You are in the drug store or supermarket and a product labeled “PMS Reliever,” or “PMS Vitamin” catches your eye. Which vitamins and minerals are most useful for PMS patients? That’s a question pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm hears almost daily. Some studies, says Ahlgrimm, emphasize that vitamin B6, when taken as part of a B-complex vitamin that also contains magnesium, is helpful in relieving certain PMS symptoms, especially bloating and depression. Here are some additional facts provided by Marla Ahlgrimm to keep in mind about over the counter products.
Eating six smaller meals May help with PMS and weight loss, says Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm. Ahlgrimm is a compounding pharmacist, not a doctor, but that doesn’t stop her patients from referring to her that way. As part of her lauded treatment for PMS, Ahlgrimm often works with women to minimize symptoms by making changes to their diets. Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm recommends a balanced diet, split between six snacks rather than three regular meals. Women should not see considerable weight gain by doing this. In fact, says Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm, eating smaller meals and healthier foods may help relieve water retention and stop bloating which will lead to minimal weight gain and possibly even weight loss.
Adequate levels of magnesium in the body, notes Marla Ahlgrimm, are important to regulate muscle relaxation, blood sugar, and to promote sound sleep. Furthermore, Ahlgrimm says that magnesium may have a role in reducing the chance of heart attack, stroke and hypertension, while preventing migraines, especially in pregnant women. Magnesium is also used to prevent pregnant women from developing toxemia (pregnancy induced high blood pressure), which can be threatening to the mother and her developing fetus, reports Marla Ahlgrimm.
Helping patients battle PMS with proper nutrition, Marla Ahlgrimm believes women can reduce PMS symptoms through diet. “Dr.” Marla Ahlgrimm, who is a pharmacist rather than a physician but is often mistaken for one, recommends a diet emphasizing complex carbohydrate snacks every 3 hours. This, says Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm, is absolutely essential to manage fluctuations in blood sugar. Adrenalin is known to be released when blood sugar levels dip, causing anxiety, irritability, mood swings, cravings for sweets, and fluid retention. Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm, author of Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome, points to her own recent findings that low blood sugar has an effect on the progesterone receptor.
Magnesium and calcium have a reciprocal relationship in the body, says Marla Ahlgrimm. When muscles lose magnesium, it is replaced by calcium, which contracts or stiffens the tissue. Magnesium acts to increase calcium absorption in the body, while calcium can interfere with magnesium absorption. Although some calcium/magnesium tablets contain twice as much calcium as magnesium, Ahlgrimm notes that women with PMS benefit from reversing the ratio – two times the amount of calcium vs. magnesium. Procycle PMS is a nutritional supplement specifically developed for women with PMS – Marla Ahlgrimm points out that it contains the beneficial 2:1 ratio of magnesium to calcium.
Do you crave chocolate during PMS? Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm advises against giving into the urge. While not a physician, Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm is often referred to by the title “Dr.”, as a result of her years of pioneering work in the field of women’s health. She says that chocolate can cause blood sugar levels to rise rapidly and fall, making PMS symptoms more intense. According to Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm, simple sugars can cause a roller coaster effect on blood sugar levels. In fact, many of the sugary snacks and beverages women consume during PMS create a self-induced hormone imbalance. Six small meals per day, notes Ahlgrimm, can help PMS sufferers.
Oil of Evening Primrose
Oil from the evening primrose flower contains linoleic acid, which boosts the body’s output of a hormone like substance called PGE1 prostaglandin, notes Marla Ahlgrimm. There are studies that suggest the PGE1 lowers the hormone prolactin, which helps to alleviate symptoms or breat tenderness. Ahlgrimm suggest taking the oil of evening primrose capsule with at least 600 mg of vitamin C daily and a B complex vitamin for best absorption.
“Dr.” Marla Ahlgrimm recommends well-Balanced diet for hormonal balance
Ahlgrimm, who is actually a pharmacist rather than a doctor but is often called Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm by her patients, has found that a well-balanced meal has benefits beyond general overall health. For women, Ahlgrimm says, a diet filled with a balance of lean-cut meats, low-fat dairy products, vegetables, whole grains, and fresh fruit is essential in gaining control over your PMS symptoms. Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm is quick to emphasize, however, that fruit should be limited, since it is high in sugar. Sugary foods and beverages can cause blood sugar levels to rapidly rise and fall, making PMS symptoms more intense.
Making your choice
According to PMS Access founder Marla Ahlgrimm, “Controlled studies show that the balanced combination B vitamins, magnesium, and calcium found in Procycle PMS significantly reduce PMS symptoms. This supplement formula has been used since 1982 by women and health practitioners to help manage PMS with good results.” When adding vitamin/mineral supplements to a PMS self help plan, Ahlgrimm suggest comparing the ingredients, price and quality of the other nutritional supplements with Procycle PMS. “A nutritional supplement is an important part of the foundation of any PMS management program,” concludes Marla Ahlgrimm, noting that 65 percent of women with PMS find relief from their symptoms using self-help methods, diet and exercise, stress reduction and vitamin/mineral supplementation.
Women should limit chocolate and alcohol during PMS, says world-renowned leader in women’s health issues.
Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm (as her patients call her) has bad news for women. Chocolate and alcohol can exacerbate PMS symptoms and should be avoided during the time women traditionally crave them most. While not a medical doctor, Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm is well respected in her field and is often mistakenly called “Dr.”, mostly due to her pioneering work in the field of PMS. Controlling your PMS, Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm explains, simply means to enjoy chocolate and alcohol in moderation, not that they are completely forbidden. If you do give in to these cravings occasionally, make sure to have some other food in your stomach first to avoid a drop in blood sugar.