PMS is associated mostly with younger women as we suffer from those painful periods, bloating and terrible moods. We are often told that ‘it will get better as you get older, or have a family’, but unfortunately it seems that may not be true. If you had hoped you had left it all behind you, don’t celebrate too soon as women over 35 are just as likely to be sufferers.
Strangely it is around 40 when some women see signs of what seems to be perimenopause but that actually may be PMS once again responding to your changing hormones. The signs may an increased heavy menstrual bleeding, greater irritability, headaches and often food cravings as well. Sadly it seems that if you are suffering it can be a sign that your actual menopause may be difficult too.
Why PMS occurs over 35
This is certainly a distressing and painful condition and related to hormone imbalance. Once a woman reaches 35 her hormonal pattern starts to shift and hormones can plunge and rise dramatically, with all the accompanying symptoms. This can go on throughout menopause and during this time, the ratio of progesterone to oestrogen is usually very much lower than when you were younger and this can result in severe PMS symptoms.
However casual you may have been about nutrition and diet when you were in your twenties, these deficiencies really begin to hit home once you reach 40. Having significantly inadequate levels of calcium, magnesium and B vitamins long-term can make symptoms like poor sleep, irritability, fatigue, muscle cramps, achiness, and food cravings even worse.
Key PMS symptoms and solutions after 35
Hormone balance is key at this age as it around now that the hormonal rollercoaster gets into gear so check for any signs of oestrogen dominance and low progesterone levels. These are the symptoms you want to look out for:
1. If you are becoming much more anxious and irritable then that can mean low progesterone. This is the hormone that keeps you calm and helps lift mood so you stay more centred and less pulled by each annoying incident, or person!
You can naturally boost your progesterone levels by supplementing with bioidentical natural progesterone and there are also herbs like black cohosh, lemon balm and maca that boost progesterone-like effects in your body to support you.
2. Food cravings are also likely to increase, particularly for sugar and chocolate and these can be two staple food groups when women are under stress. Try to keep your blood sugar levels stable by including some form of protein at every meal and snack, and limit sugar where you can. It is no substitute, but sometimes chocolate cravings are connected to magnesium deficiency. Ward them off with a good multivitamin that has magnesium, and you can snack on almonds and pumpkin seeds as they are naturally high in magnesium.
3. Bloating and stomach cramps are classic PMS symptoms and again relate to having low levels of progesterone to oestrogen. Regular, gentle exercise is the answer together with herbs like burdock, and chaste berry, fennel, peppermint, and ginger. These will all help with the digestive upset and nausea that can occur at this time.
4. PMS symptoms naturally lower your libido, after all who feels sexy when bloated and in pain? However progesterone is associated with increased sex drive in women so that could be another bonus for ensuring you have good levels throughout the month.
5 There can also be an emotional component to PMS so dealing with that alongside good hormonal and nutritional support could be the last key to finally overcoming your symptoms.
Generally it is progesterone that is most helpful for PMS, but some women do suffer also a drop in oestrogen just before their period and this can be helped by a combination cream with progesterone and oestrogen.