Managing Pre-Menstrual Syndrome: Dietary Guidelines for management

What is pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)?

Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) is a recurrent condition in women, characterized by bothersome symptoms 7 to 14 days prior to the menstruation.

Clinical manifestations of pre-menstrual syndrome

• Decreased energy levels

• Acne

• Irritability, anxiety, peevishness, depression

• Breast tenderness

• Headache, backache, abdominal discomfort

• Abdominal bloating

• Swelling of fingers and / or ankles

Causes of PMS

Changes in the hormonal profile, within the body are predominantly responsible for the occurrence of one or ore of the PMS symptoms.

• Studies state, that the estrogen levels in the body are elevated.

• And, the progesterone levels fall.

Diet and nutrition to treat pre-menstrual syndrome

  • Eliminating or reducing the amount of animal products consumed will yield good results. Research states, that women on a vegetarian diet, excrete 2 – 3 times more estrogen in their feces, and have 50 % lower levels of free estrogen in their blood, as compared to women who consume large quantities of animal products.
  • Women suffering from PMS, must stay away from caffeinated drinks. There is a strong link between caffeine and the psychological symptoms that occur during PMS. 
  • Enhance your dietary intake of phyto-estrogens. Phyto-estrogens are compounds which exert a balancing effect on the estrogen level in the body, particularly when the estrogen level is high (as in PMS). Step up your intake of soy and its products, they are rich sources of naturally occurring phyto-estrogens.