PMS - How to Balance your Hormones

  • 25 Jan 2011
  • Reading time 8 mins
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Eight in ten women experience some kind of PMS – find out how to put an end to these unwanted symptoms with my optimum nutrition principles.

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome

Which Type are You? Dr Guy Abrahams, a gynaecologist and specialist in the nutritional aspects of PMS, has classified the different types of PMS into four categories.

• Type A, ‘Anxiety’, is the most common, affecting up to 80% of women. Symptoms of type A PMS include mood swings, irritability, anxiety and tension.
• Type C, ‘Cravings’, as the name suggests involves cravings for sweet foods, increase appetite, fatigue and headaches. This can affect up to 50% of women before their period.
• Type D, ‘Depression’, is often found in combination with type A, and while depression is the main symptom of this group, it can also include forgetfulness, clumsiness, loneliness and lack of co-ordination.
• Type H, ‘Hyperhydration’, relates to water imbalance. This affects up to 40% of women pre-menstrually and involves water retention, bloating, breast tenderness and weight gain. Each type is likely to be linked to a different hormonal imbalance.

Type A is due to excess oestrogen and not enough progesterone, whereas type D is the opposite with too much progesterone and not enough oestrogen. As most women will experience symptoms from each of the four types at some point throughout their cycle, or from month to month, it is hard to determine an individual’s exact hormonal imbalance without a simple saliva test, which I recommend you do (via a nutritional therapist).

How to treat PMS with diet

As with all health problems, having a well-balanced diet is essential for providing the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants needed for the body to work effectively.

Don’t be afraid of carbs
One of the most important dietary factors for balancing hormones is to keep your blood sugar level even. Eat plenty of complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as wholegrains (oats, brown rice, wholegrain bread and pasta, millet), beans (lentils, soya beans, kidney beans etc) and plenty of vegetables. Cut out all refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white pasta and rice, cakes, biscuits and sweets and any foods containing added sugar (check labels as this will be more foods than you think).

Get the right 5 a day
While eating plenty of fruit and vegetables has many benefits, vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower are especially ......

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