Nicole Jardim is a Young Women’s Hormonal Health Coach and creator of Fix Your Period, a series of programs that empower women to reclaim their health & life. She is a Certiﬁed women’s Health Coach with a specialty in hormonal and reproductive health. She trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a health coach and is certified in the Gottfried Protocol. She is also certified in the Pelvic Pain Relief Method under Jessica Drummond MPT, CCN, CHC, founder of The Integrative Pelvic Health Institute.
CureJoy is privileged to have Nicole provide valuable insights into ways to “Handle Women’s Hormonal Health and how to address Emotional and Physical PMS Symptoms”. Excerpts from this informative interview:
Q: Is there a link between higher instances of PMS in today’s women and modern diet and lifestyle?
Yes absolutely. We live in a very estrogenic environment, meaning that there are a lot of chemicals and pesticides in our food and water that we are exposed to on a daily basis that have an estrogen-like effect on our bodies. These chemicals are considered endocrine disruptors, meaning they disrupt our endocrine system and ultimately our sex hormonal balance.
Additionally, stress causes the release of cortisol, “the stress hormone” and cortisol has a profound effect on our sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. It can raise estrogen and lower progesterone which leads to a condition called estrogen dominance. This is one of the primary reasons women experience symptoms of PMS – moodiness, cramping, bloating, food cravings and menstrual migraines to name a few.
Q: Are there any natural ways to counter hormonal imbalances that trigger PMS?
Absolutely. I believe the natural methods for dealing with PMS are far more effective than any pill.
– First of all, start with dark leafy green vegetables. Try to incorporate 3-4 cups of leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, swiss chard and so on, into your diet every day. They are full of vitamins and minerals that directly help to cleanse the liver and speed up the body’s hormone detoxification process.
– Second, include a source of protein with each meal so your blood sugar stays stable. It can be animal protein like fish or meat, or vegetarian protein like beans or seeds.
– Third, add more healthy fat into your diet. Think, avocados, wild caught salmon, sardines, chia seeds, flax seeds, and grass-fed butter.
All of these foods will have an immensely positive impact on the PMS symptoms you are currently dealing with.
Q: Any specific precautions one can take prior to your menstrual cycle to minimize the severity of PMS?
Avoid sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed food after ovulation occurs. If you don’t know when you ovulate, then avoid these foods for the second half of your cycle. This is because sugar or refined carbs spike your blood sugar and women tend to become more sensitive to drops in blood sugar during the second half of their cycle. What this means is that before ovulation, we might be more able to tolerate a skipped meal or sugar and a spike and drop in blood sugar whereas in the second half of our cycle, we need to be much more diligent about not letting this happen. Do you know that symptoms of hypoglycemia are almost the exact same as PMS symptoms! So it makes sense that you would want to keep your blood sugar stable.
I also recommend taking 350mg of magnesium each day for the second half of the cycle to counter the effects of PMS. Magnesium has a calming effect on the nervous system and it also helps reduce bloating and improves constipation which many women suffer from the week before their period.
Q: What role can meditation or spirituality play to address the emotional symptoms of PMS?
This is a great question! Deep breathing exercises, a yoga class, massage, qi gong, meditation practice, prayer, taking a walk, reading a book, a grounding morning routine, time with girlfriends, dance breaks during your day, journaling, taking a bath all have an incredible impact on the emotional symptoms of PMS. This is because they all play a role in calming the stress response and thus the nervous system, which can both cause PMS symptoms.
Q: What role does a support system play to help a woman handle this phase?
I believe every woman should get comfortable with asking for help and letting go of the perfectionist ideal that we all feel we need to attain. I promise you won’t look weak! I believe the people in your life are willing to help you with the things you need. Ask your partner to make dinner, ask someone to do a car pool with you, delegate things in your business. Don’t spend your valuable bandwidth of energy doing things you don’t want to do if you can get help with them. Asking and receiving help takes a huge load off women and they will be calmer and more grounded as a result.
Q: How do contraceptives and other supplements impact PMS symptoms?
Contraceptives do help many women with PMS symptoms but unfortunately they are just a bandaid masking an underlying hormonal imbalance, so I do not recommend them. I do however recommend magnesium to counter the effects of PMS, along with fish oil or cod liver oil to help balance out hormones. Additionally, I think a B complex vitamin is very important for every woman to keep moods and hormonal levels stable.
Thanks Nicole for the wonderful perspectives and we are sure CureJoy readers will greatly benefit and appreciate the wisdom you shared today.