Often when I ask women about PMS- their response is- “you should ask my husband or family!” Yes- we can tend to be emotional the week before our period- crying at a cute commercial or something someone says or irritated at the littlest thing! Many of us have been there! Often PMS symptoms get more pronounced in peri-menopausal times as well. This becomes the dance of hormones – something I really enjoy working with women on! Through listening to symptoms and assessing through labwork- I can assess where hormones are at and what needs to be addressed and changed.

As for PMS- I once heard from a colleague that women tend to be more “in-tune” with their emotions two weeks prior to their period- our intuition is more sensitive to things going on around us! I believe this is true! We tend to be more extroverted and active in the first two weeks of our cycle (menses to ovulation) and can be more introspective and in tune of our emotions prior to our menses! As women shift into menopause, this too is a time when a huge emotional shift can happen as well. Often there are other transitions simultaneously occurring- children leaving the home, with more time on your hands this can really stimulate the questions of what’s next? What do I need to do to nourish myself? Thus begins a journey of self-exploration.

In saying this- it’s about honoring and respecting our intuition and emotional side in the pre-menstrual time before our periods or peri-menopause time- sometimes there is a really important message we need to listen to at that point- maybe we are bothered by something that has come up in our lives. If there are issues that need to be dealt with (i.e., you realize you need more time to yourself, that you feel overworked and need to make some changes, etc)- these need to be addressed – when the time is right- in a constructive way. Sometimes it’s a combination of emotional issues arisen AND physical imbalances or just physical imbalances – that is when we can say- this is something physiological- and something physical is causing us to display our emotions that- how shall we say it- “are more pronounced than we want!”  Sometimes it is a combination of both- the body knows- it tries to compensate- but eventually it can’t keep this balance- this is often a great time to get some professional help!

What I am thankful for is the natural solutions naturopathic medicine has to offer for PMS and Peri-menopausal symptoms- it’s amazing to see how easy it works!

A main instigator of out of balance hormones is an out of balance liver (from a Chinese medicine point of view) especially for people who are irritated, emotional and cry at the smallest instance! Supporting the liver also helps with the estrogen dominance picture (heavier periods, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts) that is common peri-menopause time. Through the use of supportive liver herbs, some nutritional vitamin/mineral formulas, and dietary changes this can easily be addressed!

Diet can play a very important role in balancing hormones- working on balancing blood sugar to keep mood stable and curb all those awful cravings we can feel prior to our period- it can make the world of difference!

For women that are starting that transition into perimenopause– many times there are irregular periods, increased symptoms of PMS and hot flashes- easy hormone balancing remedies can be used – either homeopathic, herbal or a combination of dietary recommendations as well using different seeds and oils.

If you are experiencing a large range of hormonal imbalance symptoms that are a little “over the top”- I know there are natural solutions I have seen work time and time again! And remember- it’s a balance between listening to that intuitive side of ourselves and addressing any physical imbalances that our body is experiencing at the moment! That’s where my expertise as a naturopathic doctor comes in- I want to listen to those symptoms to get an understanding of what is underlying these hormonal changes! I would be blessed to work with you in the future! Together we can be a team on finding your natural health solutions!

Jennifer Bunzenmeyer Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

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