It is one of those big issues that many of us deal with, and indeed struggle with, every month. We often accept that the pain and misery is just a temporary and unpleasant normal. There is help out there though, and I’m not talking about gimmicks or pain killers (though pain relief may be needed at times). These remedies have been clinically trialed, and are easy to try for yourself. Scientific research shows that the following can help with pain, mental symptoms and heavy bleeding.
Yes, it is true! There have been many studies on the affects of calcium on dysmenorrhea (PMS) and calcium is a tried and true, effective treatment. 3 or 4 servings of calcium a day are recommended. Supplementation is also effective. Long term use has been shown to greatly improve symptoms over time.
Vitamin D enhances the effects of calcium absorption. That is why they are often found together in supplements. There have been studies on the effect of just taking vitamin D alone as a treatment for PMS and the results were also found to be positive in reducing symptoms.
Omega 3 – Fish oil & Vitamin E:
Again, easy to eat or to find in a supplement, there are several clinical trials into the effectiveness of each of these products. In one particular trial that I read, fish oil & vitamin E were shown to work effectively together to improve PMS symptoms and resulted in a reduction of blood loss. If you find yourself reaching for a vitamin E supplement look for D-α-tocopherol (not DL) as it is the natural form which works better in the body. Just like you would find in your foods.
There has been some dabbling into research of other nutrients and supplements and the results have been varied as to effectiveness (from no better than a placebo in some cases, to quite effective). Some people might find relief with the following, keep in mind that they may not be suited to everyone and other health conditions or medications may interact with any supplements. Always check with a health professional first if in any doubt.
Magnesium Vitamin B6 Evening Primrose Oil
Regular exercise has been found to be an effective way to help ward of PMS for many people. If you have heavy periods you may need Iron supplements if your diet isn’t compensating sufficiently. Sever PMS may require medical advice. Don’t despair if you need to take a bit of time with a heat pillow and a pain killer. Love yourself and look after your needs, physical and mental. You are doing great!
Thank you for reading. If you have any advice for readers about what does or doesn’t work for you I’d love to hear from you (as would the sisterhood). 🙂
Links to studies: