PMS refers to over 150 signs and symptoms experienced after ovulation leading up to menstruation. It is estimated that up to 80% of women are suffering from one or more of these symptoms. Although PMS is extremely common, there is no need to suffer through and simple natural treatments have been found to effectively treat PMS in as short as 1-3 cycles.
There are three main root causes of PMS symptoms:
Chronic inflammation reduces the production of progesterone and impacts progesterone sensitivity to its receptor. This leads to the body requiring more progesterone to feel it’s many positive effects. Chronic inflammation also downregulates GABA receptors leading to feelings of increased anxiety. Finally, inflammation interferes with estrogen detoxification leading to a relative excess of estrogen in comparison to progesterone.
Estrogen is a hormone important for bone health, brain health, mood, fertility and insulin sensitivity. It is highest in the first half of the menstrual cycle right before ovulation and has a second peak in the second half of the menstrual cycle. Symptoms appear when there is too much estrogen in reference to progesterone, which can lead to symptoms such as breast pain, fluid retention, irritability and headaches.
Progesterone is only produced after ovulation in the second half of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone has many positive effects on a woman’s physiology including; reducing inflammation, promoting sleep, improving libido, calming the nervous system, and thinning the uterine lining.
When progesterone drops, this signals the body that pregnancy did not occur and to shed the endometrial lining. If progesterone is low in reference to estrogen, women can experience symptoms such as anxiety, spotting in the days leading up to her period, trouble sleeping, fluid retention, and heavy and long menstrual cycles.
Bloating and fluid retention
Assessment begins by identifying which of the above root causes is at play within your body. This involves a thorough investigation into your health history and testing of hormones if required. We also assess for lifestyle factors that may be impacting the above root causes such as diet and stress.
Treatment varies based on individual patient presentation. The three main goals of treatment are to 1. enhance progesterone production 2. stabilize estrogen and help with its metabolism 3. reduce inflammation to allow proper function of hormones and their receptors.
Treatment most often involves assessment of dietary and lifestyle factors that could be leading to inflammation or hormonal imbalance. Botanicals and nutraceuticals are also frequently used as adjuncts to diet and lifestyle changes.
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Other Women’s Health conditions treated include:
Acne, Amenorrhea, Bacterial Vaginosis, Breast Pain, Chronic UTIs, Endometriosis, Fertility, Fibrocystic Breasts, Hair Loss, Heavy Bleeding, Menopause (hot Flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep, mood), Ovarian Cysts, Pelvic Pain, PCOS, PMDD, PMS, Post Birth Control Syndrome, Yeast Infections