencing this.†
It is important to understand that the hormonal changes that occur throughout the month certainly contribute to many of the PMS symptoms that one may experience. We also know that dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as different supplements, can really help to support and manage many of these symptoms that women experience.†
Some of the common symptoms associated with PMS are bloating, weight gain, acne and breast tenderness. There are also emotional symptoms such as being irritable, having mood swings and feeling lethargic or fatigued. There are some other behavioral issues that can present such as cravings for certain foods or having this low energy state in general.†
We know that the possible causes for PMS really come down to those chemical messengers. We have to look at that hormonal pathway and understand that estrogen and progesterone levels are both high when PMS occurs. This can have an influence on neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is why oftentimes, when women have more severe symptoms of PMS and they talk to their doctor about it, they usually will put them on an SSRI.†
There are other risk factors that can exacerbate symptoms of PMS, such as your diet. If you’re having a high-fat, high-sugar diet, that can play a role into it. We can look at the consumption of alcohol, as well as smoking and obesity. There are a lot of different players when it comes to PMS.†
What To Do
There are many things that we can actually control to mitigate many of these symptoms. We have millions of women who are experiencing all of these symptoms. When your estrogen and progesterone levels are at their peak, this is when many of these symptoms start to present themselves.†
Learn about how these hormones interact and fluctuate within the body by tuning into the full podcast episode.
Let’s look at things that we should do to help with PMS. First and foremost, let’s look at foods. Foods that are high in sugars, fats and bad carbohydrates are going to promote bloating and weight gain. Adhering to a Mediterranean diet can help us avoid these symptoms. Then we have to look at exercise. Being physically active is so important. They actually did a study where they were looking at women who had PMS and the recognized that even if you’re exercising three times per week with about an hour each time, over the course of eight weeks, they saw a serious reduction in the physical and psychological symptoms of PMS.†
We also have to look at nutrients that we might not be getting enough exposure to. In this country, most people are insufficient or deficient in Vitamin D. We also recognize that magnesium is another key player in this and over 50% of Americans have some form of magnesium insufficiency. Recognizing these things and having proper supplementation of things like Vitamin D3 can be beneficial.†
Tune into the full podcast episode for more recommendations from Amanda Williams, MPH when it comes to dealing with PMS.
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