PMS – that irritable feeling of your hormones fluctuating usually once a month is the number one ‘flow blocker’ in women and comes in many different forms – mood symptoms, bloating, and anxiety to name a few.
PMS usually starts one week before your period, and those who don’t have regular periods don’t often know when it’s going to start… and that’s even more of a problem if you're trying to learn what your triggers are so that you understand how to deal with your PMS symptoms.
‘Flow blockers’ are the things in life that prevent us from existing in a brain state that is known as the ‘flow state’. When your brain is in the ‘flow state’, you’re not held back by things like anxiety, fear, worries, or health niggles – you’re able to be completely immersed in what you’re doing.
Most of us want to be able to find those little joys in life every day. When we’re in a state of total immersion in what we’re doing – whether it’s being at work and helping clients or taking up a dance class – when you’re fully in the moment, you enjoy everything more. PMS symptoms really hold women back from doing just that – enjoying the simple joys in the day.
When you look at PMS from a more integrative medicine perspective, there are said to be four types of PMS, and they tend to overlap. However, if you can target the type of PMS you have the most, it really helps to determine what solutions can work best for you. For example, people who have a lot of anxiety and hyperarousal symptoms with their PMS usually have a high oestrogen to progesterone ratio.
What are the types of PMS?
1. PMS – Anxiety: hyperarousal symptoms, high oestrogen to progesterone ratio.
2. PMS – Carb Craving: enhanced intercellular binding of insulin – carb craving, headache, heart palpitations.
3. PMS – Depression: low levels of oestrogen caused by excessive neurotransmitter breakdown and high cortisol and stress hormone levels.
4. PMS – Hyperhydration: increased aldosterone due to too much salt, stress, magnesium deficiency – congestive symptoms.
How to combat your PMS type
Most women have a combination of these four types of PMS, but generally, one or two of them will dominate and can help guide the best way to tackle your PMS. For example, if you get loads of bloating, eating carbohydrates like root vegetables and avoiding gluten grains may improve your congestive symptoms and reduce bad carb cravings.
Another example is that if your oestrogen is too high and you tend to get PMS anxiety, you can reduce your stress levels naturally by doing a daily mindfulness meditation practice or relaxation training. This can help balance progesterone to oestrogen levels by avoiding what's called a 'protesterone steal' from the high-cortisol stress hormone, and eventually, balance your hormones the week before your period so you feel less anxious and overwhelmed.
Imbalanced blood sugar, low vitamin B6, low progesterone, and high aldosterone could contribute to PMS – Hyperhydration, so if you prefer some guidance, seek the help of a Nutritional Therapist.
Maybe you’re experiencing symptoms in all categories, as many do. Don’t worry, there is a common underlying theme with all the PMS types – usually, imbalanced blood sugar. Get this imbalance under control and it is very likely that many of your symptoms will decrease.
Imbalanced blood sugar, nutrient deficiencies, and low progesterone could contribute to feelings of depression. Changing your diet and speaking to your Doctor can help, however, seek medical attention immediately should you feel overwhelmed.