How to get help for PMT and troublesome periods
- back (and front) pain,
and a host of other issues every month as part of being a woman. (Did you know there are over 150 different PMT symptoms?) It causes a lot of inconvenience, but few people realise that all sorts of period problems can be managed and sometimes solved by simple life-style changes.
The trouble is with your hormones which when flowing smoothly, regulate your body in an intricate interplay of chemicals. When one element of your hormone balance goes out of whack, on the other hand, it affects everything else. Like a row of dominoes, one fall causes the whole row to go down.
This is never more true than in your in 40’s when the changes in oestrogen and progesterone can play havoc with your weight and temper. Oestrogen and progesterone gradually start to change from your early 30’s, so issues like painful periods may even be the beginnings of peri-menopause.
As I am the queen of easily managed changes you will find below my PMT SOS rescue tips to get help for PMT, cure the craziness so you can get on with your life.
1. Get a grip on Cortisol
Cortisol is the hormone of stress. There cannot be a person alive who doesn’t recognise what it feels like to have cortisol surging around your body. The trouble with being stressed in your 40’s is that cortisol will block other hormones from being activated in your body. Also stress will affect you more in your 40’s and if cortisol is high over a long period of time it can lead to adrenal fatigue. With adrenal fatigue you’ll feel worn out, exhausted and be tired all the time.
There are two easy ways of getting a grip on cortisol, clicking on the links will take you to more information.
– Sleep more link to good sleep habits
– Practice mindfulness
2. Have an Abdominal Massage
Getting abdominal massage has an amazing effect on your hormonal health, it can affect
- Painful periods and flooding
- Your digestion
The massage works on both the physical and the emotional level.
On the physical level the massage can relieve tension in the muscles and the fascia that holds your abdominal organs in place. Massage to your lower back and on your belly helps to create space for the organs to function more effectively. This helps the circulation, the flow of hormones, the nerves and lymph so that everything functions better.
If you are still wondering why you should have an abdominal massage, here’s my favourite abdominal fact:
95% of your seratonin is manufactured in your gut – so massaging your organs will play a major part in making you happy.
Here is my abdominal colleague Leora Leboff’s favourite fact; only 5% of your circulation gets to your uterus. Any compromise in the blood flow will have a massive impact on your menstrual and reproductive health.
The most profound work is on the emotional level. Getting massage for your belly will help you to release any damaging beliefs about being a woman, like
- grief from miscarriage and abortions,
- issues around being or not being a mother,
- how we nourish ourselves (or don’t).
And most crucially, brings us into relationship with our bellies, not a place that most of us feel comfortable.
It is powerful stuff!
The good news is that you don’t have to invest in many sessions. Three sessions will have a powerful effect and your therapist will teach you how to massage yourself so you can take responsibility for your well being. Or you can learn how to do it yourself FOR FREE here. An occasional ‘top-up’ visit for abdominal massage should be enough to keep you in good health.
3. Eat well
If there’s one thing I hate it is making one food-type into a baddie. So I’m not going to lecture you on eating less sugar/white carbs/caffeine. You know all that stuff. But. Here’s the low-down. What you eat has a powerful affect on your hormonal health, so if you are suffering think about making some tweaks….
One thing your mother told you…
Eat More Dark leafy greens – they are a powerhouse of minerals and vitamins that will support your wellbeing. Putting them in fruit smoothies is easy, you can check out some great ideas here.
And one thing she probably didn’t…
Maca is a Peruvian vegetable that has amazing properties. It helps to balance out your hormones and has been shown to contain compounds that affect fertility in men and women. It was so highly prized that the Conquistadors preferred to be paid in maca than in gold!
These days it’s easy to buy a packet of maca power in your local natural health store for a fiver. Half a tsp. on your porridge will work wonders.
It’s non-toxic, increases your libido and reduces anxiety.
4. Go au natural
Xeno-oestrogens are compounds that mimic the affect of natural oestrogens in your body. Balanced oestrogen = soft, warm femininity, ripening womanhood etc. Too much = increase in body fat, horrible periods, PMT and anxiety. Here’s a link to the research
These naughty oestrogen mimickers can be found in…
- Non-organic meat
- Mineral oils
A high oestrogen to progesterone balance can cause all kinds of conditions. These include fibroids and endometriosis so it’s checking out your life-style to avoid them.
Just to be on the safe side
- Splash out on organic food when you can
- Microwave food in ceramic containers not plastic
- Drink water our a BPA free bottle (it will say so on the label)
- Reduce the amount of chemicals you use in your home and on your body.
5. Know yourself
You know those moods before your period starts? They can vary from irritability to full on murderous raging (in our house anyway). Imagine for a moment that they are justified? Imagine that they are not hormone driven, but that they are an sign that something needs to change in your life.
Maybe you are…
- Tired of looking after other people
- Bored in your job
- Ready to take control in your life
- Wanting to travel
- Wanting adventure
- Longing for quiet
- Or to be…. other than how you are….
It pays to notice how you feel. Write, draw and record and consider; is this in any way valid? What needs to change here? In the days after your period, have a look to see what needs to be different.
Another aspect of knowing yourself is to know when to back off. If you are in pain of one kind or another, your body is telling you something. It is likely you will need to rest, be gentle and make allowances for yourself.
If when you have;
- Managed your cortisol
- Received some abdominal massage
- Tweaked your diet, and
- Reduced those naughty xeno-oestrogens
you are still suffering, see a naturopath who can prescribe herbs for you. If that doesn’t work, go and investigate more with your doctor.
If you know someone who suffers from PMT or peri-menopausal issues, you might send them this article, it could make their day.
(With thanks to Lichtenstein for the images).