Are Your Hormones Going Crazy?

Thoroughwax crescent modestly flowers in a forest glade. Bupleurum falcatum.

PMS is something which many women have’learnt to live with’ – accepting monthly adjustments to their mood, appetite, energy and sleep routines as an annoying but inevitable part of life. In Australia, it’s estimated that up to 75 percent of women experience PMS at any time, with 18 percent of women suffering the severe form – premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Did you know?

PMS and PMDD are often poorly treated or diagnosed. These conditions may have a severely detrimental effect on your life. The fantastic news is PMS can be easily and effectively treated with diet, exercise and Natural Medicines. What causes Premenstrual Syndrome? Studies indicate that women with PMS have lower levels of progesterone and allopregnanolone (a hormone which positively affects mood and behaviour during the menstrual cycle), with elevated oestrogen during the luteal period – the time period beginning with the day following childbirth and running through the rest of your menstrual cycle.

Lower levels of allopregnanolone, therefore, may add to the mood disorders many women experience in the premenstrual phase. Mood symptoms are further exacerbated by the elevated levels of oestrogen as oestrogen stimulates the Central Nervous System, which makes you ONE FIESTY MAMMA! Although the physical symptoms of PMS are well recognized, the mixtures of endocrine and neurological factors that cause these signs aren’t necessarily well understood. For instance, elevated prolactin is related to breast tenderness, fluid retention and irritability.

Take note

Prolactin naturally elevates during the luteal phase and might be further improved by oestrogen, strain and hypoglycaemia (blood glucose imbalances). Aldosterone also contributes to symptoms of fluid retention, leading to weight gain and bloating. Neurological aspects, including altered endorphin action, together with subclinical hypoglycaemia are believed to trigger food cravings, binge eating and tiredness. Along with dietary modifications, Mother Nature has provided a solution.

Herbal help

Herbs like, Bupleurum, Angelica & Vitex are effective remedies for PMS. Bupleurum is effective for women who suffer predominantly from mood changes and mental stress due to hormonal imbalance and whose PMS is worse when they’re stressed. Angelica and Vitex are beneficial for people who have premenstrual symptoms which are more associated with physical discomfort and pain, fatigue, coldness, weight reduction and menstrual irregularities.

Vitex agnus-castus can help to bring relief to both physical and mental symptoms. Various studies have shown that Vitex supplementation significantly enhances premenstrual symptoms within a period of 3 months. One study demonstrated that symptoms of irritability, breast feeding and bloating were enhanced by 50%, whilst 93 percent of 1634 participants reported an improvement of symptoms such as depression, anxiety, food cravings and fluid retention.

Final note

Finally disorders such as fibroids, ovarian cysts and endometriosis may benefit by herbs like cinnamon & Red Sage to alleviate congested, painful and heavy menstruation. This blend of herbs effectively treats menstrual irregularity, oestrogen excessive and dysfunctional uterine bleeding linked to congestive female disorders such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Red sage and heating herbs, such as evodia, ginger, cinnamon and dong quai, have a decongesting and regulating effect on menstruation. So if you’re finding that every month PMS rules your life, maybe it’s time you turned to’Mother Nature’ to get a helping hand.