Plagued with PMS Every Month?

If you are a man, do yourself a favor and do not read on because I am about to talk about the dreaded PMS! Although I used to have the occasional month of cramps as a young adult, and even as a young mother, PMS thankfully never plagued me until I hit my late 30s. Now being almost 40, I have intense cramps, mind-blowing mood swings enough to make my sweet husband avoid me, heavy bleeding and terrible night sweats. I am personally on the journey of trying to improve my own PMS and would love to be able to help others with this as well.

Have you ever wondered why you get so cranky and crampy before (and sometimes during) your period? I sure have! Well, every month our body produces extra estrogen in case of pregnancy. When we do not get pregnant, our estrogen levels plunge, which triggers bloating, cramps, cavings and mood swings.

The good news is we can do something about it! Food choices, supplements, a few behavior modifications and perhaps even going to a good chiropractor or acupuncturist can help us balance these estrogen levels and improve our mood.

Here are the recommendations that I give to my clients (and what I personally have found helpful.) Strictly follow them 2 weeks before and during your period and I assure you that they will help:

1 ) Eliminate all animal products such as eggs, milk, cheese, butter and meat and all fried foods 2 weeks before and during your period. A study by the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who take animal fats out of their diets experience less cramping and bloating than those who eat them, and these symptoms can decrease from 2-4 days.

Additionally, fatty foods have been shown to increase estrogen levels while fibrous foods decrease them. This is one reason that women who do not eat and accumulate adequate fats will stop having their periods. Unfortunately, when many of us feel terrible, we reach for something laden with fat. Much like having a glass of wine after a hang-over, this may make us feel better for the moment, but we will end up feeling much worse in the long-run.

So, you may ask, what is wrong with dairy? Dairy is thought to intensify PMS not only because of natural growth hormones but also because of the fatty content of the milk. I was sceptical at first, however, for the past several months I have been eating an entirely vegan diet with lots of vegetable and fruit juices and no dairy and I can attest to the fact, that I have had literally no PMS symptoms and the terrible bleeding and night sweats have gone away!

2 ) Eliminate salt from your diet. Salt has also been known to increase fluid retention thus increase cramping. Salt can be found in many products so look at the labels and avoid soy sauce, which is high in sodium. An alternative to soy sauce is Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids or the all-natural fermented soy sauce Nam Soyu. The one exception I have found to the no salt rule is sea salt, which is high in vital minerals. To learn more about sea salt, please read my article on Sea Salt.

3 ) Eat at least one green salad per day. Try to eat more fibrous vegetables such as green leafy kale, spinach and broccoli. Not only will fibrous foods help decrease estrogen levels as stated above but they will also help you increase your iron levels which will be depleted by your period and help you metabolize fats.

4 ) Drink 8-16 oz of green juice per day. Again, green leafy vegetables not only help decrease estrogen levels but they also help you increase your iron levels which will be depleted by your period and help you metabolize fats. Green juices can be made very palatable. One of my favorites is cucumber, celery, romaine, and apple. Another favorite is a carrot and green juice. Please see my article on juicing to learn more about integrating juices into your life.

5 ) Take an Omega 3 supplement daily, add more Omega 3’s in your diet and explore the possibility of taking natural herbs. Studies have shown that Omega 3s help boost mood and decrease symptoms of PMS. Omega 3 fatty acids are contained in flax seed oil, evening primrose oil, and borage oil. Black current seed oil is aso known to help combat PMS and St. John’s Wart is especially recommended to calm nerves and regulate mood swings. Please read more about Omega 3’s and how to integrate them into your diet in my Omega 3 article.

6 ) Detox by taking lots of steams and hot baths and exercising vigorously 2 weeks prior to your period to detox your body and regulate your hormones. This can not be under-estimated in its importance. During your period, though, if you are feeling weak or crampy do not push through the pain but rest.

7 ) Get lots of sleep and rest this week so that your body can heal and restore. If you feel up for it, go to a yoga class to relax and get your energy flowing. Click here to read my article on the importance of sleep and rest.

8 ) Make an appointment to see a chiropractor or acupuncturist. In a March 2008 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics it showed that going to a chiropractor helped alleviate the symptons of a woman’s period and PMS. Additional studies show that going to a chiropractor prior to conception helps promote a more regular cycle and helps the body carry the baby healthily during the pregnancy. Studies in acupuncture are said to show similar results. Whether you choose to go see a chiropractor or an acupunturist, seeing one will help you alleviate your systems of PMS, stregthen your organs and get the energy flowing properly through the body!

Dr. Daryl Gioffre is a well-respected, knowledgeable chiropractor on the Upper East Side who I would highly recommend! To learn more about his approach and services, please visit his website or contact him directly

The bottom line, though, is to listen to your body and honor what it is trying to tell you. This is the time of the month to take time to rest and to take care of yourself.

1 Comment

  • Dennis
    July 27th, 2014 at 11:00 pm


    ñýíêñ çà èíôó….

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