The Nutrition Coach

PMS case studies

When Anna came to see us she was experiencing severe pre-menstrual symptoms that started ten days before each menstrual cycle. She suffered from significant bloating and water retention, intense cravings for sweet foods and felt increasingly anxious and depressed. Anna had been on the Pill for seven years which had worsened her symptoms and was going through a stressful time at work. She said she had recently started breaking down in tears at work over things that never usually bothered her and was concerned that about the impact of this on her job.

We conducted a hair mineral analysis which showed Anna was very deficient in zinc and her copper levels were high, which can result from taking the Pill over a length of time. We put her on a nutrition programme to address the zinc/copper imbalance and also discussed diet changes necessary to balance her blood sugar levels and support her adrenal glands. Anna embraced our advice and changed her diet. Within three months her PMS bloating, cravings and anxiety were gone. She was feeling emotionally and physically balanced again and said she was feeling ‘back to her old self’. She reported that things were looking up at work and the day-to-day stresses no longer upset her.

When Lucy first came to see The Nutrition Coach, her PMS symptoms were taking over her life. She was suffering from bad headaches and terrible mood swings before her period and was worried about what she was putting her partner through each month! One of the first things we did was look at Lucy's blood sugar control. Some of her food choices such as cornflakes, mammoth cups of coffee, sweet goodies and a lack of protein meant her blood sugar levels were all over the place.

Keeping blood sugar levels stable is vital for female hormone balance and for combating PMS. To help stabilise Lucy's blood sugar and increase her intake of nutrients such as magnesium and vitamin B6 (important for female hormone balance), we asked her to eat protein at each meal and include porridge, rye-bread, pulses and more vegetables in her diet, particularly the cruciferous veg such as broccoli which contains phytoestrogens - clever hormone balancing molecules. We also boosted Lucy's intake of oily fish, nuts and seeds for their essential fat content - these fats can play an important part in reducing PMS symptoms. A supplement aimed specifically at women with PMS and essential fatty acid capsules were added to the programme.

Lucy noticed an almost immediate improvement in her health, and four months on her PMS symptoms are a thing of the past and her energy levels have soared. A great 'side-effect' of her new healthy eating plan is weight loss, which Lucy is really pleased about as she's found it difficult to shift weight in the past. Lucy no longer dreads her periods and is pleased to report that her relationship with her partner has much improved!

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