Alannah Slingsby, Founder of Moment, shares tips that actually work.
Imagine it’s a few days before your period, and you start to feel a little…different. Your baseline mood is usually happy, but now even the most minor inconvenience ticks you off. You’re sad even though the sun is shining. You’re tired even though you slept eight hours. Your anxiety is high even though it appears to be a typical day. Scenarios like this happen to many women before their period and are known as premenstrual syndrome or PMS. PMS is a condition that affects as many as three in four women at some point in their lifetime and includes symptoms such as anxiety, cramps, fatigue, breast tenderness, and even depression before a woman’s menstrual cycle. The cause of PMS, like many conditions, may be multifactorial, but one cause may be your hormones. The good news is that you don’t have to suffer through another week of premenstrual symptoms or, at the very least, can alleviate them.
Alannah Slingsby, Founder of Moment
When I founded Moment (https://momenthealth.co/), a femtech startup, I was determined to work with physicians who would offer women of all ages solutions to health issues at different phases of their lives. When we looked at premenstrual symptoms, physicians at our clinic studied and developed a few solutions that could possibly lessen your insufferable PMS and improve your quality of life.
1, 2, 3, 4 Bye-bye PMS.
Start with Vitamin B1
Several studies have demonstrated excellent results using thiamine (vitamin B1) for PMS. One study on pre-menstrual syndrome using thiamine 100mg, 2 times per day, for two months showed reduced anxiety by 96%, reduced sleep disorders by 80%, reduced depression by 80%, reduced fatigue by 73%, reduced tension by 55%, and reduced breast tenderness by 7%.
Apply Natural Progesterone Cream
Many adult women help remedy their PMS with natural progesterone, which is not the same as progestin. The primary method is to add back enough progesterone to make the symptoms disappear and to time its application so that menstrual cycles are not disrupted. A good time to apply it is usually between ovulation and menstruation. The Moment’s progesterone cream can be applied to a thin part of the skin, such as the inner thighs. In women with menstrual cycles, adding progesterone is often not needed forever, and sometimes a few doses can help remedy PMS long-term.
Magnificent Magnesium & Yum Yum Choco
Magnesium is one of the best treatments for PMS because it may help to normalize the action of progesterone on the central nervous system. Ever noticed how much you crave chocolate the week before your period? It is most likely because chocolate contains relatively high amounts of magnesium. To find a therapeutic dose of magnesium that works for you, work with a doctor, but at least 300 mg seems to help many of our patients. And stick to black chocolate. Dark chocolate is not very rich in magnesium, with 64 mg in a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving — that’s 16% of the RDI. Dark chocolate is also high in iron, copper, and manganese and contains prebiotic fiber that feeds your healthy gut bacteria.
Your mom Was right. Eat your Vegetable. Vitamin A Is your Friend.
Vitamin A is needed for the conversion of cholesterol into the motherload of sex hormones, pregnenolone; the deficiency in thyroid and vitamin A decreases your level of progesterone. An easy way to get vitamin A is by eating a lot of leafy greens. Many women find it easier to ingest the quantity needed in a smoothie, freeze your greens leafy greens and mix them up with apricots (another good source of vitamin A) and your favorite fruits and blend your heart away.
How do Hormones Work?
Now the science.
Now that we have figured out some easy ways to improve your PMSing. Let’s look at how hormones interact with each other and influence your health.
The hormones estrogen and progesterone and their relationship to each other play important role in how you feel around your period. PMS in cycling women is most common around ovulation and premenstrual weeks, when the estrogen ad progesterone ratio is usually the highest. Estrogen usually increases to its highest levels at ovulation during days 12 to 16. Ideally, estrogen would be dominant for a few hours each month, not for a sustained period of time. Ideally, progesterone surges after ovulation, lowering estrogen. Therefore, when progesterone is at healthy levels after ovulation, PMS symptoms may be minimal. However, if estrogen is high relative to progesterone, side effects can occur because the balance of these opposing hormones is off.
Perimenopause Doesn’t Have to be a Bummer.
PMS symptoms often get worse as a woman reaches her late 30s or 40s during a time before menopause called perimenopause. Perimenopause is commonly known as a time when progesterone production declines while estrogen may still be in sufficient supply. Women will then have the tendency to have shorter cycles, more PMS, trouble staying asleep, and difficulty with their weight. These prevalent symptoms align with what we know about a possible cause for PMS- progesterone deficiency or estrogen dominance.
There are many possible causes of progesterone deficiency or estrogen dominance, such as high stress or elevated cortisol secretion, malnutrition, sleep disorders, and even over-exercising. In addition, thyroid and vitamin A are needed for the conversion of cholesterol into pregnenolone; deficiency in any of these substances decreases progesterone steroid synthesis.
Check the Light
PMS can be a sign to check the engine light. The symptoms we feel are feedback loops from the body, not failures. Our physicians at Moment understand the causes of PMS are multifaceted, and one size fits approach isn’t often effective. Moment doctors can guide you through your PMS journey with safe and effective solutions that strive to get to the root cause of the problem. To learn more, head to www.momenthealth.co
About Alannah Slingsby
Alannah Slingsby is the CEO and founder of Moment, a health femtech platform focused on testing and treating hormone imbalances with a whole-person approach — from the comfort of your home. For more tips, follow Alannah on TikTok at https://www.tiktok.com/@momenthealth
This content is strictly the opinion of Moment Health and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Moment Health nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program. (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4825494/)