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How to Manage PMS: Tips for Dealing with the Challenges Before Your Menstruation

Many women experience physical or emotional symptoms during the second half of their cycle (the lutelae phase, the phase after ovulation). Sometimes so severe that medical help must be sought. This condition, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is defined as a disorder that manifests as distressing physical, behavioural and psychological symptoms, despite the absence of an organic or underlying psychiatric illness. And despite the fact that many women think PMS is something inevitable, you can get rid of PMS! In this blog, we explain how to treat hormonal fluctuations naturally.

PMS symptoms

PMS symptoms are extensive and can therefore have both physical and emotional aspects. Physical symptoms may include sensitive breasts, headaches, fluid retention, abdominal bloating, joint and muscle pain, increased appetite and fatigue. Emotionally and behaviourally, mood swings, irritability, depression, anxiety and difficulty concentrating may occur. PMS symptoms occur a few days to a week before menstruation and disappear at the start of menstruation. Sometimes the symptoms persist during the first few days of menstruation.

The intensity and severity of PMS symptoms vary from woman to woman. While some experience only mild discomfort, others may experience severe symptoms, significantly reducing their quality of life.

PMS is classified by severity: mild, moderate or severe. In mild cases, a woman's daily activities are barely affected, while in severe cases, quality of life can be significantly affected. The most intense form of PMS, premenstrual dysphoria, affects about 3% to 30% of women. It is a serious condition that requires intensive clinical intervention and women can suffer from extreme mood swings, severe irritability and even suicidal thoughts.

What causes PMS

The cause of PMS has to do with hormonal fluctuations during your cycle. It probably has to do with sensitivity to the changing hormone balance. Therefore, the severity of symptoms may depend on the degree of hormonal fluctuations.


Treating PMS with the pill

The regular treatment for PMS is to shut down your hormone production using hormonal contraception: the pill. But this way, your hormones are not stabilised in the right way. Nor are your hormones suddenly balanced. No, you no longer produce hormones.

What does the gynaecologist say about PMS and the pill?


"In a normal cycle, your body first makes only estrogen. After ovulation, progesterone is added. The pill contains both: oestrogen and progesterone-like substances. You can also swallow the pill. Then there are no more hormone changes.

Some women respond well to the pill, but others do not. The advantage is that you have fewer hormone changes with the pill. The disadvantage is that the pill contains a progesterone-like substance and if you are sensitive to it, it can negatively affect your mood." (1).

Natural treatment hormonal fluctuations

Natural treatment for PMS bets on hormonal resilience. Hormones will always fluctuate throughout your cycle (which is precisely what they are meant to do) but think of it this way: if your body is able to adapt to hormonal fluctuations, you are protected from premenstrual symptoms, so to speak. Hormonal resilience is achieved by:

- Making the right nutritional choices

- Reducing stress

- Supplementing vitamin and mineral deficiencies

- Sufficient exercise

- Getting enough sleep

You haven't failed to notice that we share a lot about how to get a better hormonal balance through diet, lifestyle and nutritional supplements.


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Healthy diet to control PMS symptoms

Diet and lifestyle play an important role in PMS. Did you know that you can use nutrition to boost progesterone production? Lack of progesterone causes PMS, spotting, prolonged or heavy periods so you understand the importance of making the right food choices to boost progesterone production.

By consuming less inflammatory foods like sugar, wheat and cow's milk, you can boost progesterone production. Less inflammation leads to better ovulation, and thus more progesterone. Of all the pro-inflammatory foods, cow's milk seems to be the biggest culprit in PMS symptoms. This is probably because milk can trigger histamine production.

Avoid these foods

  • Cow's milk products: milk, cheese, yoghurt

  • Sugary drinks: soft drinks, fruit juices

  • Refined carbohydrates: white bread, white pasta

  • Sweets: biscuits, sweets, cakes and ice cream

  • Processed meat: hot dogs, shoarma, sausages

  • Processed snacks: crackers, crisps and saltines

  • Trans fats and processed vegetable oils such as margarine, soy and corn oil

  • Alcohol

Not only with PMS, but also with PCOS or menopause, drinking alcohol regularly is not a good idea. Drinking alcohol causes blood sugar fluctuations, which disrupts hormone balance. In addition, the breakdown of alcohol takes priority over the breakdown of estrogen, for example (because alcohol is toxic to the body). As a result, less favourable types of oestrogen may be reabsorbed into the body instead of leaving the body through the faeces. In this way, it can trigger hormonal imbalance with all its consequences.

Eat these foods:

  • Vegetables: especially green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, white cabbage, cauliflower

  • Fruits: Especially dark-coloured berries such as grapes and cherries

  • Avocados and olives

  • Healthy fats: olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, butter, ghee

  • Oily fish: salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and anchovies

  • Nuts

  • Garlic

  • Turmeric, ginger

  • Green tea


New - New - New

PMS klachten kun je wat aan doen

The 'Premenstrual Support' package

Do you experience symptoms in the weeks before your period? PMS (premenstrual syndrome is estimated to occur in 5 to 40% of women in the fertile phase of life.

You wonder how can it be, how do all these symptoms arise? Of course, the 'Premenstrual Support' package provides exactly the support that causes the disruption from which your symptoms arise.


Reduce stress to improve PMS

Stress can worsen PMS symptoms. Relaxation exercises such as yoga, breathing techniques or mindfulness-based stress reduction can help relieve PMS-related anxiety and irritability. Read our blog for more tips.

The beneficial effects of exercise on premenstrual syndrome

Regular exercise can have positive effects on PMS. Endorphins, often called "happiness hormones", are released in the brain during exercise. These can naturally compensate for mood swings.

Tips for incorporating more sports moments into your (work) day? You can find them here.

Track PMS symptoms with the Daysy Cycle Tracker

  • View multiple cycles clearly in the DaysyDay app, so you can see at a glance if there are any changes in your temperature history. You can also see how adjustments positively change your cycle. So you always have access to 1 of the 5 vital systems in your body - the menstrual cycle.

  • The ability to enter daily notes in the DaysyDay app about how you are feeling. Purely for yourself because Daysy determines your fertility based on your basal body temperature.

  • You can see in the app after syncing how your rise in temperature is after ovulation which refers to your progesterone production.

  • How long your luteal phase is, more than 10 days is desirable!

  • Whether you have CLI? CLI is the abbreviation for corpus luteum insufficiency, in which case the yellow body is less able to produce progesterone and you see your temperature rising too little after ovulation. You will find the status CLI and mono in the 'Cycle Statistics' when you create a cycle analysis report PDF. If there is nothing in the 'Status' column, it is not an issue!

  • Whether you have mono phasic cycles? When your cycle has 1 phase instead of 2 (before and after the ovulation phase). Temperature does not rise, no ovulation has occurred.

  • Monitoring cycle patterns to identify PMS symptoms. You don't have to be the same every month. Sometimes PMS can be more intense that other months! Measuring with Daysy is also a check if supplementing with nutritional supplements is wise to start with. During a 1-to-1 Zoom call, we review and discuss it together. Many women say they really enjoy this help. We discuss what symptoms you experience, how your diet is, lifestyle and what supplements you use. You receive advice directly in Zoom to get started. We usually follow up this conversation after about 4 months.

Daysy cyclus tracker weer mezelf zijn

Do you often have severe PMS symptoms and notice that it has a (big) impact on your daily life? Then there is already a good reason to start working to improve your cycle. Check out our educational videos.

Get help from an orthomolecular therapist specialising in hormones, fertility and the menstrual cycle. We are happy to look at your cycle progression with you and offer professional support. Book an appointment.





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