Women go through various hormonal changes from puberty all the way till menopause. How do you manage these bodily changes? Today, more women are seeking out natural and alternative methods to treat symptoms from pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopause, such as chiropractic care. Not all women experience PMS (about three out of four women report PMS symptoms), but all women will go through menopause in their lifetime.
PMS Symptoms Explained
There are over 150 identified and reported symptoms of PMS. Common symptoms include: bloating, irritability, headaches, migraines, breast tenderness, fatigue, stress, cramping, back pain, nausea and weight gain.
There are physiological explanations for these symptoms. For example, lowered levels of serotonin during this time can cause mood changes, irritability and depression; high levels of excess estrogen can also cause irritability and nervousness. An imbalance of progesterone and estrogen can cause water retention, thus affecting weight gain. Abnormal thyroid function can contribute to breast tenderness, and blood sugar imbalance can lead to cravings, headache and fatigue.
On average, women begin to experience the symptoms of menopause at age 51. This transitional time starts with “perimenopause,” which can begin several years before the last menstrual period. The most common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause reported are hot flashes, night sweats and sleep issues, which can be attributed to a change in levels of estrogen and progesterone.
Superfoods for ALL women
Quinoa. This food is a main stay on superfood lists because of its high protein content complete with all nine essential amino acids, but it’s also been found to fight off PMS symptoms and lower blood pressure, especially for postmenopausal women.
Shiitake Mushrooms– Native to East Asia, shiitake mushrooms have been shown to lower cholesterol and strengthen immune system health. Mushroom also has high levels of vitamin D, an essential vitamin that many people lack today; especially pregnant women. Dandelion. Yes, those weeds in your backyard! This salad and green smoothie friendly veggie is loaded with antioxidants and is linked to a lowered risk of ovarian, breast and colon cancers. It also keeps your blood pressure down.
Walnuts – A bit of walnuts each day has been shown to drop cholesterol, prevent heart disease and reduce stress. Plus, a new study revealed that walnuts lowered the risk of breast cancer in mice.
Beef – This one may surprise you. Grass-fed, lean beef contains conjugated linoleic acid which researchers are finding may fight cancer. Other nutrients include iron, protein, zinc and B vitamins. Be sure to pick a lean, high-quality cut and stick to one or two servings a week.
Broccoli – Grabbing a spot on both genders’ lists, this dinner table staple has been proven to combat estrogen excess which may help prevent breast cancer and is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, fibre, folate, calcium, iron and potassium.
Dark Chocolate – This sweet treat is filled with antioxidants, reduces blood pressure and cholesterol and increases blood flow to the brain. Perhaps most importantly, dark chocolate can lower the risk of stroke. Please remember that moderation is still key. Too much dark sugar may lead to high blood sugar levels.
By: Dr. Naa Asheley Dordor, Nova Wellness Center