It's that time of the month again...
A whopping 1 in 5 women experience one of these conditions regularly and they identify with one or more of the following symptoms for up to 14 days in each 28-32 day cycle:
Experiencing bouts of tension, irritability and mood swings - It is connected with high oestrogen levels and there are some links to the diet in this type of PMS (high fat and high dairy consumption).
Feeling weepy, crying for no reason, heightened emotions, negative thoughts, forgetfulness, brain fog, confusion and poor sleep. Connected to high progesterone and low oestrogen.
A build up of fluid retention, weight gain, bloating, swelling, and breast tenderness. Prolactin levels may be too high, causing the breast tenderness.
An increased appetite, hankering after sugary treats or salty carbs, headaches, palpitation, dizziness and tiredness. Low blood sugar levels and low prostaglandins are associated with this type of PMS.
....All this and you haven’t even got to your period yet!
The exact causes of PMS are unknown but there are several proposed mechanisms:
Women with PMS may metabolise progesterone differently, producing less allopregnanolone (a naturally produced steroid that acts on the brain). This enhances GABA-A receptor function, therefore reducing anxiety.
However when pregnenolone production is higher (a chemical that is found in our bodies), this may depress GABA-A receptor function which consequently increases anxiety... stressful stuff - I know!
Prostaglandin (a group of lipids made at sites of tissue damage) imbalances may heighten the experience of pain.
As if this wasn't enough, prolactin levels (a hormone produced in the pituitary gland) may be too high, causing breast tenderness and an irregular cycle.
It's worth noting that women with higher consumptions of sugar, dairy, refined carbohydrates and salt and with lower consumptions of zinc, manganese and iron have a higher risk of experiencing PMS.
We need to work hard at balancing out hormones that control our everyday health which is no easy task - just inhaling fumes from the petrol station or bleaching your bathroom can send hormones spiralling out of whack. Pesticides, toxic fumes and everyday stress can all add up to contributing to a hormone imbalance.
This information may leave you feeling helpless, but you are in control and while we get what we’re given in terms of genetics, we can help ourselves by introducing simple lifestyle changes and paying attention to what we put in our bodies, especially 7-10 days before our period. By reducing sugar, caffeine and alcohol intake where possible and by avoiding stressful situations and doing some gentle exercise our ovaries will be grateful.
Period pain got you down?
Some case studies have suggested that CBD can be extremely beneficial to the reproductive system and monitored doses taken at certain times of the month can ease the effects of PMS, PMDD and Dysmenorrhea.
The relaxant properties of CBD oil can help soothe anxiety, weepiness and low mood while the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties can also help to ease cramps and period pains.
There are a high number of receptors in the uterus which means there is plenty of opportunity for the cannabinoids in CBD to react with these receptors and help to sooth symptoms of PMS.
Suffer more around ovulation?
Women who suffer more around the time of ovulation have reported an increased dose of CBD during this part of their cycle can provide more benefit. When taking CBD for PMS, PMDD or Dysmenorrhea it’s important to remember that you’re targeting two very complex systems, where even slight nudges can have large knock on effects. It’s preferred for those wishing to try CBD to start at a low dose (2.5-5mg per day) and to progress slowly if needed. It may be useful to track ovulation with one of the many apps out there or by taking your temperature using an ovulation predictor kit. Then increase your dose around this stage in your cycle. Some women have felt this administration to provide better symptom relief than taking the same dose of CBD throughout the entire month.
Patches can be a perfect solution to wear during the time of ovulation, before or during your period depending on when your symptoms are at their worst. Applied to the lower abdomen, the transdermal administration will deliver a slow dose of CBD directly through the skin to the reproductive area.
Don't hesitate to get in touch via our contact form - we offer free 15 phone consultations to figure out how to make CBD work for you.