Updated: Jul 19
Photo Credit: @natasupernova
While I can't say I have found the cure to eradicate PMS completely, I do know, through all my research, that PMS is not normal. It's actually a sign that some deeper imbalances and issues are occurring in the body. For example, your liver, your largest detoxification organ that is responsible for regulating your hormones, is probably holding a heavy toxic load (like pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and chemicals) and working overtime.
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, 75% of women suffer from headaches, mood swings, bloating, and other problems that threaten their relationships, work-life, and well-being. He wrote a blog post a while back on HOW TO ELIMINATE PMS (and PMDD) in 5 SIMPLE STEPS that helped me curate an effective supplement routine (which includes a daily multivitamin, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin B12). Everyone's body and toxic load are different, but I found a great regimen through trial and error, introducing each supplement one at a time to notice each one's impact. Other suggestions from Hyman, like eating a clean diet and getting regular exercise, may seem more basic, but, his approach is holistic, and his tips may steer you in the right direction.
To read Dr. Mark Hyman's full post, click here. But if you already eat a clean diet, exercise regularly, and take the right supplements, you can also try some of my proven practices for reducing PMS and cramps naturally below.
BEFORE YOUR PERIOD
1. DETOX The week before your period, try detoxing through an infrared sauna session or Ionic Foot Bath which will help decrease your bodies toxic load. However, stay away from these during your period; it would be too much at once.
2. TRACK YOUR PERIOD Use a Monthly Period Tracker or App, like 'hormonology'. It's a good reminder of where you are at in your cycle and why you feel extra moody or bloated that day, which can help you manage the symptoms better and remind you to take some extra magnesium (for uncomfortable constipation).
3. SKIP YOUR WORKOUT - When your period is approaching and on the first day or two, skip your workouts. Working out throughout the month will help balance your hormones, but your body needs more rest during the last week of your cycle. Listen to what your body needs, and try swapping your workout for a light walk outdoors. Rest if you need to. Your immune system is weaker during your period due to the fluctuations in your hormones, and sleep is interrupted, so getting rest and taking some extra Vitamin C will help.
4. MEDITATE - Your emotions become heightened as your period comes closer, so developing a daily meditation practice will help calm your nervous system and regulate your emotions.
DURING YOUR PERIOD
5. SWAP YOUR MIDOL FOR TURMERIC I've tried several turmeric brands and have found the Extra Strength Turmeric by Gaia Herbs to be the most effective at relieving painful cramps. NSAID's and Acetaminophen will only add to your liver's toxic load and, when used consistently over time, can cause more severe issues, like gastrointestinal bleeding. Turmeric is a natural, plant-derived anti-inflammatory.
6. KEEP A HOT WATER BOTTLE CLOSE BY If the turmeric isn't fully helping with the cramps, placing a hot water bottle on your stomach or lower back will help ease your pain. You can also try a RAEL Heat Patch.
7. PICK PADS OVER TAMPONS From my experience, tampons cause more cramping. It's best to let the blood flow more naturally. The quicker it flows, the faster it's over. If you still choose to use tampons, just make sure they are organic cotton!
Complain all you want, but your monthly period is a good thing! It's a natural way for your body to detox. It's also a good time for inner-reflection. Your PMS and your period will vary month to month based on your diet, pollutants from the environment, and anything emotional going on in your life. While you may experience subtle fluctuations, it is possible to have easier and healthier menstrual cycles.