Growing up, we have all been taught that premenstrual syndrome (pms) is the norm. That it is normal to have cramps, tender breast and other uncomfortable symptoms when we are around the time of menstruating. But I am here to tell you, it’s not normal.
i asked my followers on Instagram to tell me the four most common symptoms experienced around menstruation and these were the most common:
THE ROOT CAUSE OF EACH SYMPTOM
ACNE: excess estrogen in the liver and bacterial overgrowth in the gut
BACKACHE: due to contractions in the uterus and the pain radiating in the pelvic region
BLOATING: gut bacteria could be imbalanced and there could be too much estrogen and not enough progesterone
CRAMPS: the body is not making enough of the right type of prostaglandins and too much of another type likely because our essential fatty acid (EFA) supply is low
CRAVINGS: each craving represents a deficiency of a micronutrient. chocolate = need more calcium and magnesium, carbs = need more B vitamins, fatty foods = need more EFA’s
FATIGUE: prolonged stress elevates cortisol levels and depletes progesterone. excess caffeine and unhealthy foods can cause stress. without enough progesterone our bodies don’t have the energy we need
HEADACHE: a sudden drop in estrogen levels and food sensitivities can cause headaches
MOOD SWINGS: gut bacteria could be imbalanced. about 50% of the serotonin our bodies make is created in the small intestine and manufactured by our gut bacteria. if our mood is off then our microbiome (gut) is off too
NAUSEA: due to changes in the cervix
TENDER BREAST: low levels of vitamin E and excess estrogen in the body
HOW TO HEAL EACH SYMPTOM NATURALLY
ACNE: eating cilantro to help detoxify the liver (add to smoothies or cooked veggies) and gut friendly foods like kimchi or sauerkraut
BACKACHE: leafy-greens rich in calcium and magnesium help prevent cramping which in turn reduces backache, eliminating caffeine to reduce inflammation
BLOATING: eating kimchi and sauerkraut to improve gut bacteria, celery and cucumber to help flush water from tissues, and staying hydrated with water or coconut water
CRAMPS: eating flax seeds which are rich in EFA’s and rubbing clary sage oil onto the skin below the belly button
CRAVINGS: determine your cravings and add in healthier foods such as leafy greens rich in calcium and magnesium, protein and whole grains rich in B vitamins, flax seeds, walnuts and fish oil rich in EFA’s
FATIGUE: reduce sugar and caffeine intake and eat healthy carbs such as sweet potatoes and healthy fats such as olive oil, ghee, avocados and nuts
HEADACHES: fermented soy (fresh miso paste) can help with a sudden drop in estrogen
MOOD SWINGS: reduce hormone-disrupting foods such as sugar, caffeine, processed and white foods and eat more probiotic food like sauerkraut
NAUSEA: increase leafy greens which can help smooth muscle relax and drinking ginger tea
TENDER BREAST: exercise more rigorously during the beginning of the month (first half of your cycle) to help your body move excess hormones out and before menstruation slow down the exercise and do things like yoga, light walks or stretching
After reading Alisa Vitti’s book, Womancode, I learned how to cycle sync, why I experienced different symptoms before or during menstruation and how to heal them holistically. I track my cycle using her app MyFlo which is where I’ve learned how to tackle PMS and where I gathered the information I’ve shared with you.
As women, we are not meant to suffer. Being in pain because of our period is not the norm and we need to take these symptoms seriously. It’s our body’s way of communicating with us.
I personally saw a decrease in my PMS while following the Womancode protocol. I constantly try to take care of my body so that I am not dealing with an onset of symptoms when my period comes. Yes, I still get cramps sometimes, breakout, and my breast might be a little sore, but I now understand the root cause of these issues and how to heal them. Healing these symptoms is not a one-time fix. It is our job to constantly be in tune with our body so we can give it the right kind of love through food, exercise, rest and supplements.