9 No-Fail Natural Remedies for PMS-Induced Mood SwingsJuly 11, 2016
You feel like you’re trapped in a glass case of emotion. The slightest trip could set you off, transforming you into either a trembling, crying wreck, or a seething, frothy rage. One minute you feel over the moon; in the next minute, you feel as though you’re being pulled under. You know this amalgam of heightened emotions is temporary — typically lasting a week or so — but it’s long enough to take an enormous toll on not just your emotional health but also that of the people around you.
The less initiated would call you an emotional maniac; we call it PMS-induced mood swings.
On average, three out of every four women who menstruate experience symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), including mood swings. For those who suffer from severe PMS, their mood swings can be wild and uncontrollable, which then takes a huge toll on their emotional health.
The symptoms some of us experience during PMS are the result of hormonal fluctuations — lower levels of prostaglandins (a group of naturally-occurring compounds that participate in a wide range of body functions, including the contraction of smooth muscle) and the “happy hormone” serotonin, as well as higher levels of cortisol — the latter of which causes anxiety and mood swings. In extreme cases, such mood swings can become uncontrollable and disrupt everyday life, wreaking havoc on one’s emotional health. Short of taking medication, those who suffer from extreme PMS-induced mood swings may wish to consider seeking professional help for remedies.
Meanwhile, here are nine natural remedies from naturopath Barbara Filokostas, which you can try to alleviate PMS-induced mood swings.
- Certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies can affect the way your body responds to hormonal fluctuations. Introduce vital minerals such as calcium and magnesium to help relax muscles and reduce anxiety, along with vitamin B complex to help strengthen the nervous system.
- Reduce intake of sugar. Refined sugar, especially, has been known to further widen the insulin imbalance, which then worsens PMS symptoms including mood swings.
- Introduce foods high in Tryptophan, which can help elevate your mood. This vital amino acid helps increase serotonin levels to alleviate anxiety. Foods high in Tryptophan include bananas, spinach, tofu, and grains.
- Eat foods high in fibre, such as fruit and vegetables. Fibre helps reduce insulin sensitivity, which in turn alleviates mood swings and fatigue. Plus, it improves liver function, which enables the metabolising of hormones and removes excess estrogen from the body.
- Mood swings are more frequently experienced during the period between ovulation and bleeding, during which progesterone levels tend to spike. Herbs such as vitex agnus cactus taken on a daily basis (preferably in the mornings) help balance estrogen and progesterone.
- Turmeric is a wonderful ingredient to help ease menstrual pain. It also helps improve digestive and liver functions, and has excellent anti-inflammatory properties.
- Ginkgo Biloba improves blood circulation and blood flow to the brain, which assists with low energy, lethargy, and moods.
- Practice mindfulness. Mood swings can easily affect the way we communicate and interact with the people around us. By practicing mindfulness, we make a concerted effort to be aware of our feelings and express ourselves more tactfully without hurting others.
- Exercise at least three to four times a week. Even 20 to 30 minutes each time helps alleviate feelings of anxiety, as well as makes us feel better and happier due to the release of endorphins.