Do you suffer from Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) ?

Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS is a very real problem to a huge segment of the female population. It is a myth that cramps and pain are part of having a menstrual cycle. If you experience severe pain during your periods, you might have endometriosis.

The next time someone tells you that "it's all in your head", you'll have some real facts to back up your argument that PMS is real...and it hurts! Do you need PMS relief?(Scroll down to end of the page tips)

Quick Facts on PMS

PMS can start as much as 10 days before your period actually begins and there are 140 symptoms possible with PMS. It's usually related to a hormonal imbalance caused by your physiology, diet or stress. Frequently your symptoms can even change from one cycle to the next or become less or more severe. To minimize your PMS symptoms, you really need to understand what is happening to your body during your period.

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The Delicate Balance of your Hormones

During each stage of your menstrual cycle, hormones (chemicals released by glands in your body) are released which serve as a catalyst for other hormones to be released.

Once released, they circulate in the bloodstream to "target glands", which are then stimulated to release another chemical or perform some other process. During your menstrual cycle, your pituitary gland secretes estrogen (during the first half of your period) and progesterone (during the second half of your period).

Hormone levels can be unbalanced and volatile, depending on what is going on I your life, what you�re eating and how you handle stress. If these three elements are not managed properly, you could be setting the stage for Premenstrual Syndrome to occur.

Click on resources for more information on books that were used in the research for this page.

How Your Cycle Works

    A few days after Day 1 of your period, blood flow decreases.

    Your hypothalmus sends a signal to your pituitary gland to release FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone)

    FSH goes to your ovaries to stimulate egg growth, which produces estrogen.

    As one egg follicle becomes more developed than the others, uterine lining thickens to prepare for pregnancy.

    On Day 14, hypothalamus releases LH (luteinizing hormone), which swells and causes ripe egg to be released. This is called ovulation.

    Egg cell travels through fallopian tube to the uterus.

    The empty follicle (corpus luteum) produces progesterone, which prepares uterine lining for fertilized egg.

    If egg isn't fertilized, progesterone and estrogen decrease.

    Your uterus discharges all cells.

    Prostaglandins stimulate your uterus to contract, which releases your uterine lining that's been built up. (This is why you sometimes experience cramps.)

    Your period begins again.

    The ups and downs of estrogen and progesterone

    Estrogen is produced in three forms:estradiol, estrone and estriol.

    Estradiol is produced largely by the follicles of the ovaries. Too much of it can cause bloating, breast tenderness and blood sugar fluctuations, not to mention cancer. To prevent excess build-up, the liver converts estradiol to estrone. Too much can cause fluid retention and blood sugar fluctuations so the liver breaks it down to estriolIt can't overstimulate breast or uterus tissue, which is good because it protects the body against cancer and PMS. A healthy liver is an important part of this system.

    Besides causing the physiological changes during your period, progesterone serves to balance estrogen. It stops estrogen levels from going too high. It also helps use fat for energy, acts as a natural diuretic, normalizes blood sugar levels and eases thyroid hormone action.

    So you can see how anything that upsets this hormonal balance can lead to problems with premenstrual syndrome. Proper management of your diet, fitness regime and stress level can help combat premenstrual syndrome from wreaking havoc in your life.

    Painful menstrual cramps are not normal. You might be suffering from endometriosis. Find out more here...


    Symptom Could be from� Try this�
    Irritability,mood swings low levels of serotonin and precursor,tryptophan Eliminate fat,sugar,alcohol and caffeine
    Depression imbalance of estrogen and progesterone; not enough glucose Eat complex carbs, foods with tyrosine, B6, magnesium, calcium
    Cramps high levels of prostaglandin; endometriosis Increase foods that are protein rich; increase vegetables; limit dairy;drink herbal teas;exercise;warm bath
    Bloating, fluid retention,weight gain Too much estrogen Drink water; treat the same as cramps
    Breast Pain Too much prolactin, not enough Vitamin B6 Eliminate sugar, caffeine; supplement with gamma linoleic acid(1-2 tablespoons flaxseed oil or supplement with evening primrose oil or borage oil)
    Food Cravings low glucose that leads to low blood sugar that leads to cravings for refined foods Increase essential fatty acids;foods with magnesium,B vitamins and chromium;exercise

    An imbalance of calcium and magnesium can sometimes result in PMS.

    There's also an herb called Vitex, that has been shown to relieve symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome due to hormonal imbalances, such as depression, cramps, mood swings, water retention and weight gain.

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