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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey ladies.
I was wondering if anybody knows if there is a link between nutrition and PMS symptoms, and if so what that link is? Any associated deficiencies/excesses or anything? For cramps in particular. I get cramps so bad on the first day of my cycle that I am literally incapacitated unless I take like 8 ibuprofen in the day and then 3 aleve to get me through the night (which is NOT something I like to do). That doesn't seem right, somehow.
: I'd love any and all advice!
 

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I stopped having cramps when I eliminated most dairy from my diet. I had not had cramps for a years until last month, when I had too much cheese around the time I was menstral. I had cramps, and forgot how tiring they can be. Also, just so you know, I am a vegetarian who rarely eats eggs or dairy.
 

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I have read that not eating any junk (esp sugar) and making sure you are getting the omega-3s in there is supposed to help. You want to decrease inflammation as far as I understand it. May the WAP site may have more info. Can you use a heating pad until you are better?
 

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A lot of people with PMS are deficient in magnesium. Supplementing with magnesium can help in reducing cramps for those deficient. Magnesium goes hand in hand with calcium and also helps in processing B vitamins so I think it's possible that deficiency calcium and B vitamins are also involved.
 

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There are 4 different types of PMS. Most of them are symptoms of hyperestrogenism (relative to progesterone). That means too much estrogen. This is not the case in PMS -D (most prominent sign is depression) This happens if the liver is not effective enough in clearing estrogens. It may also increase production of oxytocin, which may cause more cramping ( but that may also related to lack of magnesium, which causes muscle cramps).
Estrogen is cleared through the same channels as caffein and nicotine as well as some other substances. The best way to get at PMS symptoms at the root is by making sure the liver works effectively. This means cutting down on things like caffein, nicotine, sugar, additives, etc. as well as making sure the liver has the nutrients it needs to function properly ( protein, zinc, iron,Vit b6 and magnesium, mainly)
An important role in PMS is also being played by dopamine production. Nutritional defiencies also disrupt that cycle as well as many drugs, and stress.

Make sure that you get all the nutrients you need and that you absorb them (check food allergies, improve digestion, heal the gut) You might consider supplementing for a while to see if that helps. If the cramping is bad you can just take straight magnesium pills, like 200-400mg every two hours or so ( might get loose stools!) but that often does the trick.

Good luck!

Tanya
 

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Quote:
This means cutting down on things like caffein, nicotine, sugar, additives, etc.
And anything else (ie, food-wise) to cut down on ?

Just wondering... my pms and periods have been getting worse the last 3-4 months - ie, with migraines, acne, irritability, etc .

Actually since I started eating the NT (late summer) I think this is when it started
: - I think maybe it's the dairy b/c before learning about NT I didn't eat much dairy at all - just didn't 'trust' it - but with NT they say it's so good for you so I started with regular yogurt/kefir, cream, raw cheeses and sometimes raw milk - and it's so handy and easy I love it !

TIA
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by *Di View Post
Did you also avoid yogurt/kefir... it seems like those are more easily digested ?
I eat yogurt infrequently- usually if I have had abdominal cramps- not related to menstration, I will try eating some yogurt, but otherwise I do not have it very often. I do sometimes eat cheese- usually once or twice a week on a sandwich. Otherwise I am avoiding dairy because dh and dd are vegan and it is easier to cook one healthy meal instead of two. Also, I am allergic to something in conventional dairy (organic has not bothered me the same), so I never really eat dairy out of the house.
 

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Off-topic for nutrition, but possibly helpful for the cramps. My cramps went away entirely when I switched over to a Keeper (later a Diva Cup) menstrual cup. Now, if I forget it and have to use conventional products, I get cramps immediately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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Originally Posted by Sharondio View Post
Off-topic for nutrition, but possibly helpful for the cramps. My cramps went away entirely when I switched over to a Keeper (later a Diva Cup) menstrual cup. Now, if I forget it and have to use conventional products, I get cramps immediately.
I bought a diva cup awhile back, and I actually get worse cramps when I used that instead of tampons.
: Plus it leaked all over the place. Can't win for losing, eh?
 

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When I switched to a high animal foods diet consisting of limited dairy, lots of natural meats, eggs, green veggies, very limited fruits, no grains, my PMS symptoms virtually went away. I still had some food cravings, but I think it was mental association. I used to have the worst cramps prior to my diet change. My advice is to eat as naturally as possible: good quality natural meats, veggies, no or limited grains, limited dairy.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Shazer View Post
When I switched to a high animal foods diet consisting of limited dairy, lots of natural meats, eggs, green veggies, very limited fruits, no grains, my PMS symptoms virtually went away. I still had some food cravings, but I think it was mental association. I used to have the worst cramps prior to my diet change. My advice is to eat as naturally as possible: good quality natural meats, veggies, no or limited grains, limited dairy.
This was my experience too. In the 90s, on a near-vegetarian, no dairy, low-fat diet I had horrible cramps, endometriosis, weight gain, PMS, etc. Last year I went on a high-fat, low-carb diet and my symptoms disappeared, and I no longer even know when I start my period. However, I do eat a LOT of butter and cream, but don't drink that much milk.
 

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Getting a MoonCup significantly helped my cramps. I'm new to the WAPF diet so I'm not sure how that will help me. I don't get actual physical muscle cramps very bad, a couple of Motrin or one Aleve and I'm good most of the day.

I get emotional upset a day or two before, then hot flashes, cold flashes, diarrhea, nausea, achey joints, weak & tired, on the day I start. It's more annoying than just plain ol' cramps!

I take beneficial oils, usually flax seed and some kind of fish oil. I used to take womens vitamins specifically targeted to help with PMS symptoms, I found that I had to take them religiously (in addition to other vitamins) for the whole LP to get them to help. Recently I've taken men's multi vitamins and they actually make me feel better than the women's kind.
 

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magnesium citrate is easiest absorbed, (when i am mag deficient i get migraines, they're related too) i would think you ladies would benefit more by upping magnesium rather than cutting dairy/cultured dairy. dandelion root infusion is the easiest natural remedy for liver support, but some related pills are glutathione and molybedenum (source naturals makes such a combo). i have never been crampy, but when i let stuff slide i still see effects. like, recently my magnesium status slipped, and i was having muscle tension, and migraines if i drank red wine (my liver was having trouble clearing the sulfites) some liver support and gillham's natural calm mag supplement, and i can drink red wine again! for me, i just need to keep the supplements on hand, and gear my diet intently on the nutrients, but being aware of the symptoms should deficiency rear it's head. i'm going to harvest dandelion soon, it's better when they're not blooming.
i'm partial to cotton for menstrual absorbtion, not that i've menstruated much in the last 4 years!
 

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I took some magnesium citrate + Calcium citrate a week or so before my period and that really helped. I was having major mood swings - weepy and extremely irritable. This month things seem to be under control (I was a bit whiny, but too out of the ordinary
) Dairy doesn't seem to affect me too much. But caffeine does (ie chocolate).
 

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Thanks for all the good tips everyone !

I also do the 'mag cit/cal cit 1:1' all the time about 1000/1200mg per day and dandelion about 1 wk B4 period, so that's why I thought maybe some dietary change would help... so I'll experiment I think.

I accidentally noticed this statement on the westonaprice.org website (funny, b/c I was actually looking up soy to show a friend how it's not good):

"In countries that traditionally produce milk, adults favor fermented products such as yogurt, clabber, buttermilk and soft and hard cheeses. These are easier to digest because of enhanced enzyme content. But fresh whole milk is easily digested by most children and is an appropriate food up to the age of three or four. A child's toleration for milk will be much greater if it is raw. "

HTH !
 
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