While periods are not meant to be painful, unfortunately, for many women the reality is very different.
On average, women will menstruate for anywhere between 30-40 years of their life. When you think about it that way – your period is with you for a long time, so taking some time to understand and focus on period health can be incredibly beneficial.
While the textbook cycle length is 28 days, a healthy cycle is more commonly described as anything falling within the range of between 21 and 35 days. Regardless of cycle length, what constitutes “normal” in a cycle can vary from one female to the next.
These variations can occur in either cycle length, the amount of blood loss, or symptoms that can appear either before, during or after your period.
Before your period, symptoms are commonly described as simply PMT (short for pre-menstrual tension). PMT symptoms generally occur during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (from around day 14) and subside with the onset of a period or soon afterwards if pregnancy hasn’t occurred. Some of the more common symptoms of PMT include physical discomfort, mood changes, bloating, food cravings, headaches and joint pain to name a few.
If you suffer from PMT, you might be encouraged to know you’re not alone. Current estimates state anywhere between 70% - 90% of adult females experience one or more of the symptoms of PMT.
Your period is trying to tell you something
While many women “tolerate” their period and all the joys that come along with it, the truth is your period is not just your period – in many respects it’s an expression of your underlying health.
Menstrual patterns and symptoms of PMT can be an indicator of poor nutritional health or even hormonal imbalances in the body.
If you experience pain with your period, this can be the result of higher oestrogen levels driving the production of pro-inflammatory compounds in the body called prostaglandins. An anti-inflammatory diet is one of the best ways to combat these pro-inflammatory markers and keep them, and your pain levels, under control. Quite simply, an anti-inflammatory diet is high in omega-3’s such as fatty fish like salmon, and low in inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy and refined sugars. The Mediterranean diet is a great example of an anti-inflammatory diet.
Magnesium for PMT
Magnesium can also be a great nutrient for relieving menstruation pain and reducing the symptoms of PMT. Found in a well-absorbed, organic form in Herbs of Gold Magnesium Citrate 900, magnesium is also useful for supporting the health of the nervous system and reducing the occurrence of mild migraines if this is one of the symptoms you experience around the time of your period.
Period hormones and oestrogen
Oestrogen and progesterone are just two female sex hormones that have close links to period health. Oestrogen is highest in the middle of a cycle and lowest while you have your period. However, exposure to phytoestrogens in foods and oestrogenic chemicals can lead to poor metabolism of oestrogen, compounding period problems.
Because of this, ensuring the liver is functioning optimally to support the healthy metabolism of oestrogen is important.
Herbs of Gold Hormone Metabolism is a comprehensive formula featuring St Mary’s thistle to support phase I and phase II liver detoxification processes and healthy metabolism of oestrogen hormone in the liver.
Vitex for healthy menstrual cycles
Vitex agnus-castus, also known as Chaste tree, is another great herbal ingredient and can be useful for supporting a healthy menstrual cycle and relieving menstrual cycle irregularities.
Vitex is also a great for relieving the symptoms of premenstrual tension, including breast pain and tenderness. Herbs of Gold Vitex 1000
 Trickey, R. (2011). Women, Hormones and the Menstrual Cycle. Trickey Enterprises, Victoria.