Call Us Today! 502.891.8700
Main Office: 502.891.8700
Phreesia: Pay Your Bill
FollowMyHealth: Log In

What to Know About PMS

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is estimated to affect the majority (3 out of 4) women at some time in their lives. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has a wide variety of signs and symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression.

Exactly what causes premenstrual syndrome is unknown, but several factors may contribute to the condition:

  • Cyclic changes in hormones. Signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome change with hormonal fluctuations and disappear with pregnancy and menopause.
  • Chemical changes in the brain. Fluctuations of serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that's thought to play a crucial role in mood states, could trigger PMS symptoms. Insufficient amounts of serotonin may contribute to premenstrual depression, as well as to fatigue, food cravings, and sleep problems.
  • Depression. Some women with severe premenstrual syndrome have undiagnosed depression, though depression alone does not cause all of the symptoms.

How to balance PMS and increase your feel-good neurotransmitters:

  • Eat phytoestrogens (plant estrogens)—edamame, hummus, nuts, nut butters, tofu, flax seeds, and practically any source of plant protein
  • Exercise—combine cardio and resistance training to help exercise elevate all of the brain reward chemicals that decrease with PMS
  • Meditate—or practice yoga, Pilates, or any discipline that inspires focus and mindfulness
  • Take your supplements—a multi-vitamin, calcium (at least 1000 mg per day in divided doses), vitamin D (1000 IU per day), and Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA-dominant, up to 3000 mg a day during low hormone days)
  • Chocolate can help—the polyphenols in dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids) have estrogen-like activity, but limit intake to no more than 1 ounce/day
  • Sprinkle on the cinnamon—a half-teaspoon a day can help offset the negative metabolic effects of dropping hormones

Serotonin-enhancing medications (like some antidepressants) can also be used to regulate symptoms. Often, hormonal contraception can help, such as the pill or the ring. There are many tools, but success starts when you realize what’s happening and consult with your health care provider.

Follow Us On
OBGYN Website Design & Medical Website Design by Vital Element, Inc. - A Creative Digital Healthcare Agency