girl talk: 36broadway on fighting the PMS monsterPosted: March 10, 2011
PMS and I are frenemies. Well, make that enemies. Over the course of my womanhood, I have experienced some of the worst PMS this side of the equator. To make it worse, I’ve had my period since I was 9…so that equals 17 years…which comes out to over 200 periods. For most of this time, PMS ran my life. At least 2 weeks out of every month (you do the math) I was unstable, irritable, exhausted, bloated – basically the worst version of me possible. Not cool!
I’ve seen a countless number of doctors, been on more types of birth control than I can count on one hand, and scoured the internet for any sort of relief. I finally went on Seasonique 2 years ago, which gave me substantially more ‘good’ time between periods, but extra strong PMS still plagued me every 2 or 3 months. Plus, I usually felt bloated, probably 60% of the time. Really not cool.
As a result of my pursuit of balance and simplicity, last August I decided to ditch the pill. Reading about artificial hormones on the internet started to really creep me out, and I started to hate the thought of putting something into by body that it already had plenty of.
In doing so, I also seriously researched natural or holistic ways to ease symptoms of PMS. Apparently there are a number of remedies worth giving a try, and the one that I saw over and over and decided to try was Calcium.
Let me just say, I wish I had done this years ago. Seventeen to be exact. Although speculation, the idea here is that when your body moves into the pre-menstrual stage, estrogen levels spike and calcium levels drop significantly. Thus, in theory, upping Calcium intake would offset estrogen levels, right?
You betcha! After I started taking Calcium, PMS for me has become manageable and my former no-turning-back transformation into something from Jurassic Park rarely happens. Plus, Calcium is cheap and super easy to find. Make sure you get the kind with Vitamin D since your body needs that to properly absorb.
However, the absolute key is to start taking it early. I keep a monthly calendar where I track what day of my cycle I’m on, since now that I’m not on a pill my period likes to run about 10 days late. I also make a note to start taking Calcium NO LATER THAN day 15 in my cycle. Last month, for example, I was out of Calcium so I didn’t start taking it until after day 20. Big mistake. This month, I’ve been consistently taking it since day 13 or 14 and now I’m just about to day 28 and it’s been smooth sailing. There is a God!
Here’s what works for me:
Day 15 UNTIL you start your period:
Morning: 600mg (1 tablet)
Night: 1,200mg (2 tablets)
Read more about this on WebMD. You may find they recommend having 1,200mg a day, which I suggest starting out with. I’ve found it’s not enough for me to control symptoms, so I take an extra tablet each day. It’s important to feel it out since it is possible to have too much calcium.
Happy pill popping!