Got PMS? If so, from a few days before your period, or up to two full weeks, you may suffer from bloating, headaches, sore breasts, fatigue, brain fog, depression, anxiety, or irritability. You may feel, as my patients put it: “like trash” or “not yourself.”
Did you know this is not normal or par for the course? Yup. It’s completely possible to have a symptom-free premenstrual experience and to be surprised when you get your period!
This post covers the essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids you need to nix PMS. Here I delve into seven root causes of PMS that go beyond nutrient deficiencies. However, I always start with nutrients, because if these are low, nothing will help but to replenish them.
- Magnesium 250 mg according to this study, but I go by body weight in these ratios: 2.5 mg per day per pound of ideal body weight. Also, by magnesium, I mean glycinate (replenishes magnesium stores), not citrate (a laxative).
- Zinc helped PMS in this study. It reduces inflammation and acne and increases progesterone. 30 – 50 mg.
- Iodine is essential and we often don’t get enough nowadays, because of not using iodized salt. The RDA (bare minimum) for women is 150 mcg, 220 mcg while pregnant, and 290 mcg while breastfeeding. Iodine helps PMS, fibroids, fibrous or tender breasts, endometriosis, and thyroid function. You can safely take up to 500 mcg. If you have Hashimoto’s, stick with the RDA amount – or consult with your practitioner.
- Selenium 200 mcg is necessary to “balance” iodine, and also helps with progesterone production.
- Vitamin B6 100 mg nurtures progesterone and stabilizes estrogen. Take 100 mg a day, in divided doses, of the active form, called P-5-P. B6 with magnesium shows even better results. B6 can be especially important for PMS depression, and you should feel it’s effects within an hour.
- Vitamin E 200 iu is shown to reduces PMS, menstrual migraines, and breast pain.
Essential Fatty Acids
Inflammation makes PMS worse. If you already have excessive inflammation, it’s worth diving into the root causes. However, during your period, your uterus is naturally “inflamed” as it produces inflammatory molecules called prostaglandin 2 (PG2).
Research shows that raising levels of an anti-inflammatory molecule called prostaglandin 1 (PG1) decreases PMS by lowering inflammatory PG2s. You can do this with fish oil combined with NAC (n-acetylcysteine). Why both? NAC gives you the building blocks to make glutathione, your body’s primary antioxidant. Glutathione gets used up fast with exposure to toxins. If you are low in glutathione, then fish oil may not get converted properly into the safe anti-inflammatory PG1, and instead, could end up being a bad fat that causes oxidation and inflammation! All you need to know is always take fish oil with NAC or glutathione, to make sure it’s doing its job.
In addition, another fatty acid called GLA, from primrose or borage, also provides PG1 prostaglandins. Combining fish oil with borage or primrose may be the best approach.
- Fish Oil all the way up to 4000 mg with NAC 1000 mg.
- GLA up to 400 mg.
Putting it together
Here is a simple suggestion to get these essential nutrients, if you’d rather not do each nutrient as a solo supplement:
- Take Twice-Daily essential packs, which have all the vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids in one convenient packet.
- If that doesn’t nix your PMS, consider boosting iodine, adding another B6 dose, more omega 3, or zinc.
- If these don’t work then it’s time to go to A Functional Root Cause Approach to PMS.
If you need help with this, please book a free consult and let’s chat!
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