Our expert says:
A number of vitamins, minerals, and even amino acids may help relieve PMS symptoms, some doctors say. Here's the lowdown on nutritional solutions.
Vitamin B6. Research into vitamin B6 and PMS has shown that increasing your intake of the nutrient can help alleviate symptoms such as mood swings, fluid retention, breast tenderness, bloating, sugar craving, and fatigue, says Susan Lark, M.D. But, she cautions, don't experiment with the vitamin on your own. B6 is toxic in high doses. Any vitamin therapy, including those mentioned below, should be supervised by your doctor.
Vitamins A and D. These two vitamins work in tandem to improve the health of your skin. Because of their importance to the skin, they may play a part in suppressing premenstrual acne and oily skin, according to Dr. Lark.
Vitamin C. An antioxidant, vitamin C is believed to play a role in reducing stress. It may help relieve the stress felt during PMS, says Dr. Lark. And there's more. Vitamin C is also know as a natural antihistamine, says Dr. Lark, and can be helpful for women whose allergies worsen before a period.
Vitamin E. Another antioxidant, vitamin E may have a powerful effect on the hormonal system, helping to relieve painful breast symptoms, anxiety, and depression, says Guy Abraham, M.D.
Calcium and magnesium. These two minerals work together to fight PMS, says Dr. Lark. Calcium helps prevent premenstrual cramps and pain, while magnesium helps the body absorb the calcium. Dr. Lark also believes that magnesium helps control premenstrual food cravings and stabilizes moods.
L-tyrosine. This amino acid is required for your brain's production of the chemical dopamine, your own natural antidepressant. Edward Portman, M.D., has found that it helps some of his patients relieve the anxiety and depression associated with PMS.
Your pharmacy may stock an all-in-one PMS vitamin.
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