What is Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)?
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a concern that occurs in some women between two and fourteen days of the onset of the periodic cycle. Also known as PMS, Premenstrual Syndrome is a series of physical, emotional and psychological symptoms related to the menstrual cycle and affects between 2 percent and 5 percent of menstruating women. PMS is distinctly different from the “normal” discomforts of a period because the intensity of the symptoms are usually far more severe.
What are the symptoms of PMS?
There are many symptoms associated with PMS and these vary in different individuals. The intensity and duration from one cycle to another varies however predominantly the symptoms are much more severe with premenstrual syndrome and the most common symptoms used to evaluate if a woman is suffering from PMS include:
- Women may notice that their breasts become extremely tender.
- Bloating is a very common occurrence with PMS.
- Many women find difficulty in their ability to focus or concentrate on everyday tasks.
- A lot of women become aggressive whilst suffering from premenstrual syndrome.
- Muscle cramping, abdominal cramping, pain all over the body and headaches are common among sufferers.
- Many women experience strong cravings for certain foods and may overeat during this period which often results in weight gain.
- A very common concern is low energy which is some cases can be severe leading to fatigue.
- The most common concern is mood swings. It is very common for women to display irritability, cry easily, become very anxious as well as show signs of depression.
A severe case of PMS is called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) which may lead to significant loss of function albeit only affecting very small numbers of women.
Natural remedies soothe PMS
There are a number of natural remedies that may be effective at alleviating the symptoms of PMS. In all probability, there is not just one single remedy that will address all the varying symptoms that women experience however there is one supplement, Viridian’s Magnesium, B6 & Saffron which does help to counter many of the symptoms.
Magnesium, B6 & Saffron supplement by Viridian Nutrition contains 200mg magnesium, vitamin B6 and Saffron extract to help counter some of the most common symptoms experienced.
Magnesium is a mineral that is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions. Its specific benefits with reference to PMS is that it is required for the production of the female sex hormones; magnesium is also required to relax muscles and nerves which eases cramping, breast tenderness; and magnesium is required by each and every cell within the body to manufacture the energy molecule called ATP. In effect, magnesium will help alleviate tender breasts, enhance energy, relax the body, relieve muscle and abdominal cramping and aid the stress response.
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine hydrochloride, has been studied and found to relieve mood swings, anxiety and mild depression that may arise during menstrual cycles. According to these studies, 50 mg of vitamin B6 can be very helpful in alleviating PMS symptoms. This has led to some people advocating much larger doses of vitamin B6 which is actually harmful because this vitamin can damage the nerves. Vitamin B6 is also thought to regulate the sex hormones. A daily dose of Viridian Magnesium, B6 & Saffron provides exactly 50 mg of vitamin B6.
Saffron, commonly used for culinary purposes, has been used for centuries to help alleviate digestive problems, insomnia, asthma and anxiety. Saffron extract has been found to exert a mood elevating effect by increasing levels of certain chemicals in the brain such as serotonin. This helps many women in alleviating irritability, mood swings, anxiety, mild to moderate depression and some of the symptoms of stress. A study involving women aged 20-45 years with regular menstrual cycles and experience of PMS symptoms for at least 6 months were given 30 mg saffron extract daily. A significant difference was observed in efficacy of saffron in cycles three and four. The findings, according to the researchers, support the idea that saffron may affect serotonin activity, and help alleviate not only depression symptoms, but PMS as well. Saffron extract is a great alternative to St John’s Wort which cannot be used with some medications.
Scientists have also discovered that saffron extract curbs food cravings & compulsive eating. The study published in 2010 in Nutrition Research involved 60 women who were slightly overweight but otherwise healthy. The participants were split into two groups one of which was given saffron extract supplements daily for eight weeks. The members of the other group were given placebo. After eight weeks, it was found that the women who took saffron supplements had higher reduction in cravings for food.
Saffron extract’s ability to enhance mood, calm the mind and body and curb appetite and cravings all lend to its usefulness is alleviating the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
Taking a supplement such as Viridian’s Magnesium, B6 & Saffron helps alleviate many of the symptoms of PMS however do not disregard lifestyle factors. Cutting back on caffeine and excessive refined sugar may help to reduce the severity of PMS symptoms.