Many women report that self-help through a healthy diet, regular exercise, stress reduction, and a nutritional supplement provides significant relief from their PMS symptoms without the need for prescription therapy. In fact, self-help is the foundation of any PMS management program.
Here is what you can do:
Chart your symptoms. Writing down your symptoms for two to three cycles helps to show when they occur and records their severity.
Make healthy changes in your diet. Instead of “three squares,” try eating three small meals and three snacks daily to keep your blood sugar stable. Whole grains and proteins are good staples of a healthy PMS diet. And, it’s best to limit caffeine and sugar, since they can worsen symptoms.
Regular exercise and stress reduction are valuable components of your PMS management program.
Vitamin and mineral supplementation is another key “ingredient” in a PMS self-help program. A multivitamin-mineral supplement is a great way to help manage your symptoms.
Educate yourself about PMS so you can become a full partner in your health care. There are many great books on PMS.
When Self-Care Is Not Enough
When self-care is not enough to relieve PMS symptoms, it may be a sign of hormone imbalance that could be helped through hormone replacement therapy.
Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?
Signs of low estrogen
- I have hot flashes during the day or night sweats
- I have vaginal symptoms of dryness, itching, or burning
- I am more anxious than I used to be
- I have trouble sleeping
- My hair is thinner
Signs of low progesterone
- It’s more difficult to manage mood swings-feelings of anxiety or irritability
- PMS symptoms have become more intense, especially mood changes and food cravings
- I feel depressed more often than I used to
- My menstrual cycles are shorter
- My periods are heavier
Signs of low testosterone
- My sex drive has diminished
- I’m experiencing weight gain
- I have less energy
- I often feel tired
Individualized Hormone Replacement Therapy
The three hormones with the most profound effects on your body – the way you look, feel, and think are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. If you answered yes to even one or two of these symptoms listed above, a simple and convenient home saliva test can measure your levels of these three crucial hormones. Testing these hormones eliminates guesswork about what you need, and avoids the “one-size-fits-all” approach to hormone replacement therapy that many women receive. You have a clear picture of how your body is working and can take only those hormones you need, in the dosage that is just right for you.