Do you dread your periods with mind-numbing craps and mood swings that make you feel like you’re not yourself?

Maybe you also deal with embarrassing acne outbreaks and bloating?

Or maybe you experience headaches, shoulder tension, and back pain as the “oh so annoying” calling card that your period is here?

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, you are experiencing PMS.

So many women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS), 75% of fertile women have mild to moderate symptoms of PMS while 3-8% have severe symptoms. Sadly, most women just “accept it” as a normal part of their cycle. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Not only is it not normal, but it’s a distinct sign that something is off with your hormone balance.

Here are some additional symptoms of PMS that you may be experiencing:

  • Anger and irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Tension
  • Depression
  • Crying
  • Oversensitivity
  • Exaggerated mood swings
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain related to fluid retention
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Constipation or diarrhea

You shouldn’t just have to “grin and bear” PMS and in fact you don’t have to live with these symptoms. Many of the symptoms you are experiencing are caused by a number of imbalances that could also be compromising your health in other ways.

Hormonal imbalances that cause PMS can be caused by hormone imbalances, diet choices, gut dybiosis or digestive issues, lack of sleep, environmental toxins, stress, and even nutritional imbalances. Unfortunately, these root causes are rarely addressed by your traditional PCP or even your OBGYN. This is one of the many reasons why there is still confusion around PMS and how to treat it.

When women suddenly experience PMS when they haven’t in the past, most of them just accept that it’s a “new and annoying.” Oftentimes they are led to believe that it can’t be rid of and that you can only treat it with medications and just hope for the best.

The Conventional Approach

When patients present with hormonal imbalances or conditions like PMS most traditionally-trained clinicians focus will offer medications to treat the symptoms. PMS is typically treated with anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil or Aleve which can harm your gut health (yes even in small quantities) and to birth control pills. While oral birth control may lessen the symptoms, but can be a real concern for several reasons.

Unfortunately, this can bring on more unwanted side effects, especially for woman who are estrogen dominant because it can greatly increase their breast cancer risk. Taking additional estrogen without receiving the proper, in depth hormonal testing, not only may put you at serious risk but oftentimes does not deal with the root causes of your PMS which may have multi-faceted causes.

One of the reasons why many conventional health practitioners are at a loss to treat PMS, is that it’s typically brought on by lifestyle factors that they are not trained to treat

The Functional Medicine Approach

Hormonal imbalances have become one of the major health issues for women and in recent years and are on the rise. Many people don’t make the connection between hormone imbalance and a long list of life-draining symptoms including moodiness, anxiety, issues with sleep, and even loss of memory.

The Functional Medicine approach is to not only understand the root cause of any imbalance, including something that “seems simple or acceptable” like PMS but also how other systems in your body may be impacted or connected to the imbalance.

While there is no one hormone involved in triggering PMS, we begin with functional medicine testing that focuses on your individual physiology and what is going on functionally.   This gives us a clearer picture of where you may need the most support in the areas of nutrition, gut and hormone imbalances that are typically part of PMS. We do this thorough testing because when patients present with hormone imbalances or symptoms, it’s so important to discover why the imbalances are occurring beyond just hormonal symptoms.

In Functional Medicine, we treat the body as a whole. We approach PMS and your overall hormonal health from a holistic viewpoint and first see if the imbalance can be adjusted through natural means, so other systems won’t be offset. This also allows your body to re-establish function, so your hormonal health can rebalance naturally. Your program always combines lifestyle changes – food, movement, sleep, relaxation and relationships. Only after implementing this comprehensive plan, will we explore if hormone replacement is necessary, weighing any risks  based on your unique challenges.

If you have been experiencing symptoms relating to PMS issues, schedule an appointment with Dr. Horton, DO today!

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Journey With Me

Perhaps you have questions you’d like to ask before you make a decision to become a patient. Schedule a discovery call with Dr. Horton to answer your questions and determine if Peace and Calm Health Functional Medicine is right for you.

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