Throughout college I had debilitating PMS. There were days I had such intense cramps and dizziness that I couldn’t even get out of bed. I remember doubling over in pain thinking the only solution was birth control or pain relievers like ibuprofen.
When I went on birth control, my PMS actually got better. I had occasional cramps but that was it. Then once I started having children, my PMS came back with a vengeance. But this time I had mood swings and irritability in addition to cramps and dizziness.
I remember just three years ago my premenstrual cramps were so bad I was taking pain relievers around the clock but to no avail. I asked my doctor if there were supplements or dietary changes I could make to end my misery, but all she did was prescribe me birth control pills again. No one, not even my doctor, thought there was a more holistic solution to get rid of PMS naturally.
Does this sound like your PMS story? Keep reading to learn about natural PMS remedies.
Is PMS a Sign of Too Much Estrogen?
Medications and natural remedies can help you to deal with cramping, mood swings, heavy periods, hormonal acne, bloating, etc., but it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. All of these symptoms are a signal that something is not right. There’s an imbalance in the body that needs to be addressed. Find out the 21 signs of a hormonal imbalance.
The symptoms of PMS are nearly identical to the signs of estrogen dominance (too much estrogen in your body):
- Abdominal weight gain
- Breast tenderness
- Cramps during period
- Decreased libido
- Mood swings, especially around period
Estrogen is a much-needed hormone in the body, but too much estrogen can lead to PMS-like symptoms that can make your periods miserable. Your body can get overloaded with estrogens from the foods you eat (especially those that are derived from soy – read the dangers of soy) to beauty and personal care products to the environment. Find out how to balance your hormones naturally.
8 Natural PMS Remedies
1. Eat organic and opt for grass-fed beef
Conventional produce is laden with pesticides that have estrogenic properties – not to mention GMOs. In addition, canned foods have pesticides and BPA in can linings – which also have estrogenic activity.
In addition, conventional cows are given estrogen and other hormones to fatten them up and to produce more milk. Choose organic dairy products and grass-fed beef from local farms.
2. Avoid plastic and aluminum
Like canned food, plastic food containers and water bottles contain BPA that can leech into food and drinks. Opt for glass bottles and glass food containers instead.
In addition to plastic, aluminum products such as bakeware, foil and antiperspirant (which contain aluminum chloride) can activate estrogen receptors. Opt for non-aluminum products – such as cast iron cookware and natural or DIY deodorants without aluminum.
3. Drink filtered water
When you drink tap water, you’re also getting pesticide run-off as well as residue from birth control pills. Other heavy metal contaminants – such as fluoride, chlorine and toxins from household cleaners and disinfectants can cause toxic stress to the body. The best thing to do is to opt for a whole-house filtration system to filter these contaminants out.
4. Ditch conventional beauty products
Conventional beauty and personal care products contain parabens and fragrances with hormone-disrupting chemicals that are absorbed into the skin. The best option is to opt for natural or DIY beauty products.
5. Address stress triggers
It’s no surprise that stress may make PMS symptoms worse. Address those stress triggers and look for ways to reduce stress through relaxation techniques, meditation, or even a warm bath.
6. Avoid soy
Unfermented soy and foods derived from soy contain anti-nutrients that inhibit the absorption of key minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron – which can help to keep PMS in check. In addition, soy can block production of thyroid hormones. These hormones needed for proper thyroid function and balance metabolism. Read more on the dangers of soy.
7. Eat the right fat
Though it’s vilified in the media, saturated fat is actually good for you. It supports metabolic rate (metabolism), thyroid function, immune system and digestion. The best options for saturated fats are butter (from organic or grass-fed cows), ghee, and rendered fats (such as lard and tallow).
Avoid polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), such as vegetable oils (including corn, canola, cottonseed and grapeseed oils), which can lead to inflammation and estrogen dominance. Read more about why to avoid soybean oil.
8. Eat the right protein
There’s no question protein is needed for the body. But protein should be consumed with healthy fats (as listed in #7) and the right carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, squashes and fruit. This food combination helps the body to efficiently break down and utilize proteins.
Opt for these protein sources:
- Raw or organic dairy products – yogurt, kefir, milk and cheese
- Pasture-raised eggs
- Grass-fed organ meats, such as heart, liver and kidney
- Grass-fed beef
- Pasture-raised pork
- Pasture-raised and free-range chicken
- Low-toxin fish such as fresh sardines, trout, and wild Alaskan salmon
Looking for More Tips to Get Rid of PMS Naturally?
I love the book Quit PMS: End Your Menstrual Misery by Lauren Geertsen. It details exactly what foods you should and shouldn’t eat (and there are some vegetables on the list that might surprise you) to get rid of PMS naturally.
What You’ll Find Inside
- All about estrogen dominance
- Macronutrients 101
- Dietary principles for happy hormones
- Good period foods
- Bad period foods
- Detox and elimination
- Stress and stress reduction
- The role of exercise
- Contraceptives and hormone therapy
- And much more
You can buy Quit PMS: End Your Menstrual Misery for just $25. You’ll get instant access to this downloadable PDF e-book to read on any computer or tablet.
Photo credit: DepositPhotos.com / AndreyPopov
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