What I Did to Eliminate PMS


OK – today’s topic is PMS – not exactly a topic that people discuss often.  Yet 75% of women are affected by it!

Certainly PMS can be the cause of loads of fights, arguments, unhappiness, and short fuses in a marriage/relationship.  In severe cases, PMS symptoms can last for 2 wks of the month and then the remaining 2 weeks of the month could be spent trying to repair the relationship damage.  Yikes.  Let’s talk.  This is serious business.

Like many, I grew up thinking that it was just normal for women to get signs of PMS once a month.  I guess I got that message from – well – everywhere.  And sure enough, for most of my adult life, I did experience PMS – including moodiness, cramping and headaches (I would often go to sleep with a headache, wake up the next day with headache, and have it last well into the next day or longer.) Heaven forbid there were any underlying emotions that were still lingering from during the month (i.e. hurt and sadness in my marriage; insecurity about the state of my marriage; anxiety over infertility; etc.) At that time in my life, I didn’t know how to handle these trials or how to heal or do all the things I talk about now on the blog. So there were emotions lingering…and you can bet they came to the surface and were magnified during PMS.  Does that happen to any of you or your partners?

BUT – – – I have to let you in on something that happened to me which has been quite a miracle…

As I started taking better care of myself physically, my hormones balanced and I had the energy/clarity/ability to become healthier emotionally.  The combination of the two forces led to such thorough healing that since then, I have had nearly ZERO PMS!!  We’re talking hardly even a smidget of it for about 6 years!!!!  This began even when I was in my first marriage. It was soooo empowering to heal my life in that way and to see how connected our mind/spirit are to our physical bodies.  And, I can tell you that no longer having PMS is off-the-charts amazing.  It is a HUGE, HUGE blessing to my life, Danny’s life, and to our dear marriage.  I just thought I’d share some more details about what I did, in case it’s helpful to anyone…

OK, so I did 9 things that literally eradicated my PMS.
(I still do all these. I marked in RED the things that were absolute game changers that I could notice even within days/weeks):

1.  I stopped eating gluten, refined sugar, and dairy (THESE WERE KEY!!!)  See these posts: Dairy & Mood Swings(4) Strategies for Kicking a Sugar AddictionThe First Steps of Reclaiming My Health.

2.  I ate mostly whole foods instead of processed/packaged foods.

3.  I ate more evenly throughout the day.

4.  I started taking multi-vitamins and 1,000 mg of EPA/DHA Omega 3 Fish Oils (it’s important to get a high quality fish oil and this brand is great.)

5.  I already did not drink caffeine or alcohol.  (These are major causes of PMS as they screw up your hormones.  Please don’t fool yourself into thinking you should drink caffeine to soothe your PMS headache! See this article here.)

6.  I drank lots of water.

7.  I exercised more.  Mostly walking and some running. (The key: working up a sweat to get my blood moving.)  See:  What Exercise Does To Me

8.  I did the work to manage my energy (see the post on Managing Energy.)  Doing this prevented any hurt feelings or emotions from “lingering” around and coming to the surface later.

9.  I took more time for myself, worked fewer hours.  (See: Making Time for Myself)

Certainly your list might look a little different.  But if you have PMS, please, please know that there are SO many things you can do to improve the situation.  **Look at this amazing article by Dr. Mark Hyman…he outlines the steps to eliminate PMS without drugs.** (He talks about everything above and so much more).  I also love the info. in the book called “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” by Christiane Northrup, M.D.  Every woman should own this book!

And now, I’d love to hear about your experiences with PMS…do you have it? What’s your experience? Have you done anything that has helped you to reduce your symptoms?  I would LOVE to hear!  This is SUCH an important topic for women & marriage/relationships/families…and I don’t think it’s discussed enough.  I say let’s help each other by swapping ideas.  

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  1. Christy August 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    I ha no PMS until after I had babies. It has been worse after my second. Generally a day of backaches and headaches. My cycle has always been longer than normal and somewhat irregular, at least now I can be prepared, if you know what I mean!

    • Tanya August 9, 2013 at 12:56 am - Reply

      I was the same as you, never had PMS util after baby #3. It was terrible! I am now pregnant with baby #4 and feel so much better, but am sure I will have to deal with hormone change after baby is born. I read an article recently that said with each pregnancy it takes that much long for your hormones to balance. The body is so interesting and frustrating:)

  2. Emily August 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    gahhh!! Your every-day barrage of "quit dairy!" "quit sugar!" is really getting to me… I am overwhelmed, but oh-so-curious about what the change might do for me!

  3. Molly August 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Your posts (along with other bloggers in a similar vein that have kept popping up over the past few weeks) have inspired me to change my relationship with food. I've been gluten free for a few months, but now I'm focusing on more whole foods rather than the packaged GF stuff (though I will forever love Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins….sooo good when you want something crunchy). This week, I've started to cut out sugar which is the biggest challenge for me. I'll consider cutting out dairy in the long run but for now I enjoy greek yogurt.

    The only PMS symptoms I get are cramping and restlessness a couple days before my period starts. I've found the biggest thing that helps is moving. Living in Boston, I already walk a lot, but especially on those crampy days walking as much as possible really helps work it out (as much as sometimes I'd rather be curled into the fetal position with a mountain of Peanut M&Ms!!)

  4. Miggy August 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    See, I don't suffer from any of these symptoms–PMS, bad skin, overweight, etc. So it's hard for me to want to make any of these changes. In fact, about 16 year ago I saw a holistic Dr. who suggest I quit wheat and dairy (16 years ago I had never hear of this and didn't know anyone who didn't eat dairy and wheat–so this was quite revolutionary in my mind) and so I stopped for a whole summer. Didn't notice a difference in anything, especially my skin which was the problem at the time. As I've gotten older my skin has cleared up on its own and I even get compliments on it from time to time–something I thought I'd never hear!

    For sure I eat too much sugar, but again I don't notice any bad side effects. That being said, I have quite sugar (I think the longest was a month) you know hoping to see some change like a little less inner thigh fat gone or increase in energy or something, but really….nothing. I'm not saying I shouldn't eat less, I probably should but when there's not an obvious upside to quitting, and there is an obvious upside to eating sweets…well the sweets win.

    Also, I'm curious do you think EVERYONE should stop eating wheat and dairy? I know a lot of people suffer a range of symptoms from those with actual disorders, like celiac disease, to people like you who just feel a lot better without those foods. That being said, there are a lot of people like me who seem to do just fine with wheat and dairy…so I'm curious why you promote this as a cure-all across the board?

    • Ashleigh Son August 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm - Reply

      I think what Mara is trying to say is she took the steps needed to regain her health. Not that everyone has the problem of being allergic to gluten and dairy. What works for some might not work for others. You are so lucky that you don't have to deal with these allergies. *I am jealous* Many people suffer with various health problems (weight gain, chronic fatigue, etc.) or annoyances (bloating, feeling ill, etc.), and only found out later on in life that dairy and gluten is a huge part of the problem. Personally I feel that a Paleo diet is the best for me, but I still sneak gluten and dairy in all the time because it's so tasty! Some people are just lucky enough that their body could handle dairy and gluten. If that is the case, just do what makes your body feel that it's in optimal health – even more fortunate for you if you are able to have dairy and gluten while you're at it. As for refined sugars, trust me EVERYONE is better off to cut that out or at least greatly reduce it from their diet. Just my experience and opinion.

    • mara August 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm - Reply

      Hi dear Miggy, I haven't actually promoted it to everyone . I generally just share my symptoms and share how I was able to eliminate symptoms – in case anyone out there is in my shoes and wants to also give it a try. And if they are in my shoes, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to them. I have NEVER had a doctor or a dermatologist recommend to me anything that changed my health. So I figure with this kind of stuff, it's up to people to share what they're doing that WORKS – – because most doctors don't share anything like this at all. I felt inspired to share my journey with health because soooo many people regularly have the symptoms that I had: low energy, PMS, anxiety, acne, headaches. Going gluten /dairy free /sugar free is harmless to try…if someone has those symptoms (and we can add in sleep problems, depression) and they want to see if they can change or improve their health, I do absolutely recommend it to them. It's worth a try – – and SOOOO many have had life changing results. I am sure there are some here and there who might not benefit from it, like you. But I think most people would do better w/o bread, w/o sugar, etc.

    • Miggy August 8, 2013 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks Mara! I appreciate the clarification–it had seemed to me you considered this something people should do across the board which isn't necessarily wrong, I was just wondering your reasons if that's how you felt. Thanks for the clarification. And just so I was clear, I KNOW it can make a huge difference for a lot of people–even without a diagnosed condition like celiac. And I'm glad you found it and are spreading what you know for those who may not know. I just wanted to share my experience as well because I don't know… I just thought it was worth mentioning. I will say, I definitely believe in exercise, fresh whole foods, and ditching as much processed foods as possible. It's funny how "healthy eating" can mean different things to different people.

      And Ashleigh, I also think everyone is better off without refined sugars–but since I haven't felt a huge difference in my sugar fasts before (ie, lack of a benefit contributes to a lack of motivation) than it's hard to want to change.

      Hope I wasn't too much of a rabble -rouser today. 🙂

    • Nikki Yeager December 18, 2013 at 3:22 am - Reply

      Mara – thanks for suggesting the wheat thing! I stopped eating bread products purely because that's where all my sugar was coming from and I was trying to clear up my complexion for my wedding. A wonderful surprise side effect: no more PMS or cramps!

      Miggy – Thanks for bringing up this conversation. I've noticed a strange trend lately when someone brings up eating wheat free. The same reactions that used to happen to vegans and vegetarians seem to spring up. The gluten free people are usually focusing on their own personal experience, but for some reason it seems to come off as pushy. I wonder what causes that confusion on both sides? I had the same problem when I posted a blog about my surprise PMS cure by cutting out wheat…

  5. Quinne August 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    This is so very interesting to me. I've always had PMS and remember lots of feelings of hopelessness, extreme anger, bloating, chocolate cravings, etc… and it changes each time I have a baby. I'm 6 months postpartum and my cycle hasn't returned but I refuse to go on birth control again because of the how the pill would make me intolerable for two to three weeks out of the month. I would be filled with rage towards myself, my husband, someone driving a car too slowly, and most horribly, towards my children and so I would (when I could) lock myself up in my room to avoid conflict with people. It's a relief to see that it doesn't have to be this way.

    I'm trying to incorporate all of your recent suggestions into my life. I've always struggled ( to varying degrees) with depression, anxiety, and fear. I feel hopeful that I'll finally be able to really live and enjoy my life and teach my children to do the same. Thank you so much for the time you take to share with us this valuable information.

    • La Vie est Belle August 14, 2013 at 1:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Quinne, have you heard of PMDD-Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder? (You can google it). I used to think I had major depressive disorder and took drugs for ten years . . . eventually I found out about PMDD. Curiously, most experts dole out the same advice: avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol, carbs and eat fish & veggies. If your brain is craving seratonin (feel good hormone), you often crave the "bad stuff" because your brain wants it. I have found the same as Mara, that when I eat often throughout the day and eat good, wholesome food, I feel WAY better.

      You may have PMDD – what you describe sounds an awful lot like me. Good luck on feeling better!

  6. nicole August 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for a post that was just timely for me. The past couple of days, I have picked fights with my partner only to feel shameful and bad about it the next day. I blamed it on my hormones because I have been feeling extra sensitive and depressed and I know it comes from that. I usually am able to manage it but I was just worn thin and snapped when I shouldn't have.

    I appreciate your tips and your blog! It helps me more than you know!

  7. Sarah August 8, 2013 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    Thanks for all your posts Mara! Thanks for the fish oil recommendation. How do you know what a good supplement is? There are so many choices out there!

    • mara August 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm - Reply

      I've had several very knowledgable holistic doctors recommend the Metagenics brand. There ARE so many choices and it is so hard to know…I guess I just do my research with each one and also try to ask people I trust.

  8. Alison Rae August 8, 2013 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this post! I never really had PMS that bad until I went on brith control ( I am off now but still have bad PMS). It has been hard to know how to deal with it and glad to hear I am not the only one!

  9. Anonymous August 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    I am a gynecologist and I find it so american (as in North,Central and South) to talk about PMS like this. I have been travelling the world working with this and it's only in America that I see this kind of understanding. Sure, women's body change every month with their menstrual cycle, but that's just nature. If you cut off all that harms your body and exercise, may you be a woman or a man, you will feel better. May you have PMS or not.

    But there is a cultural issue in this. I have practiced in Norway, Japan, India, Sweden, Belgium, Laos and Zaire. Nowhere there people talk about PMS like this. Nowhere there women attribute or justify their mood swings, relationship tensions and unconforts on PMS. Socially, you never know when someone has PMS or their period and no women would justify their behaviour on it. And it's not because women are "oppressed" and can't talk about it.
    It's just that it's such a natural issue, as going to pee, that it's not a huge issue there. Surely some women do suffer from it ( but, far from 75%), so they treat it without medication (as in making healthier life choices) or by medication and that's it.

    • EllaY August 8, 2013 at 6:52 pm - Reply

      So interesting! And right in line with what Mara and others of us have figured out-we eat tons of sugar, eat tons of gluten, eat on the go, work very long hours, don't take vacations, etc. here in the US. We have a lot to learn from other cultures as far as balance, and I love that Mara is reminding us of how our bodies reflect our lifestyle. It made so much sense to me when I learned that our bodies really do reflect what we're putting inside of ourselves-and women are incredibly lucky to have our periods to reflect how that balance is doing.

    • Back Row Girl August 8, 2013 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      I'll second this – I've been raised in USSR, and only learned about PMS when I moved to USA. I've had some tough times with my menstrual cycle when I was a teen, and people (women) will give you advice on how to help the aches and pains, but no one ever even thinks to justify mood swings on hormonal changes. It's like, sure, you may feel irritable, but it's not anyone else's fault or problem, so learn to control it.
      Very unlike in US.

      That said, I found that taking care of my body lessens the symptoms, but I do think that food in US is just… I don't know… like the stuff you guys call 'milk' is not really it. It took me at least 2 months to get used to American milk. There's something chemical and off about it. Whenever I can, I buy food in the Russian grocery shop, and I've bought things there for my glucose- and lactose- intolerant friends, and they've had no problems digesting them (like kefir).

    • Anonymous August 9, 2013 at 7:54 am - Reply

      On milk, you should watch this:


  10. Anonymous August 8, 2013 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    I think it is important to remember that what works for one person may not work for every ones else. Mara I love your blog and what you stand for however lately I feel like you have been coming across a little arrogant and pushy about this life style you lead. I don't think it's right to promote the idea that quitting dairy and gluten and refined sugar will completely change your body, mind, and spirit. You and Danny act as though happiness is the only emotion one should feel. There is a huge spectrum out there. Just because some one allows them self to feel grief or pain or even uglier feelings as jealousy or anger, doesn't make them a bad person. It makes them human. I love that you promote love and happiness because it truly is the best emotion to feel but I urge you to reign back the arrogance.

    • CSB August 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      Hmmmm, PMS'ing today? Kidding! I feel like Mara has been on a roll the last two weeks being very concrete about her tips for diet/health and the mind-body connection — at least partially because that is what her readers have asked for! I have loved those posts and haven't detected a whiff of arrogance – just passion and earnestness, and a desire to HELP for those who might benefit from Mara's experience. I actually think Mara is quite humble.

      These posts resonate with me and I've been motivated by Mara's suggestions (in particularly, for giving up gluten). I also don't view Mara as pushing a "happiness" message in terms of what it takes to be a "good person" – just how to live a more positive life.

    • danny August 9, 2013 at 12:15 am - Reply

      "You and Danny act as though happiness is the only emotion one should feel. There is a huge spectrum out there. Just because some one allows them self to feel grief or pain or even uglier feelings as jealousy or anger, doesn't make them a bad person. It makes them human."

      It may be important to understand that I don't define happiness as a smile across your face and a bounce in your step and a general sense of glee. It is more about contentment and overall well-being.

      I've clarified this before, but I understand why it seems like we might not be saying it, so I'll do so again in case it helps you or anyone else. Grief and pain and sadness are not automatically incompatible with happiness/well-being. It is how you respond to grief and pain and sadness that will have a greater effect. I don't believe in ignoring grief or pain, nor would I suggest anyone do the same. But I will always encourage someone to not let their grief and pain take them down the course of anger, bitterness, vengeance, etc. I will encourage them to take the path of patience, forgiveness, stillness, hope, love. Because I believe those will allow the person to experience happiness (contentment/well-being) even while their grief or sadness remain.

      I wholeheartedly agree, all of our emotions are part of what makes us human. Being angry jealous does not make you bad. But in an effort to increase our own well-being, and the well-being of others who will be affected by our decisions, we try to become more aware and steer clear of the uglier emotions as often as possible. And with greater awareness, it becomes more and more possible to do that.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for contributing your voice!

    • RS August 9, 2013 at 12:50 am - Reply

      I also agree that this no-dairy, no-gluten, no-refined sugar push has been a little overbearing lately. For someone working full-time on a limited budget it would be difficult to implement this strict diet.

  11. Marilee August 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Mara, I haven't commented on your blog before, but I follow it closely. I have often wanted to start a blog. I have worried about whether I would be able to share what is in my heart and then have someone criticize me for sharing. I want you to know that I admire your courage and your confidence in opening your heart to us. I have seen you respond with love and acceptance to the comments that I know I would be extremely hurt to receive. I welcome your posts as they are helping me learn to recognize my own emotions. Many of your posts have made me cry as you shared some of your feelings of sadness and heartbreak. Yet, I don't feel depressed. I feel inspired as I can see how happy you are and how you have persevered and have worked through those feelings. As I read this post today I again felt another strong connection to what you have spoken about. I know that I need to try again to take better care of myself physically. I appreciate your encouragement. Please continue to truly share what is in your heart.

  12. Kaelee August 8, 2013 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    How many capsules of the fish oil to you take a day? The ones that were recommended to me are WAY too fishy, and I find myself skipping them more often than not. I'll have to try these next!

    Thank you so much for this blog. As a new mom, I'm struggling to find the time to take care of myself the way I used to. I know I'm a much better wife and mother when I take time to focus on ME, yet I don't always make it a priority. That is changing, and your uplifting posts are a big reason why. Thank you, Mara.

    • Else August 11, 2013 at 6:59 am - Reply

      I have read, and researched, that if a fish oil tastes fishy, it's a cheap brand and don't get it. Like Mara recommended, there are a lot of good brands out there, generally a bit more expensive, but better for you. I personally like Nordic Naturals Fish oils.

  13. Lisa Riley August 8, 2013 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    I am so thrilled with the recent series of posts you've had on here Mara, because I am finding so much motivation, information, and support in reading your experiences. I am currently on Day 4 of being gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and caffeine-free. I've mentally felt really great about it, but physically, I went through 3 days of withdrawals (headaches, moodiness, lethargy, obsession with food, etc.). Today, I feel incredible and am so motivated to be reading about how many potential benefits this lifestyle change can have for me. I never really had PMS (headaches, cramps, bloating…) until a couple of years about, and only occasionally the years before that. I always used to self-medicate my headaches with caffeine, too, so it was really interesting reading the link-up your attached above! Thank you so much for your motivation, inspiration, and willingness to share your experiences with us on here! xoxo, Lisa

  14. Lucie August 8, 2013 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    I never experienced PMS until I got into high school. Since then, I have the most horrible cramps and am either throwing up or having diarrhea. If I didn't take an ibuprofen before my period started it would be too late, which was hard to do. The thing that has gotten rid of my all my cramping has been birth control. I can manage my periods better, no cramping, a shorter duration as well. It's obviously not the most "natural" or health conscious way to go about it, however. But this is just my experience!

  15. Alyssa August 9, 2013 at 1:25 am - Reply

    I've had a lot of PMS symptoms throughout my whole time with a period. From mood changes, debilitating headaches, and terrible skin, I'd had it all. A big thing for me was getting off of the pill which helped the headaches and my overall health. But my skin is still TERRIBLE. I have done gluten/dairy/sugar free for a time but I don't have the means to do that permanently. However, I do think it's so important to do as much as possible to help out your system as a whole.

  16. Ginna August 9, 2013 at 1:35 am - Reply

    Mara, I have to tell you, you've changed my life. For the past several years I was sick, tired, had tons of headaches and body aches, angry, short-tempered, frustrated, scared, uncomfortable in my own skin, foggy-headed, anxious and depressed. Basically miserable, but I couldn't figure out how to make lasting changes – it seemed like everything I tried was too hard and never stuck.

    For the past week and a half I have been dairy-free and gluten free and I have seen immediate results. Practically overnight my depression and anxiety disappeared. I used to have so much trouble motivating myself to exercise and hated every single minute of it. Now I look forward to it and enjoy it every single day! I have so much energy, patience, clear thoughts, rarely get frustrated and am much kinder. I have already lost almost 5 pounds, but look and feel like I've lost 10-15. I feel lighter, and for the first time in years, I feel like I fit comfortably inside my own body again. The PMS symptoms I usually see around the end of the month never appeared and I am actually looking forward to the middle of the month, because I want to see how those are affected as well. I never would have thought that foods that I counted on and took for granted were really doing me so much harm. Cheese and pasta/bread always made me feel better in the short term and even though I realized that they were not great for me, I had no idea of how deep of an impact they really had on my physical, mental and emotional health.

    I have enjoyed so many of your posts around self-worth, managing your energy etc and felt they made a huge impact on my life, but they only took me so far and I could only sustain them for a little while at a time. Now that I am feeling so much better physically, its like those things are able to fall into place effortlessly. I am still conscious about actively applying them in my life, but it is so much easier to do now!

    The best part is how you present the information. Reading your blog is like reading an email from a close and trusted friend – great, intelligent advice shared from a personal perspective, with lots of love for the reader. It comes across in such a practical, friendly manner that it is easy to read and take to heart. Very few people could have convinced me, a lifelong cheeseaholic, to give up cheese but somehow you made me think I could do it and I'm so glad I did. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the time and energy you put into this site and your willingness to share your experiences with your readers. You truly have give me back my life and I am so, so grateful. Thank you!

  17. Anonymous August 9, 2013 at 1:58 am - Reply

    Mara, I have LOVED these posts. There is absolutely no arrogance at all. I appreciate so much you giving specific details and I look forward to new posts every day. I don't know what the big deal is, each reader can decide if they want to try your ideas, they're not being forced. You can't be expected to write posts every day that every single reader loves. That's what makes us interesting, we all connect to different things. Even Oprah didn't have every viewer loving every single show! Don't change what you're doing. Your blog is great.

  18. Anonymous August 9, 2013 at 2:22 am - Reply

    I would add that in addition to the things you share, supplementing with higher levels of vitamin D in last few months has done so much for my energy levels and feelings of well-being. Definitely miraculous! The larger part of the American population is severely deficient, especially those in the northern part of the country ( I am in Boston). Check out : http://www.grassrootshealth.net/
    Many, many professors, med. doctors, & researchers involved in this project. Like the things you mention (most of which I have implemented in my life journey in the past 5 years), this one has been life transforming! Anxiety and mild depression I have struggled with off and on for years, completely gone! As if that weren't a blessing enough, all the energy and mental clarity that resulted were a huge bonus. I only wish I had known sooner!

    Thanks again for all you are doing to get this message out! Living this way has literally given me my life back! It absolutely has been worth every ounce of sacrifice. It is difficult to cope & heal when you are a hormonal/ unhealthy mess.

    • Anonymous August 9, 2013 at 2:28 am - Reply

      Would you mind sharing how much Vitamin D you supplement with? My Vit D level is low and I should be supplementing too. Thanks!

    • Anonymous August 9, 2013 at 2:56 am - Reply

      I supplement with 5,000 IU daily. But unfortunately it isn't a one size fits all. I really encourage you to check out http://www.grassrootshealth.net/ ,
      as they have a chart suggesting levels of supplementation depending on what your current blood level is. Good luck, I hope this helps!

    • mara August 9, 2013 at 3:13 am - Reply

      I am SOOO glad you mentioned Vitamin D. I take it daily and think it also makes a huge difference. Danny and I both have been extremely low on it (actually just made a doc appt. to get our levels checked again.) And Anon is right…it's not a one size fits all so get your blood tested. But chances are you are low on it like most people. My doctor even had me go on a prescription strength dose for a short time (50,000 i.u. per week!) But it made a huge, huge difference. We take about 4,000-6,000 iu daily. Also, I've read that taking emulsified (liquid) Vitamin D drops are best. I use a brand called Life Extension as it's the only emulsified brand I could find. I want to research some regarding brands. I'd love to hear if someone has a suggestion.

  19. Anonymous August 9, 2013 at 4:01 am - Reply

    Hi all, the one major contributor for me of less PMS has been avoiding any red meat.

  20. Alysa Stewart August 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    For me, the biggest PMS helps have been psychological.

    Firstly I always have an easier time when I recognize that I'm struggling because of my cycle. If I forget that it's close to that time of the month and just go about my day then I tend to get a "woe is me! i feel like crap!" attitude. Then, I will remember (usually my husband will ask) and I'll be like "oh yeah. that's why I feel this way!" and then I can move on! funny, huh?

    Secondly, I remember my mom talking about one night early in her marriage to my dad. She was flipping out about something and he said something like "oh, you're just PMSing" (not a direct quote, but that was the jist. Anyway, she schooled him. She said, "Just because I am emotional and just because it is my time of the month does not mean that my concerns aren't real. It doesn't mean these problems don't need to be dealt with." Again not a direct quote, but I just love that. My mom really has a way with seeing through murky situations and even if you're hormonal it doesn't mean that you're not legit. 😀

    • Miss Debs May 23, 2014 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      That is lovely, Alysa. Thanks for sharing. I often find PMS exacerbates emotions I'm already feeling for genuine reasons! (and usually exercise the self-control to wait until it passes to try and deal with them, so I do so on a reasonable level) Knowing that it's due to the cycle is such a comfort, and makes me handle it in a much more measured way (rather than wondering why my life has suddenly fallen apart despite nothing having changed…)

  21. Krista August 9, 2013 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    I feel like #5 was aimed right at me! I figured that if I don't do caffeine throughout the month and have it once or twice a month to help the headaches it was better than popping pills…but maybe I should really try and just eat better (without my many occasional treats) and see if the headaches disappear on their own…

  22. Anonymous August 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    I agree with Alysa (and her mom). I feel like PMS doesn't create problems, it just reduces my ability to cope with them. Knowing in advance this is the case, helps me go easy on myself and others during that time.

    Vitamin D is a game-changer. I struggled for 18 months with lack of energy and exhaustion. I tested anemic and was put on iron supplements with no improvement. My doctor eventually sent me for vitamin D testing and found I was extremely deficient (and I live in Arizona where you can't possibly get any more sun!) I'm now on 5,000 units/day. It's changed my life.

    • trish August 10, 2013 at 12:46 am - Reply

      Wow. I spent the weekend with my sister in law and she challenged me to go dairy free with her while I was there. I had no idea how great I would feel! I will continue because my irratibility and foul mood has completely lifted! This is unbelievable! I am one happy girl!

  23. Danielle August 10, 2013 at 11:41 am - Reply

    Oh I KNOW I need to try all this! Everytime I read these posts I feel guilt for not trying it yet. I REALLY feel like the dairy thing would make a HUGE difference. When I have milk my ears pop. It's a bummer because I LOVE dairy! But I know I need to give it a try, but I am pregnant and sick and have been craving Mac n cheese and yogurt. And then of course it doesn't always stay in me. TMI ha! Oh well, I have decided once I get through the sick stage I will commit to no dairy and then build on that with gluten free and sugar. Thanks for all this info!

  24. vdg family August 11, 2013 at 6:29 am - Reply

    Mara, thank you for these posts. You and yours are very encouraging and enlightening. In January I was pregnant and suffering from migraines. I went dairy free and then gluten free and my migraines stopped. It was an enormous blessing to be migraine free. I told my friends of the results and two of my friends decided to try it with their children, one with migraines (they stopped for her seven year old). You are helping many people with your ideas and experiences! Thank you!

  25. kami August 11, 2013 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    I have to say, I have been LOVING all of the things you've been posting lately! I never get around to commenting because I usually read on my phone but I've been on a similar journey and have found that as my physical health has improved, my mental/emotional/spiritual health has improved much more rapidly. I eat a very healthy diet (gluten/sugar/dairy free due to sensitivities, but I would probably stay away from those even if I could eat them) and I have noticed how profoundly it's impacted every area of my life. I just wanted to say hi because it's always nice to have a fellow health nut friend 🙂

  26. Anonymous February 4, 2015 at 4:55 am - Reply

    I like to be thin take vitamins for pms and im aware all that sugar is not good for you but such strict diet and no booze—-plus i like to cook not eat cardboard ——-so wheres that leave me? And not to mention its too expensive and my family wont eat that —–i want to live not be robot

  27. Anonymous March 2, 2015 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    I bought ginseng extract to my girlfriend. shes been using it for 2months now and we both can see some positive effects going on. Shes so much more less irritated! Cant say anything else but recommend. Ginseng and PMS

  28. Reese March 31, 2015 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the read. Sharing this related article I read recently. Hope you find it useful to you and your readers.


  29. Unknown August 5, 2016 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    I have stopped eating wheat products, dairy, and sugar and have seen a marked difference with my period this month! For the first time I haven't had cramps at all! I would need to go home from work because they were so bad. I didn't have any mood swings or any other symptoms leading up to my period. I was actually shocked when it started. I have more energy and I feel happier as well. When we take care of our bodies they function better. Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food- Hippocrates

  30. Whitney August 5, 2016 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    I have stopped eating wheat products, dairy, and sugar and have seen a marked difference with my period this month! For the first time I haven't had cramps at all! I would need to go home from work because they were so bad. I didn't have any mood swings or any other symptoms leading up to my period. I was actually shocked when it started. I have more energy and I feel happier as well. When we take care of our bodies they function better. Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food- Hippocrates

  31. Unknown September 20, 2016 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    Almost a year after quitting dairy and becoming a hclf vegan. I feel great, lost heaps of weight and grew luscious hair.
    Hormones though… well we'll blame that on the pill. Been off it for 2 years and PMS is just about driving me to suicide, same as the acne. So no – this diet and exercise crap is not all it's cracked up to be. It is mostly though, so I'm never going back. It just doesn't fix everything…

  32. Barbora June 21, 2017 at 10:37 am - Reply

    PMS can be awful ….I recently tried 5-htp pills – they are helping to fight PMS symptoms & improving mood thanks to serotonin (the happy hormone)…I could feel a real improvement in mood and even felt less pain – have a look here: http://brain-feed.com/5-htp-pms-supplement-fight-pms-pms…Today on their FB page @brainfeed.health they have free give away campaign today for those, who are UK based, 👍their page and 👍 the article on their page about PMS …might worth trying

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