How to Support Menstrual Comfort & Emotional Wellness During PMS
What You’ll Learn: In this blog we will discuss the nutrients needed to help support your menstrual comfort during PMS and what nutrients are needed to help promote your emotional well-being while on your cycle.‡
Ladies, this one is for you. I wish when I was growing up, I had a blog that helped guide me through how to support menstrual comfort. Still to this day, I can recall the discomfort, the achy lower back, the blotching and puffiness on my face and body that seemingly no amount of make-up could cover up – much to my dismay. I remember being frustrated by my mom one minute, then the very next crying in her arms while craving chocolate. I was an emotional and physiological rollercoaster. Can you relate, ladies? Well, buckle up because in this blog, we are going to talk about how to support menstrual comfort with Pure Encapsulations® nutrients.‡ Let’s get started!
What is PMS?
Great question! PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, is a combination of different changes your body goes through before the arrival of your period. For example, during PMS, you may experience occasional bloating, a general sense of tiredness and even fluctuations in your mood. What once didn’t necessarily bother you, may now be seriously pushing your buttons.1
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the exact cause of PMS is unknown. It may be related to the hormonal changes women go through during their menstrual cycle. PMS usually shows up after ovulation, which is when your ovaries release an egg. It’s around this time when the estrogen and progesterone hormone levels drop. Once these hormones start to rise back up to their normal levels, usually 2-3 days after your period hits, PMS tends to start to calm down.1
How to Deal with PMS
Whenever my time of the month came, I knew there were three things I would ultimately rely on: a back massage, chocolate and pain relief medications. All these things are great when you have the time, but aren’t always realistic when life comes up. You’ve got places to be, things to do and schedules to keep up. Even though your menstrual cycle has struck, the world keeps chugging along and we as women need to keep up – even though we’d much rather snuggle in bed with a bar of chocolate while someone massages our lower back. Instead, let’s focus on some nutrients that help support menstrual comfort.‡
- Calcium plays a role in healthy smooth muscle function and menstrual comfort. Vitamin D has similar effects, attributed to its ability to promote healthy calcium levels, cyclic hormone function and neurotransmitter activity.2,3‡
- Studies indicate the positive effect of vitamin B6 on premenstrual mood as well as its potential to enhance the effect of magnesium in PMS.4‡
- Vitamin E research suggests that it helps lessen breast tenderness as well as nervous tension and fatigue associated with the menstrual cycle.5‡
- Traditionally used and clinically studied, chaste tree provides significant beneficial support for the hypothalamus and pituitary via its balancing effects.6‡
- Relora® may help diminish stress-related sugary snack cravings and support emotional wellness while rhodiola supports energy and mental function.7‡
Our PMS Essentials, previously known as ProSoothe II, provides a comprehensive nutrient and botanical approach to support mood, cravings, cramps and bloating associated with the menstrual cycle. The nice thing about our PMS Essentials is that this product can be used daily or during the luteal phase only. You can have a conversation with your healthcare provider to determine which supplement routine is right for you. You can have confidence knowing that it provides all these beneficial nutrients as part of a holistic approach on how to support menstrual comfort during your time of the month.‡
Why Do I Crave Chocolate During PMS?
I know my body, and I swear I can predict when my chocolate craving starts. It’s always about three days before my period hits. After years and years of having my recurring menstrual cycle, you think I would’ve found out earlier why this occurs. Well, research suggests that women with higher progesterone hormone levels during the luteal phase were associated with higher levels of cravings for sweets and sweetened goods.8 Pretty much, this is a fancy way to describe that the desire for foods rich in sugar, salt and fat, such as chocolate, was higher during the pre-menstrual cycle of menstruation.9
Did you also know that while our hormones are triggering our desire to each chocolate, chocolate is also an excellent source of magnesium? In fact, 1 oz of dark chocolate provides approximately 41mg of magnesium.10
- Healthy intracellular magnesium levels have been associated with maintaining positive mood during the luteal phase.11‡
- Magnesium also plays an important role in nervous system sensitivity, providing support for muscle comfort, breast comfort and emotional well-being associated with the menstrual cycle.4‡
- Plus, Magnesium is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids and fats, as well as energy production and the utilization of calcium, phosphorus, sodium and potassium.12-18‡
Looking for extra magnesium? Our Magnesium (glycinate) doesn’t have a laxative effect when taking greater than 350 mg per day. Also, our Women's Pure Pack provides 50 mg of elemental magnesium per serving. Or you could always be like me and keep an emergency stash of chocolate on hand for when the pre-menstrual cycle hits. See? Learning how to support menstrual comfort can be simple and easy once you have a little bit of knowledge.‡
Supplements to Support PMS During That Blah Feeling
Now, if the hormonal fluctuations, physical discomfort and cravings weren’t enough, we ladies also have to deal with potential mood changes during this time. I think it’s safe to say that we would also benefit from some positivity during this time. Lucky for us, there are some nutrients that help support menstrual comfort and help you tap into that good time feeling.‡
- Chaste Tree, also known as Vitex, contains flavonoids, iridoid glycosides and terpenoids. These nutrients have been associated with supporting breast comfort and positive mood during the menstrual cycle.19, 20‡
- Chaste Tree extract has also been associated with promoting healthy menstrual luteal phase length and menstrual regularity for some women, while helping to maintain healthy reproductive system function.21‡
Oh, I know what you’re thinking –what about skin health? I swear, our bodies could use a break during PMS.‡
- Evening Primrose Oil (E.P.O) is cold-pressed and produced without the use of any solvents. Used for centuries as nutritional support for a wide range of physiological functions, several studies have indicated that E.P.O. may help support the look and feel of healthy skin.22‡
- Studies revealed that E.P.O. promoted skin health and led to a more favorable shift in eicosanoid metabolism.23‡
- A clinical trial reported that GLA, in combination with EPA/DHA, significantly promoted healthy cardiovascular function in women.5 Additionally, E.P.O. may potentially be supportive of premenstrual comfort.24‡
The beauty of these nutrients is that they are multi-faceted. Knowing how to support menstrual comfort while also supporting positive mood can be that simple.‡
Supplements to Support Occasional Stress During PMS
True story, I’ve had to apologize before for the words that I’ve spoken to my friends and family while on my period. I’m lucky because I grew up with my older sister. As such, we both understood that our stress levels ran a little higher during this time of the month.‡ Apologies in advanced… Luckily, there are some nutrients to help support positive mood that may be helpful to consider.‡
- 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and the amino acid l-tyrosine are key precursors for the synthesis of several neurotransmitters responsible for a healthy emotional outlook, including serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are involved in the regulation of endocrine and brain activity in addition to sleep/wake cycles.25‡
- A healthy level of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA is also associated with positive mood.26‡ Plus, research suggests that both GABA and l-theanine help promote relaxation.27,28‡
- Complementary support for relaxation is provided by passionflower, while Rhodiola rosea supports cognitive and mental function under stressful conditions.29,30‡
- Vitamin B6 is a cofactor that plays an important role in supporting positive emotional health.31‡
Our Emotional Wellness combines all these nutrients, amino acids, herbs and vitamin cofactors to promote healthy emotional well-being and cognitive function while moderating occasional stress.‡ One nutrient that’s also supportive for occasional stress and not found in our Pure Encapsulations® Emotional Wellness is Ashwagandha. ‡
- Ashwagandha is one of the most revered and widely used Ayurvedic herbs.
- In some studies, ashwagandha has been shown to support the activity of lymphocytes and macrophages, moderate occasional stress, enhance memory and cognitive function, promote neuroprotection, and support thyroid function.32-34‡
Growing up, I relied on chamomile tea to help soothe me into sleep, especially when I wasn’t feeling so great because of my menstrual cycle starting back up. Our Best-Rest Formula combines similar ingredients such as chamomile, GABA, l-theanine and passionflower to help provide support for relaxation and sleep. Something we ladies could all benefit from to help support menstrual comfort. ‡
See You Next Time, PMS
Now you know the nutrients that may help you support menstrual comfort. So, the next time your cycle comes around, you’ll be well equipped with the nutrients needed to help you maximize the most of your lifestyle while also tackling the challenges of your monthly cycle. ‡ Want to learn more about our Women’s Health products? Check out our Women’s Health category and all the products specifically designed to support Women’s Health in every life stage here.‡
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Causes, Symptoms & Treatment. (n.d.). Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/24288-pms-premenstrual-syndrome
- Ghanbari Z, et al. Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Jun;48(2):124-9.
- Khajehei M, et al. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2009 May;105(2):158-61.
- Fathizadeh N, et al. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2010 Dec; 15(Suppl1): 401–405.
- De Souza MC, et al. J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 2000 Mar;9(2):131-9.
- Berger D, et al. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2000 Nov;264(3):150-3.
- Kalman DS, et al. Nutr J. 2008 Apr 21;7:11.
- Krishnan, S, et al. The FASEB Journal. 2016; 30(S1). https://doi.org/10.1096/fasebj.30.1_supplement.418.6
- Souza, L., et al. RBGO Gynecology and Obstetrics. 2018; 40(11), 686–692. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0038-1675831
- Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic. 2020, Aug. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/foods-that-are-high-in-magnesium/
- Facchinetti F, et al. Obstet Gynecol. 1991 Aug;78(2):177-81.
- Rodríguez-Morán M, et al. Diabetes Care. 2003 Apr;26(4):1147-52.
- Brilla LR, et al. J Am Coll Nutr. 1992 Jun;11(3):326-9.
- Galland L , et al. Magnesium. 1985;4(5-6):333- 8.
- Heaton RW. Sci. 27: 31, 1964.
- Hiroshi M, et al. Jpn J Nutr Diet. 2005. 63(1); 27- 31.
- Dørup I, et al. J Intern Med. 1993 Feb;233(2):117- 23.
- Hamill-Ruth RJ, et al. Crit Care Med. 1996 Jan;24(1):38-45.
- Berger D, et al. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2000 Nov;264(3):150-3.
- Halaska M, et al. Breast. 1999 Aug;8(4):175-81.
- Milewicz A, et al. Arzneimittelforschung 1993, 43(7):752-6.
- Muggli R. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2005 Aug;27(4):243- 9.
- Yoshimoto-Furuie K, et al. Nephron. 1999 Feb;81(2):151-9.
- Pruthi S, et al. Altern Med Rev. 2010 Apr;15(1):59-67
- Banderet LE, Lieberman HR. Brain Res Bull. 1989 Apr;22(4):759-62.
- Sanacora G, et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004 Jul;61(7):705-13.
- Abdou AM, et al. 2006;26(3):201-8.
- Song CH, et al. Korean J Nutr. 2003 Nov;36(9):918-923.
- Movafegh A, et al. Anesth Analg. 2008 Jun;106(6):1728-32. doi: 10.1213/ane.0b013e318172c3f9. t
- Spasov AA, et al. 2000 Apr;7(2):85-9.
- Wyatt KM, et al. BMJ. 1999 May 22; 318(7195): 1375–1381.
- Mikolai J, et al. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Apr;15(4):423-30.
- Chandrasekhar K, et al. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Jul-Sep; 34(3): 255–262.
- Bhattacharya SK, et al. 2000 Dec;7(6):463-9.