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Jenny Logan.
Jenny Logan.

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Over the coming weeks I am going to be looking at hormonal issues. There are three main hormones that are in control of your periods and which have an impact on PMS.

This week I am going to start by having a look at the most common hormonal issue for those suffering with PMS symptoms – low progesterone.

Progesterone is one of the main hormones involved in maintaining the menstrual cycle.

It is also very important in female fertility and for maintaining the beginning of a pregnancy.

Therefore those who suffer with the symptoms of low progesterone could benefit in many ways from looking at ways to help balance their hormones.

As well as being important in the maintenance of the cycle, progesterone also has a major impact on moods.

Therefore low progesterone is highly likely to give mood issues which include anxiety, frustration, anger, irritability, irrational behaviour and poor sleep. Periods may also be heavier with clots and could be painful. You may also suffer with swollen, heavier, maybe painful breasts, headaches, fluid retention and acne flare-ups with your cycle.

If this sounds like you, then low progesterone levels could well be the cause of PMS issues, in which case the following options could be well worth considering.

Many herbalists will often suggest the use of the herb Agnus Castus as it is thought to help regulate that part of the cycle where progesterone should be produced.

We have been using Agnus Castus in our clinic for many years and the feedback from many of the women who have used it has been brilliant.

Many women tell us that it has helped them regain control of their mood and anger issues, which played a big part in their PMS.

This plant could well be worth a try for anyone who is struggling with PMS. However, please note that because of its potential hormonal action, Agnus Castus should NOT be used in conjunction with the pill.

If you are on the pill and can’t try Agnus Castus, fear not, there are great options. Naturopathic practitioners often link low progesterone with high oestrogen and talk about a condition called oestrogen dominance.

This is often linked to the liver, which is responsible for breaking down and eliminating excess oestrogen. Therefore something like Milk Thistle could be helpful.