Managing PMS by Supporting Your Hormones
??Depending on which expert or resource you consult, estimates of how many women experience PMS can range as high as 80 percent and managing PMS becomes a challenge. When PMS hits you, it can feel like being hit by a brick wall. Your mood, energy and other things can change for the worse. How do you combat it?
Support Optimal Hormones
Because scientific research has found that hormones control so many aspects of bodily function — fat deposition or loss, hunger and satiety, mood and emotional response, and so on — it may come as no surprise that hormones can influence whether you have PMS and how bad it gets. Therefore, one of the first lines of defense against terrible PMS symptoms is to support your hormones in achieving their optimal balance.
Hormonal fluctuations are natural during menstrual cycles, but you may not have to suffer through so much pain, fatigue and more. The body uses up an extraordinary amount of nutrients every day just to maintain its baseline, and additional stressors on the body, such as menstruation, may require even more. Adding a hormone balance supplement to your routine is one option for easing some of the disruption PMS can cause in your routines and sense of well-being.
With all the hype abounding about needing to cut back on calories, fat, carbs and sometimes even protein, you might think, “That’s everything! What do I eat?” Unfortunately, because there is so much conflicting information, it can become difficult to know what the real answers are.
Most nutritional research is based on weak supposition, such as epidemiological studies. While they are often promulgated like hardened facts, epidemiological nutrition studies, at best, only point to potential correlations (hypotheses) which need to be further investigated. To make matters worse, if controlled studies are later performed, the hypothesis of a given epidemiological study often fails. As a result, many nutrients and foods that are dismissed by epidemiological studies as being bad — such as eggs — are later redeemed when controlled research is conducted.
While awaiting more scientifically sound evidence, what do you do in the meantime to achieve better hormone balance through diet? Among other things, eat adequate fat. Cholesterol and dietary fat, while frequently demonized, are actually critical components for creating hormones. Women, in particular, are often prone to under-eating, putting themselves at risk of not obtaining sufficient calories, fat, protein and micronutrients for their body’s needs. Building up adequate nutritional reserves is essential to achieving hormonal balance. As to the right foods and ratios for you, this will depend on a long list of personalized factors, such as your current health challenges and allergies.
Stress can have a profound impact on everything in a person’s life. High levels of stress can degrade your ability to think, interfere with sleep, make you more irritable and even deplete your nutritional reserves at a faster rate.
The body uses a variety of micronutrients, such as B vitamins, to mount its stress-coping response. Finding ways to mitigate stress in other aspects of your life may help you preserve those micronutrients for combating the stress your body experiences during menstrual cycles, which in turn may ease your PMS symptoms.
While activities like going to a spa and getting massages may come to mind first when you’re told to relax more and reduce your stress, there are plenty of free alternatives, too. For example, gentle exercise, such as bouncing on a rebounder, can help drain the lymph system and mop up stress hormones. If you are short on time or energy, and feel like exercise isn’t an option, fear not: even a minute or two of aerobic activity, such as jumping jacks or jogging in place on your floor, can still assist your body with its stress-management. Consider weaving micro-workouts like these throughout your daily routine, anytime you need a break.
PMS can be hard to manage and debilitating. Beginning your journey with methods that support your hormonal balance, such as the ones discussed here, may make a significant difference.