PMS (premenstrual syndrome) is a very common condition. Symptoms include mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability, and depression. Chances are if you’re reading this you already know what PMS feels like. What I want to help you with is getting to the root of the problem instead of treating the symptoms, which over time makes the problem worse and can lead to additional health conditions.

PMS, heavy bleeding, emotional issues, PCOS, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, infertility and hypothyroidism can all be caused by imbalances in hormones. What you might be surprised to hear is that these hormone imbalances can be traced to dysfunctions in the liver, gallbladder and adrenal glands. Let me explain.

PMS AND THE LIVER

Hormones in your body are a lot like food in your fridge. If food stays too long in the fridge it goes bad and stinks up the whole fridge. In the same way when a hormone sticks around too long in the body it “stinks up” the chemistry in the body.  Hormones have a “shelf life” just like food. In my house our fridge gets a good cleaning every week. Your liver is your hormone cleaner. When it isn’t working the old, inactive hormones continue to circulate. This can cause PMS as well as all these hormone imbalance problems. Generally speaking, our livers are overworked and underpaid! Between the standard American diet and toxins in our environment, our livers are working hard all the time. As a result it is common for the liver to run out of the needed nutrients it needs in order to get rid of the garbage.

So when the liver is not able to do its job, it’s just a matter of time before problems like PMS, heavy bleeding, emotional issues, PCOS, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, infertility and hypothyroidism start showing up.

PMS AND THE GALLBLADDER

Sticking with my analogy, imagine if all that old rotten stinky food gets removed from the fridge and deposited into the kitchen garbage can, but no one takes the garbage out. I think we all know what happens then, PEE-YOOOOoooooo, YUCK! After the liver takes the trash (toxins and old hormones) out of the blood supply, it puts the trash in the bile that is then sent to the gallbladder, where it is finally removed from the body through the intestines. What do you think happens if the bile (and the old hormones in the bile) in the gallbladder isn’t emptied into the intestines? Right–pretty much the same things that happen when the liver isn’t working. Hormone imbalance results and then PMS and all the other possible conditions that happen from hormone imbalance can show up.

As you can see your body’s ability to get rid of old hormones is critical for healthy hormone function. When the liver and/or gallbladder doesn’t work right, it’s just a matter of time until PMS or another hormone related problem can show up.

A TRUE STORY

My patient was a 37 year old mother of three young children who came to me with severe menstrual cramps, migraines and hair loss.

I ran this test to see if my patient’s liver was working. Here is the result.

PMS | A FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE APPROACH

You don’t need to be a doctor to see there are some problems here. We want all of these test results in the middle of the green. The major problem here is that my patient’s sulfate was extremely low. As a result of low sulfate, old hormones and other toxins were building up causing problems.

This patient’s case was complicated with other problems like a leaky gut, adrenal fatigue and iodine deficiency.

It took about three months of treatment, but the patient’s menstrual cramps and hair loss completely resolved. The migraines also improved, and as long as the patient stayed away from some food triggers, her migraines were gone.

Pretty cool don’t ya think?

PMS AND INTESTINES

Another very common connection I see with hormone problems is intestinal complaints. Imagine what happens in the intestines if the gallbladder is not working. All the dietary fat is not absorbed and it irritates the lining of the intestines causing cramping, diarrhea and constipation. That in turn can cause a leaky gut which leads to more toxicity, which makes more work for the liver, which can cause more hormone problems. Kinda dizzying isn’t it? Simply put the body is all connected. When one system is broken it can lead to other systems breaking.

In part 2 I will explain the connection of adrenal dysfunction and PMS.

I really hope a light bulb is going off in your head. Does it make sense to you that if a person has PMS they should take hormones? How does that correct the problem? I hope you can see that the typical medical treatments for these problems do nothing to fix the reason for the problem and allows the problems to get worse.

If you’re thinking, hey I think this guy is trying to get me to become a functional medicine patient. You are right! I AM! I want to help you get truly healthy with the very best of science and nutrition. If you are suffering from PMS, heavy bleeding, emotional issues, PCOS, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, infertility or hypothyroidism I would be honored to help you. It’s ok if you don’t live near by, I help lots of people over the phone and internet.

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  1. Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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