Thrive Nutrition Practice: tackling PMS with digestive healing

Ah the menstrual period.  

The bold, scarlet punctuation that marks both the completion and the beginning of a new life cycle for every woman.  A monthly cleansing ritual that for some women is heralded by the onset of extreme physical and emotional discomfort.  


Symptoms of PMS include acne, headaches or migraines, bloating, breast soreness, nausea and cramps.  Many women are advised to manage these symptoms with ibuprofen, anti-acne medication & creams and other pharmaceuticals.  But these antidotes just mask the symptoms.

Wouldn't it be nice if you were actually symptom-free and no longer a hostage to your period?

A whole-food diet founded on digestive healing holds the key to PMS freedom.  


PMS symptoms are largely due to the body's inability to detoxify excess estrogens.  


1. SUGAR:  Sugar puts a heavy detox load on your liver.  And if your liver is too busy detoxing excess sugar, alcohol, pollution & chemical estrogens (just to name a few), then it's not going to have much time or energy for getting rid of excess estrogens.

The other problem is that spikes in blood sugar mean that your pancreas must work over time to produce insulin, which then must be metabolised by the liver.  High insulin levels can inhibit estrogen metabolism.  Ensuring that you eat the right mix of protein, complex carbohydrates and vegetables that support your digestive function is extremely important. Foods like kale, arugula and bitter greens support liver function and are wonderful additions to your PMS busting diet.  

2. LACK OF DIETARY FIBRE:   Lack of fibre means you're going to have issues with constipation. Have PMS symptoms but don't think you're constipated?  If you’re going for a number two once a day and are still experiencing PMS then it’s time to consider whether you are going often enough for your needs and if you’re digestive system is actually working optimally.  

You see, if we are not pooping optimally, our gut is unable to excrete unwanted estrogen from the body and what ends up happening is that this excess estrogen is reabsorbed and goes back into general circulation causing inflammation that presents itself as the symptoms we discussed above (as well as others).  A healthy gut that is fed a diet rich in dietary fibre binds to estrogen in the digestive tract so that we can flush it out with our poop. 

3. IMBALANCE OF INTESTINAL BACTERIA:  Eating too much refined carbohydrates feeds the bad bacteria in your gut creating conditions rife for yeast proliferation.  The more yeast you have in your gut, the stronger sugar cravings become.  So those of you whose body yearns for cake and other such "comfort food" before and during your period - beware.  Bad bacteria can actually uncouple estrogen from the acid it gets bound to in the gut and the result is that estrogen returns into circulation creating inflammation. Sound nutrition that focuses on digestive healing helps to ensure a proper balance of intestinal bacteria so that estrogen stays bound for excretion. 

4. AN OVER-CONSUMPTION OF RANCID, UNHEALTHY FATS:  Like the ones you find in crisps, biscuits, take out & most packaged food.  Also, cooking oils such as canola, mazola, sunflower, safflower, peanut, soya bean & palm oil. These fats contribute to PMS in two ways.  First - they cause fat gain.  And the more fat you have, the more estrogen is made by your body. Decreasing body fat and building lean mass through diet & exercise are key to living PMS free. Second, unhealthy fats promote detoxification of estrogen via an inflammatory pathway.  So replacing these rancid cooking oils and unhealthy fats from packaged foods with healthy fats and oils (e.g. coconut oil, nut & seed butters, avocados, extra virgin olive oil) is also important to reduce inflammation in the body and decrease the severity of PMS symptoms.  Targeted supplementation with cod liver oil, which is rich in Vitamin A can also help to support digestion and thereby reduce the incidence of PMS acne.


Please contact me to get informed and get started with your personalised programme for gut healing:


  • One 90min private consult with me to discuss your situation, needs, diet and assessment.
  • A customized Pooptastic Reset Programme complete with a two-week meal plan to start you on your way, complete with nutrient-rich, whole food recipes which promote blood sugar regulation, hormonal balancing and detoxification via non-inflammatory pathways; plus dietary guidelines in case you can’t follow the meal plan all the time.
  • A customized supplementation programme to lower inflammation, promote gut health and support both the detoxification and methylation pathways.
  • Lifestyle recommendations that help detoxification and hormonal balancing.
  • Discounts off professional grade supplementation and diagnostic testing.
  • 10% discount off Foodcraft purchases until the end of February.
  • 25% of your next consult with me.

Contact me today to get informed and get started.     

Cristina Tahoces is a holistic nutritionist and owner of Thrive Nutrition Practice.

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