Premenstrual syndrome is a constellation of symptoms occurring within the 14 day period before, to a few days after, the onset of menstruation. Symptoms include irritability, depression, mood swings, bloating, fluid gain, breast tenderness, acne; sugar, chocolate, and/or salt cravings.
Vitamin B6, 100mg 1-2 times daily
This is generally helpful in treatment. Side effects producing weakness, numbness, or tingling in the arms have been reported at doses of 400 mg daily and higher taken for over 6 months; so dosage should be under 400 mg if taken 30 days a month 6 months. Some women find that after a few months they can take Vitamin B6 just in the 7-14 days before their period. B complex in addition to the B6 should be taken to balance the B vitamins.
Magnesium 400-1500 mg daily
This is especially helpful with symptoms of muscle spasm, headaches, or cramps.
Evening primrose oil &/or fish oil or flaxseed oil 4-6,000 mg daily
these are essential fatty acids that the body uses to produce anti-inflammatory prostaglandins (hormone-like substances). Primrose is especially a classic for PMS.
Caffeine, as a stimulant, generally intensifies irritability, tension and mood swings. It is therefore advisable to greatly restrict or eliminate caffeine- coffee, tea, cola.
Most women find their sense of well-being enhanced and their symptoms reduced by exercising regularly. Brisk walking, bicycling (including a stationary bike) swimming, jogging, jumping rope, racquet sports (tennis, racquetball, squash), and for some people yoga or Tai Chi for at least 1/2 hour 3-7 times a week. During the premenstrual phase, exercise daily is probably preferable.
Eating a healthy diet is a good idea. Whole grain products (100% whole wheat bread, cereals, and flour, oatmeal, whole corn, rye, barley, brown rice), peas, beans, seeds, and nuts are much higher in B vitamins and minerals (especially magnesium) which are helpful for PMS. Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, keeping the fat content low and restricting junk food is advisable.
Lastly, progesterone cream 1 pump on soft skin (abdomen, inner thighs, inner upper arms, buttocks) in the 3-14 days premenstrually, (perhaps 2 pumps in the last few days) is helpful for many women with severe PMS, migraines, or heavy bleeding.
Progesterone cream 1 pump/d starting mid-cycle (½ way between starting day of 2 periods), increasing to 2 pumps in the few days before period. If flow is heavy, continue 2 pumps/d through heaviest day of flow, then taper off. Apply to rotating sites: underside of arms, abdomen, inner thighs, buttocks