Woman with a migrane headache

What is PMS?
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a much maligned and overly stereotyped disorder and it isn’t something that must be suffered through. It affects women 1-2 weeks before their period and usually resolves at the onset of menses. Any symptoms during menses are classified as dysmenorrhea, but may have some of the same causes. Women experience a wide range of symptoms because there are multiple contributing factors to PMS. Some common symptoms include bloating, irritability and fatigue. PMS symptoms may also manifest as back pain, headaches and insomnia.

What causes it?
PMS is a response to fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone during a woman’s cycle. If there are any imbalances such as excessive estrogen or inadequate progesterone, then the body chemistry is dysfunctional and PMS can be the result. Underlying conditions such as thyroid dysfunction, endometriosis or depression can also cause PMS symptoms making the diagnosis and treatment more complicated.

There are also dietary components that contribute to hormone production and balance. Dietary deficiencies of minerals or vitamins alter the production and breakdown of hormones. Food allergens can change absorption of nutrients in the intestines and alter metabolism and inflammatory reactions. Any change in the ability to metabolize fatty acids or carbohydrates can have wide-ranging effects on the body’s function. Finally, altered blood sugar levels, whether from organ changes or absorption problems can contribute to PMS symptoms.

How can LGCWC help?
Los Gatos Chiropractic and Wellness offers a full complement of treatments to address these issues both from hormonal and dietary standpoints. Based on the symptoms and any necessary laboratory testing, we provide nutritional support to help improve metabolism and function of the intestines, liver and hormone production. There are several herbs and supplements that have good clinical research behind them supporting their use in the treatment of PMS and hormone regulation.

Proper food intake is important to have the necessary components for hormone production and to keep blood sugar levels stable. High protein, fiber rich snacks between meals is a great way to boost energy and maintain a constant working sugar level. Elimination of some foods may be helpful for women to balance hormones and decrease inflammation. Foods like dairy, red meat, caffeine, alcohol and sugar can all exacerbate PMS in some women.

There are also physical interventions that address tight muscles and improperly moving joints that contribute to pain and PMS symptoms. Chiropractic adjustments and myofascial release have been shown to reduce these symptoms. There have also been trials that show aerobic exercise for 40-60 minutes three times per week can help the body absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins in order to stabilize hormones and decrease the symptoms of PMS.

Remember, just because symptoms are common doesn’t make them normal and there are many treatments that can help. Don’t wait another month to contact Los Gatos Chiropractic and Wellness Center for diagnosis and recommendations on care.

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