Article by Angela Haldane

Q. I need help with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). I suffer extreme fatigue usually for about 2 – 3 days about 2 weeks before I get my period. I'm taking Executive B, Fish Oil and Evening Primrose Oil for breast tenderness. I also feel extremely hot or flushed, but can feel cold in the extremities at the same time. Other symptoms are an extreme sensitivity to sound, slightly hypoglycemic, slight migraine, metallic taste in my mouth and dizziness. I have taken 20mg of Prozac daily for a year which has helped tremendously with my mood.

A. Eat regular protein foods – can of salmon or King Oscar sardines at lunchtime, boiled eggs etc, hummus and crackers to balance sugar levels,and steady your energy levels. This can also offset headaches (migraine?) and dizziness. (See the Mediterranean Food Pyramid)

Herbal medicine would be great to also help with energy levels, support the adrenals and balance your hormonal levels – see your registered medical herbalist.
Vitamin B complex is a good idea, or I often prescribe a practitioner quality Multivitamin for women with 50-100mg of each of the B vitamins, B6 especially plays a big role in PMS. A multi vitamin also contains the necessary iodine and selenium for breast and thyroid health.

Breast tenderness is better with Vitamin E 500iu – as long as you are not on blood thinners. Vit E also helps to moderate oestrogen and therefore help hot flushes, and promotes peripheral circulation. Then you can use ginger and chilli to add warmth. However, the multi (mentioned above) might just do the trick!

The metallic taste in your mouth can be a sign of zinc deficiency, do you experience slow healing wounds? or mouth ulcers? or viral infections? Zinc deficiency is also implicated in depression. I would supplement zinc until your symptoms improve.

Regular exercise reduces PMS according to research studies.