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.
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 avoid 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.
Is it possible to be nutrient deficient on a healthy diet? Yes! Our food supply’s content of vitamins and minerals is dropping, in part due to the changes in the nutrient content of our soil.
The PMS Essentials
These are the minerals, vitamins, and essential fats shown in research to reduce PMS symptoms….
- 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. Glycinate is my preferred form.
- Zinc helped PMS in this study. It reduces inflammation and acne and increases progesterone.
- Iodine at the RDA (think bare minimum), which for women is 150 mcg, 220 mcg while pregnant, and 290 mcg while breastfeeding.
- Selenium 200 mcg is necessary to balance iodine, and also helps with progesterone production.
- Vitamin B6 100 mg nurtures progesterone and stabilizes estrogen. B6 can be especially important for PMS depression, and you should feel its effects within an hour.
- Vitamin E 200 iu is shown to reduce PMS, menstrual migraines, and breast pain.
Essential fatty acids
Inflammation makes PMS worse. During your period, your uterus is naturally “inflamed” as it produces inflammatory molecules called prostaglandin 2 (PG2) in order to expel your lining tissue and blood. Plus your uterus produces histamine, which is also inflammatory.
Research shows that EPA, DHA, and GLA fatty acids lower PG2 and decrease both inflammation and PMS symptoms. You get EPA and DHA from fish oil or from algae well. GLA is from borage, evening primrose, or black currant seed oil.
If histamine is a problem, you’re likely to know it because you’ll either have histamine symptoms (rashes, hives, wheezing, hayfever) or you’ll react to food high in histamine (there are many, but wine, fermented foods, avocados, and bone broth are examples). For histamine, the best nutrient intervention is quercetin between meals.
- EPA & DHA: 3000-4000 mg
- GLA: 3000 mg
- Quercitin: 400 mg two to three times a day, away from food
Prefer not to take all these supplements? Use the test-not-guess approach and measure these nutrients through labs! Then replenish only what is low, through foods or added supplements. This is what we do in functional medicine.
If nutrient replenishment doesn’t take care of your PMS, check out the 7 Root Causes of PMS.
If you need help solving your PMS, please book a discovery call to chat more!