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PMS (premenstrual symptoms) affects up to 85% of women, and is more likely to occur in the late 20s to mid-40s. It is thought to be caused by fluctuating hormones and chemical changes in the brain that happen during a woman’s menstrual cycle. PMS is unfortunately too widely accepted as “normal” but can be addressed using Naturopathic treatment and improve or even resolve.

Common Symptoms

  • Bloating
  • Headaches
  • Mood changes, including anxiety or nervousness, irritability, depression, forgetfulness, confusion, insomnia, hostility
  • Constipation
  • Food cravings and weight gain
  • Acne
  • Breast tenderness
  • Back or joint pain

Symptoms of PMS can be similar to other conditions, including perimenopause, clinical depression, thyroid or homonal imbalance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A physician can help determine the cause of your symptoms.

Women who experience especially severe symptoms, including symptoms that cause a physical or mental loss of function, may suffer from what is known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). This more severe form of PMS is thought to be more common in women who have been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives. Symptoms of PMDD include extreme mood swings, feelings of anger, depression, irritability, tension, sleep and appetite changes, fatigue, and pain or bloating. PMDD affects an estimated 5% to 10% of women of reproductive age.

Tips for Reducing PMS

  • A diet high in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.) can help balance hormones
  • Reducing caffeine intake can alleviate symptoms of anxiety or irritability
  • Reducing sugar intake can help stabilize blood sugar levels and improve mood swings
  • Regular exercise has been shown to reduce intense PMS symptoms
  • Decreasing alcohol consumption enables the liver to better process hormones that cause PMS

Treatment Options

The Naturopathic physicians at Desert Wellness Center are well-versed in using safe, effective, natural treatments for PMS. We will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that might include:

  • Appropriate hormone testing
  • Homeopathy
  • Nutritional supplementation and counseling
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Acupuncture
  • Bio-Identical hormone supplementation