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Natural PMS Relief for PCOS

For some women, having PCOS can feel like living with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) on a daily basis. But for the women with PCOS who have periods, PMS can make you feel even worse, having a significant impact on quality of life. Premenstual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a severe form of PMS that affects 5% of menstruating women, is marked by depression and can cause disruptions in relationships and work productivity.

The main causes of PMS are linked to genetics, sensitivity to hormone changes, and changes in brain neurotransmitters like drops in serotonin levels. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has published a set of diagnostic criteria for PMS during the five days before periods which include the following symptoms:

While oral contraceptives, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), antidepressants, and anti-inflammatory medications can help, emerging research is showing the benefits of natural treatments in reliving or preventing common PMS symptoms. Nutrient levels in the body fluctuate during a woman’s menstrual cycle. Many important nutrients such as the ones listed below, are found to dip during the week or so leading up to a woman’s period and may contribute to worsening PMS symptoms. Here are some natural treatments that have been shown in clinical trials to improve symptoms associated with PMS:

Inositol

Ovasitol for PCOS

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A lot of women with PCOS experience cravings throughout the month but even stronger ones in the days leading up to their periods. This could be due to increased calorie demands as well as changes in hormone levels. Ovasitol is a supplement that combines both myo and d-chiro inositol (DCI) in a unique ratio that mimic’s the body’s own ratio. Insulin is an appetite stimulant. Taking ovasitol can lower insulin levels and by doing so, can curb cravings. Added bonus: inositol has also been shown to reduce anxiety and acne.

The recommended dosage of inositol is 2 to 4 grams of myo inositol and 50 to 100 mg of DCI daily. Good food sources of inositol include chickpeas, nuts, and buckwheat.

 Zinc

Zinc as an essential nutrient involved in more than 300 enzymes functions. One important role of zinc is regulating the menstrual cycle. Serum levels of zinc during the luteal phase (approximately 2 weeks before your period) are significantly lower than during the follicular phase. Zinc levels have been shown to be lower in women with PMS. Low zinc status is also linked with mood disorders.

Women with PMS who were randomized to supplement with 50 mg of zinc during the last 2 weeks of their menstrual cycle, saw significant improvements in PMS symptoms and quality of life compared to those taking a placebo, according to a study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Research.

Taking 30 to 50 mg of zinc during the 2 weeks before your period may help relieve PMS symptoms. Good food sources of zinc include red meat, oysters, shellfish, pumpkin seeds, and cashews.

Magnificent cream for PCOS

MagNificient™ is a transdermal magnesium supplement cream that helps your body maintain optimum levels of magnesium. Made with all natural ingredients: shea butter, coconut oil, and olive oil.

Magnesium

Research also indicates that magnesium levels are also lower in women with PMS. Magnesium levels have been shown to be much lower in women with PCOS in general. In addition to regulating insulin secretion, magnesium works as a pain reliever to alleviate PMS symptoms. Magnesium supplementation of 250 mg daily has also been shown to be helpful for lessening bloating, cravings, and reducing anxiety and sleep disturbances. Magnesium has also been shown to be effective for preventing or ameliorating headaches or migraines and preventing dysmenorrhea (cramping and heavy blood flow).

Good food sources of magnesium include lentils, beans, seeds, leafy greens, dark chocolate, and whole grains such as oats, quinoa, and brown rice.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is involved in serotonin (the feel good hormone) production. Doses of vitamin B6 in amounts of 50 to 100 mg daily have been shown to reduce depressive symptoms associated with PMS. Women who supplemented with vitamin B6 and magnesium saw more relief in improving PMS symptoms than taking magnesium alone.

Food sources of vitamin B6 include chickpeas, fish, beef liver and other organ meats, potatoes and other starchy vegetables, and non-citrus fruits.  https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-HealthProfessional/

Calcium

Calcium levels are also lower in women experiencing PMS. Supplementing with 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium resulted in significant decreases in PMS symptoms such as headache, joint pain, appetite changes, depression, and sleep disorders compared to placebo. Low levels of magnesium, incidentally, are associated with low calcium levels.

Fat-free milk and yogurt have a higher glycemic index and have been shown to increase androgens and insulin in women with PCOS as well as acne. Women with PCOS can meet the recommended daily amounts of 1,000 mg of calcium by consuming cheese, salmon, spinach and greens such as swiss chard or taking calcium supplements.

Chasteberry (Angus Castus)

Extracts from the berries of chaste trees can reduce PMS symptoms. Women who received 20 mg of chastberry extract daily for 3 menstrual cycles reported up to a 50% reduction in PMS symptoms such as irritability, breast tenderness, mood changes, and headaches. Chasteberry should not be taken by women who are pregnant, who may become pregnant, or those taking oral contraceptive pills.

References

Siahbazi S. Effect of zinc sulfate supplementation on premenstrual syndrome and health-related quality of life: Clinical randomized controlled trial. 2017. J Obstet Gynaecol Res.

Fathizadeh S, Amani R, Haghighizadeh MH, Hormozi R. Comparison of serum zinc concentrations and body antioxidant status between young women with premenstrual syndrome and normal controls: A case-control study. International Journal of Reproductive Biomedicine. 2016;14(11):699-704.

Teimoori B, Ghasemi M, Hoseini ZS, Razavi M. The Efficacy of Zinc Administration in the Treatment of Primary Dysmenorrhea. Oman Med J. 2016;31:107–111.

Fathizadeh N, Ebrahimi E, Valiani M, Tavakoli N, Yar MH. Evaluating the effect of magnesium and magnesium plus vitamin B6 supplement on the severity of premenstrual syndrome. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2010 Dec; 15(Suppl 1):401-5.

Akhlaghi F, Hamedi A, Javadi Z, Hosseinipoor F. Effects of calcium supplementation on premenstrual syndrome. Razi Journal of Medical Sciences 2004;10:669-675

Boyle NB, Lawton C, Dye L.The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress-A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2017 Apr 26;9(5).

Quaranta S, Buscaglia MA, Meroni MG, Colombo E, Cella S. Pilot study of the efficacy and safety of a modified-release magnesium 250 mg tablet (Sincromag) for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome. Clin Drug Investig. 2007; 27(1):51-8.

Schellenberg R. Treatment for premenstrual syndrome with angus castus fruit extract: prospective, randomized placebo controlled study. BMJ. 2001;20;322:134-7.

Lauritzen C, Reuter HD, Repges R, Bohnert KJ, Schmidt U. Treatment of premenstrual tension syndrome with Vitex agnus castus. Controlled, double-blind study versus pyridoxine. Phytomedicine. 1997;4:183–9.

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