Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? Irritability, sadness, headaches, bloating, an increase in appetite, fatigue, and other symptoms afflict up to 75 percent of women up to two weeks before their periods. For some (3 to 5 percent), premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is severe enough to be incapacitating. Oncoming periods trigger changes in the balance of estrogen and progesterone (estrogen falls while progesterone surges). These powerful hormones cause very real changes in the body and can affect brain chemistry and emotions.
Homeopathy, which works with the body to stimulate its natural healing abilities, offers a natural way to ease symptoms. In a study published in the January 2013 issue of Homeopathy, 23 women, average age 39, were prescribed homeopathic treatment for their PMS symptoms. The most common complaints were irritability, aggression, and tension, followed by weight gain and bloating. The study concluded that homeopathic treatment was well-tolerated and significantly decreased PMS symptoms—in fact, the average score of symptom intensity was cut by half.
A licensed homeopath can customize a prescription for you based on specific individual needs; however, OTC formulas are available that address a range of general PMS symptoms. (Editor’s note: See “Good Buys” below for our product picks.)
Cut the Caffeine for PMS Relief
Some research suggests that the effects of caffeine are magnified before your period, leading to greater breast tenderness, irritability, and nervousness. “The first thing I do is get every woman off caffeine,” says Lynn Amara, CCH, RSHom(NAm), a homeopathic practitioner based in Fair Oaks, Calif. “That reduces PMS symptoms by over 50%.”
Jennifer Martin is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.
Good Buys ......
BOIRON Cyclease PMS includes a blend of homeopathic medicines that target mood swings, pain, and bloating.
LIDDELL LABORATORIES PMS Premenstrual Syndrome helps to alleviate symptoms with just a few sprays under the tongue.
HYLAND’S PMS is a traditional homeopathic formula for natural relief of cramps and irritability.