On a daily basis I receive queries on many different health issues from women and men searching for answers to their niggling health concerns! These many questions have inspired me to create this "Agony Aunt" column for everyone to benefit from and hopefully help many others with similar health matters! Please continue to send me your queries and I will work to answer them as soon as possible! Obviously your query will remain anonymous. Yvonne
QUERY: HI Yvonne, I have being following your fb page for a while now, and love you advice I am desperately hoping you will be able to offer me some advice on PMS, which my wife suffers with so badly! MY wife is a fantastic wife and mother. We have been married for 10 years and have two wonderful children.
We don't have a lot of money to spare, but we have a reasonable lifestyle and would all be very happy if it wasn't for the fact that my wife turns into a monster once a month.
It's PMS, which I know people think is very funny, but the kids and I are finding it nothing to laugh about. But it's usually me who gets it in the neck and I mean that literally. I've had everything thrown at me.
My wife knows she's bad and says she feels rotten about it. She tries to make it up to us and brings the kids treats and is extra nice to me. However, I would just prefer her to be normal all the time.
Each month she promises she'll make an effort not to lose her rag, but that lasts about 10 minutes. Everything just boils up inside her she says and she can't help herself exploding.
I got her to go to her GP, but she came back and said he'd said it was just one of those things and it would probably get better as she got older and her hormones settle down.
But I am not sure the rest of us will survive that long. It's also affecting our love life because the one thing she says that makes her feel better is sex, but it's very hard to feel loving towards someone who two minutes before has said she wishes you were dead. I hope you can help me Yvonne, I need to get my wife to see you so we can start to have a normal life again. Thank you for your time, a desperate husband looking for help...Mr. X
Yvonne's reply: I get more hormone and fertility related questions than any other topic.
Hormones have a much bigger impact that many people realize, and women who struggle from hormone related pain and other symptoms realize this acutely. I’ve gotten an especially large influx of questions about PMS, PMDD and menstrual issues like cramps lately,
If you doubt the very real power of hormones to affect everything from mood, to weight, to bowel health, ask the nearest pregnant woman if she’s noticed any difference in these areas since becoming pregnant. Or ask the nearest 13 year old girl… carefully…
What factor contributes to weight gain during pregnancy? Hormone balance.
What causes weight fluctuations, bloating and other health symptoms throughout the course of a month? Hormones.
What causes men to naturally put on muscle more easily or lose weight more quickly? Hormones.
What is a huge contributing factor of growth in children? Hormones.
What controls ovulation, reproduction, pregnancy, etc? Hormones.
Yes, when it comes to losing weight or improving health, what do we focus on? Calories… or micronutrients… or diets. Those with symptoms like fatigue, skin issues, weight gain, weight around the middle, trouble sleeping, always sleeping, PMS, endometriosis, infertility, PCOS or other issues may find that addressing hormones is vital for recovery.
Helpful Supplements for PMS“In a perfect world, we would be rising and sleeping with the sun, getting Vitamin D from the sun and Magnesium from the ocean while relaxing and exercising in great balance each day in a stress-free world. Since I doubt that describes any of us currently, supplements can fill in the gaps. I’ve talked about the basic supplements you can take before, but there are some specific ones that are helpful for hormone support.
- Maca– A tuber in the radish family that has a history of boosting hormone production and libido. Many women notice less PMS, increased fertility, and improved skin while men notice increased sperm production, libido and better sleep. Maca is also high in minerals and essential fatty acids, making it great for hormones. It is available in powder form (least expensive option) or in capsules. Maca should be discontinued during pregnancy. The effects of Maca are somewhat cumulative, so the best results are seen after 3-5 weeks of taking Maca regularly.
- Magnesium– Magnesium supports hundreds of reactions in the body and often contributes to better sleep (which is great for hormones!). There are several effective forms of Magnesium: I like Mag 356, in powder form, so that you can vary your dose and work up slowly, ionic liquid form can be added to food and drinks and dose can be worked up slowly,or applied to skin. This is often the most use magnesium oil, applied to the skin, its an effective option for those with damaged digestive tract or severe deficiency. Magnesium often greatly helps both PMS symptoms and menstrual cramping.
- Vitamin D– A pre-hormone is supportive of hormone function. Best obtained from the sun of course if possible, or from a D3 suppplement . Make sure not to get too much, and optimally, get Serum Vitamin D levels checked to monitor levels.
- Vitex/Chase Tree Berry– Nourishes the pituitary gland and helps lengthen the luteal phase. It lowers prolactin and raises progesterone. For some women, this alone will improve symptoms.
- Natural Progesterone Cream : PMS and menstrual troubles are often linked to specific hormone imbalances. Especially for those with short cycles or short second phase of their cycle (ovulation through start of menses), progesterone can be the issue. I’ve seen people add only natural progesterone cream and see symptoms greatly reduce. If you do use progesterone cream, do you own research, make sure you have a good brand that is soy-free and only use for the second half of your cycle (ovulation through menses).
- Red Raspberry Leaf: A well know fertility herb that is also helpful in reducing PMS and cramping. It has a high nutrient profile and is especially high in calcium and is a uterine tonic. It is available in capsule form, but makes an excellent hot or cold tea.
- Vitamin B1 -results showed that taking 200mg of Vit B1/Thiamin, on days when PMS was most severe, reduced emotional and physical symptoms
- You can also avail of a herbal tincture which combines all of the above from The Raw Food Coach available here...Store