Recently added item(s)
You have no items in your basket.
Our female hormones, mainly oestrogen and progesterone, define us as women. They give us our female characteristics: softer skin, rounder, gentler facial features, breasts, ability to have children and so on. Yet, the same hormones can make us irritable, depressed, angry, impatient, at times, affecting our own well-being, as well as those around us. Our partners will surely agree, albeit perhaps in secret.
We are talking about the dreaded Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), of course. PMS is not a single pattern of symptoms. The common underlying link is disruption to emotional and physical well-being that occurs during the luteal phase (after ovulation) of the menstrual cycle. However the actual realisation of symptoms is highly variable and individual, and can include anxiety, depression, fatigue, cravings, water retention, headaches, and muscle cramps.
As with many conditions, the cause of PMS is multifactorial. As you’d expect, fluctuations in oestrogen, progesterone and prolactin are also implicated. Some aspects of PMS symptomatology relate to high oestrogen (increased irritability) in comparison to relatively lower progesterone, and some to low oestrogen (depression). The pattern of high oestrogen - low progesterone is sometimes referred to as ‘oestrogen dominance’. Our genes can also affect how our bodies handle those hormone, making some individuals more prone to experiencing PMS symptoms, or even developing hormonal conditions, such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis.
Often psychological symptoms occur as a result of hormonal changes affecting neurotransmitter function, or as a side effect of other metabolic changes such as insulin resistance, low cortisol, reduced opioid peptides, dysfunction in circadian pattern of melatonin, changes in electrolytes etc.
PMS and other hormonal problems are very common and often debilitating, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Although the symptoms and their severity may vary from person to person, they often share common underlying factors, which can be effectively dealt with utilising simple nutritional and lifestyle changes. Seeing a registered Nutritional Therapist may also be a good idea, especially if you suffer from a specific condition or have other health problems.
Got a question?
The brand you can talk to:
We have a team of Nutritionists at the end of our advice line, open to you, for product support and advice (5 days a week). 0121 433 8702 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Or head to our advice page where you can find Healthnotes.
Not registered for an account with BioCare®?
[i] Puder JJ et al. Menstrual cycle symptoms are associated with changes in low-grade inflammation. Eur J Clin Invest. 2006; 36 (1): 58-64.
[ii] Berton-Johnson ER et al. Association of inflammation markers with menstrual symptom severity and premenstrual syndrome in young women. Human Reproduction. 2014; 29 (9): 1987-1994.
[iii] Coppack SW. Pro-inflammatory cytokines and adipose tissue. Proc Nutr Soc. 2001;60(3):349-56. Review.
[iv] Eriksson E et al. Serum levels of androgens are higher in women with premenstrual irritability and dysphoria than in controls. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1992; 17 (2-3): 195-204.
[v] Krishnan AV et al. Bisphenol-A: an estrogenic substance is released from polycarbonate flasks during autoclaving. Endocrinology. 1993;132:2279–86.
[vi] Dickerson EH et al. Endocrine disruptor & nutritional effects of heavy metals in ovarian hyperstimulation. Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. 2011;28(12):1223-1228.
[vii] Darbre PD. Aluminium and the human breast. Morphologie. 2016; 100 (329): 65-74.
[viii] Darbre PD, Harvey PW. Parabens can enable hallmarks and characteristics of cancer in human breast epithelial cells: a review of the literature with reference to new exposure data and regulatory status. J Appl Toxicol. 2014;34:925–38.
[ix] Wang J et al. Recent Advances on Endocrine Disrupting Effects of UV Filters. Hong H, ed. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2016;13(8):782.
[x] Herrmann W et al. Vitamin B-12 status, particularly holotranscobalamin II and methylmalonic acid concentrations, and hyperhomocysteinemia in vegetarians. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(1):131-6.
[xi] McTernan PG et al. Gender differences in the regulation of P450 aromatase expression and activity in human adipose tissue. International Journal of Obesity. 2000; 24:875-881
[xiii] Quaranta S et al. Pilot study of the efficacy and safety of a modified-release magnesium 250mg tablet (Sincromag) for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome. Clin Drug Investig. 2007; 27 (1): 51-8.
[xiv] Walker AF et al. Magnesium supplementation alleviates premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention. J Womens Health. 1998; 7 (9): 1157-65.
[xv] Wyatt et al. Efficacy of vitamin B-6 in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome:systematic review; BMJ 1999;318:1375
[xvi] Michnovicz et al. Changes in levels of urinary estrogen metabolites after oral indole-3-carbinol treatment in humans. J Natl Cancer Inst 1997;89(10):718-23.
[xvii] Michnovicz JJ. Increased estrogen 2-hydroxylation in obese women using oral indole-3-carbinol. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1998 Mar;22(3):227-9.
[xviii] Heiss E, Herhaus C, Klimo K, et al. Nuclear factor kappa B is a molecular target for sulforaphane-mediated anti-inflammatory mechanisms. J Biol Chem 2001;276:32008-15.