Need help? Call us on (07) 5532 2069

    Is Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) Normal?

    Posted by: Quieta Bail Naturopath (BHSc)

    Is Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) Normal?

    Ahh… pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), the first few indications that our cycle is about to end its course and start again. PMS occurs in the second half of the cycle, during the luteal phase, and can impact women emotionally, and physically. Although it is certainly common (at least 75% of women say they experience it), it isn’t necessarily ‘normal’. It can be extremely disruptive to experience PMS, and it can indicate that hormones are out of balance, or that there is inflammation within the body.

    PMS symptoms:

    • Bloating / Nausea
    • Constipation / Diarrhoea
    • Headaches
    • Moodiness, irritability, feeling down.
    • Cravings
    • Fluid retention
    • Breast tenderness
    • Back pain
    • Headaches

    Not. A. Good. Time.

    At such a time in our cycle, our body is utilising a lot of energy and requiring comfort and nourishment. Therefore, experiencing symptoms such as the above can make things even harder. Unfortunately, in this modern world, it is expected of women to push past these feelings and aches and pains, so fixing the underlying issue is crucial.

    Although the cause is not completely understood, PMS is believed to be triggered by imbalance between oestrogen and progesterone, inflammation, and the impact this has on neurotransmitters such as Serotonin. It is not usually a clear cut issue, and multiple factors can be contributing. These include:

    • Nutrient deficiencies: B Vitamins, magnesium, omega-3’s
    • Blood sugar imbalance
    • Diets high in inflammatory factors: caffeine, sugar, coffee, processed foods,
    • Poor physical activity levels
    • Environmental toxins: plastics such as BPA, moulds, cleaning chemicals, hair & beauty products can all be endocrine disruptors.
    • Heightened stress
    • Thyroid problems

    Luckily, there’s a lot we can do to reduce and relieve PMS – yes, PMS doesn’t have to occur and you can have a cycle without any issues. Here’s our top tips:


    • Regular exercise – 30 minutes of body movement a day can reduce physical and mental symptoms of PMS, as well as improving endorphins and making you feel good.
    • Stress reduction – decreasing stress levels through relaxation and meditation can improve PMS.
    • Avoid endocrine disruptors – avoid buying food or water in plastic, don’t heat food in plastic containers and make the switch to organic and chemical free cleaning and beauty products.
    • Dry body brushing – keep your lymphatic system moving to improve detoxification of endocrine disrupters.


    • Reduce alcohol consumption – alcohol disrupts the endocrine system and can lead to hormonal disturbances, reduces clearance of hormones and can increase risk of anxiety and depression.
    • Drink at least 2 litres of filtered water every day – this helps to improve detoxification and elimination pathways.
    • Avoid sugar, refined carbohydrates, dairy, processed and deep-fried foods – all of these can increase inflammation which will worsen symptoms of PMS.
    • Consume more omega-3 fats daily to reduce inflammation! Found in oily fish (salmon, sardines, anchovies), or flaxseed and walnuts.
    • Eat lots of fruits and veggies – try to fill up at least half your plate! Having 5-7 serves of veggies and 2 serves of fruit is ideal to reduce inflammation and retain important nutrients.
    • Spice it up! Include nourishing, anti-inflammatory spices such as ginger and turmeric into your diet daily, or make a turmeric latte.

    Natural Support for PMS

    • Vitamin B6: a key ingredient in calming GABA and progesterone, Vitamin B6 is particularly useful in PMS symptoms related to mood.
    • Magnesium: can help to improve mood, migraines, and for reducing cramping.
    • Omega-3: anti-inflammatory action which has had preliminary research in improving mood, bloating and breast tenderness.
    • Vitex agnus-castus (Chaste tree): research has shown improves PMS symptoms through reducing prolactin and normalising progesterone levels.
    • Hypericum perforatum (St Johns Wort): reduces the symptoms of PMS and is useful for improving mood dysregulation in PMS.
    • Passiflora incarnata (Passionflower): traditionally used in the treatment of PMS and anxiety to create a calming effect.

    Please note, If you are taking any medication (including the Oral Contraceptive Pill) please speak to you practitioner before taking on any new supplements or herbs.

    Subscribe to Gr8Health

    Sign up to get 5% off your first order, exclusive access to our special offers, new arrivals and more.

    © 2020 Gr8 Health