What Vitamins Are Good for PMS, Mild Mood Swings and Stress?

What You’ll Learn: In this blog, we will discuss what PMS (premenstrual syndrome) is, why it occurs and which supplements are good for helping manage PMS mood swings, and stress.

We all know what it’s like when it’s that time of the month and our cycle starts. It’s a combination of feeling exhausted and having minimal patience, with the overall body ache and discomfort. Like clockwork, it shows up around the same time every month. That occasional feeling of being bloated and puffy while also craving foods we don’t usually eat all play a role in our menstrual cycle.

Can you relate to any of these feelings? If so, this blog is meant for you! We are going to take some time and talk about which vitamins are good for PMS and which vitamins support PMS mood swings. Let’s get started!

What Is PMS?

PMS, or Premenstrual Syndrome, is a combination of different changes your body goes through before the arrival of your period. You might experience the following during PMS:

  • Occasional bloating1
  • General sense of tiredness1
  • Even fluctuations in your mood1
  • Occasional menstrual cramps1

What once didn’t necessarily bother you, may now be pushing your buttons.

The exact cause of PMS is unknown. There are many factors which may come into play when it comes to PMS. For example, it may be related to the hormonal changes women go through during their menstrual cycle. PMS usually shows up after ovulation, which is when the ovaries release an egg. It’s around this time when 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

What Causes PMS Mood Swings

Have you ever woken up about a week before your period hits, started your day off great and then, about an hour or two into your day, you’re starting to randomly get annoyed and irritable about things that usually wouldn’t otherwise bother you? Yeah, that’s common. You can thank your normal hormonal changes for those brief bouts of mild mood swings.

Hormonal fluctuations happen during the second half of our menstrual cycle. The reason for this is because ovulation occurs about halfway through our cycle. During ovulation, our bodies release an egg which causes estrogen and progesterone levels to drop. When this shift in these hormones occur, you may experience both physical and emotional symptoms, such as those pesky mood swings.2  

Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels also influence serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your mood, sleep cycle and appetite. Low levels of serotonin may lead to feeling more irritable and more mild mood swings. Mood swings are one of the most popular types of PMS symptoms.2

Physical Effects of PMS

What’s one thing that could potentially contribute to the occasional mood swings associated with PMS? Menstrual cramps.

There’s so much more going on during PMS than just bloating and occasional mood swings, menstrual cramps are one of the most common effects women feel during menstruation and PMS and a physical toll we need to factor in each month. This is characterized by the common throbbing discomfort in the lower abdomen and even the lower back during your cycle. This discomfort tends to start 1 to 3 days before your period, peaks 24 hours after the onset of your period and subsides in 2 to 3 days. In most cases, it presents itself as a dull, continuous ache, but for some women, they’ve experienced other physical effects with menstrual cramps such as occasional nausea, loose stools and even aches and pains.3

In most cases of PMS, menstrual cramps occur during your period because your uterus contracts to help shed its lining in preparation to create a new fertile environment. During this time, prostaglandins trigger the uterus to contract. Higher levels of prostaglandins are associated with more occasional menstrual cramps.3

If the cramping wasn’t enough, that’s not all. Often, we tend to get more cravings for sweet-tasting foods than usual. One study found that dietary factors such as consumption of fast food, drinks containing sugar, deep-fried foods and lifestyle factors such as less habitual exercise and poor sleep quality is significantly associated with PMS, indicating that a focus in healthy lifestyle factors such as diet and regular exercise may contribute to the management of PMS.4

Cognitive Effects of PMS

We all know what it feels like when our cycle hits and our motivation plummets. It’s almost as if we need to dig deep and work extra hard just to get our minds to focus. Turns out, there’s science behind why we often feel this way during our time of the month. PMS symptoms occur at the same time as hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle. Research suggests that this fluctuation in the hormones, particularly a rise in estrogen and a decrease in progesterone may lead to an association with serotonin affecting these occasional mood swings.5

Studies have found that estrogen levels that fluctuate during the luteal phase may be partially responsible for women’s mood changes. Research supports that serotonin precursors increase between days 7 to 11 and 17 to 19 of the menstrual cycle. This indicates that PMS is closely associated with mood through estrogen-serotonin regulation.5

On the flip side, some studies have found that decreased estrogen causes a specific part of the brain, called the hypothalamus, to release the hormone neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which in turn may dampen the amounts of dopamine and serotonin secreted by the body, potentially leading to mild mood changes associated with PMS.6

How to Manage PMS

Everyone manages their PMS symptoms differently. For some, it might include a warm bath and a cup of tea. For others, it might be a yummy chocolate bar and a back massage. Whatever way you manage your PMS symptoms, it’s probably safe to assume we could all use some holistic pointers to promote comfort during our menstrual period.

Nutrients like calcium play a role in healthy smooth muscle function and menstrual comfort. Vitamin D has similar effects, as it helps promote healthy calcium levels, cyclic hormone function and neurotransmitter activity.7,8‡ Vitamin E can help lessen breast tenderness as well as nervous tension and fatigue associated with the menstrual cycle.4‡ Our PMS Essentials, provides 100mg of elemental calcium, 400 IU of Vitamin D3 and 134mg of Vitamin E to support menstrual comfort.

What’s interesting about our PMS Essentials is that it is specifically designed to provide a comprehensive nutrient and botanical approach to support mood, cravings, cramps and bloating associated with the menstrual cycle.

Another neat feature of our PMS Essentials is that it contains Relora®, which is a unique combination of magnolia and philodendron extract. Relora® may help lessen stress-related sugary snack cravings and support emotional wellness while rhodiola supports energy and mental function.9‡

Pure Encapsulations® PMS Essentials can be used daily or during the luteal phase only. Have a conversation with your healthcare provider to determine which supplement routine is right for you.

Magnesium for PMS

If there’s one nutrient you wanted to solely focus on during PMS, it would be magnesium. There’s lots of research that supports healthy levels of magnesium has been associated with maintaining a positive mood during the luteal phase.10‡  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.7 This is especially good to know considering those prostaglandins are working hard to create those muscle contractions and menstrual cramps.

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.11‡

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) is one of our bestselling magnesium options and doesn’t have a laxative effect if you’re choosing to supplement with more than 350 mg per day.

What Vitamins are Good for PMS Mood Swings

Whether we like to admit it or not, we’ve all said something we wish we hadn’t. The week leading up to our menstrual cycle seems like the perfect time as any to let those frustrated words loose. Sometimes, we just need a little support. Whether that comes in the form of a hug, or in a more holistic, natural supplement approach, there are many ways we can help manage our occasional stress and PMS related mood swings so we have a little more patience and a little less irritability with others.

Pure Encapsulations® PMS Essentials contains 33 mg of Vitamin B6. Research has found that Vitamin B6 has a positive effect on premenstrual mood and may enhance the effect of magnesium in PMS.11 ‡  

PMS Essentials also contains chaste tree which provides significant beneficial support for the hypothalamus and pituitary via its balancing effects.8 ‡ In other words, these two glands are responsible for estrogen and progesterone. Helping balance these important menstrual hormones may help promote a positive mood during menstruation and PMS.

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.9‡

Nutrients for Mood Support

Our Emotional Wellness by Pure Encapsulations® combines a blend of nutrients, amino acids, herbs and vitamin cofactors to promote healthy emotional well-being and cognitive function while moderating occasional stress. 

Emotional Wellness contains 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) and the amino acid l-tyrosine which are key precursors for the creation of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These are responsible for a healthy emotional outlook and are involved in the regulation of endocrine and brain activity in addition to sleep/wake cycles.19‡

Plus, research has found that the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which is also included in our Emotional Wellness, is associated with positive mood as both GABA and l-theanine promote relaxation.20-22‡ 

Last but not least, this formulation also includes support for relaxation in its passionflower, while Rhodiola rosea supports cognitive and mental function under stressful conditions.23, 24‡

One nutrient that’s also supportive for occasional stress and not found in Pure Encapsulations® Emotional Wellness is Ashwagandha. ‡

Ashwagandha for an Occasional Stressful Mood

While it’s not included in our PMS Essentials or Emotional Wellness products. Ashwagandha is an honorable mention when it comes to helping manage stress and overall health. Ashwagandha has been shown to not only support immune cell activity, but it’s also been found to help moderate occasional stress, enhance memory and cognitive function.25-27‡ These are all helpful aspects when we are dealing with the stressors associated with our menstrual cycle.

Stock Up on Your Nutrients for Next Month’s Cycle

Now that you’re familiar with utilizing vitamins to promote menstrual comfort and better manage PMS and menstrual cycle symptoms, you can stock up and be well equipped with the nutrients needed no matter what your monthly cycle may have in store. ‡ Here at Pure Encapsulations®, we offer a variety of products specifically designed to support women’s health, comfort and wellness through every age and stage of life. Check out all the Women's Health products we offer today!

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  3. Mayo Clinic. (2018). Menstrual cramps - Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menstrual-cramps/symptoms-causes/syc-20374938
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