Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can be a monthly battle for over 40% of menstruating women developing during 7-14 days prior to menstruation. Typical symptoms may include irritability or anxiety, abdominal bloating, backache, breast swelling and tenderness, intestinal cramps, diarrhea or constipation, depression, food cravings, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, joint pain, nervousness, skin spots and swelling of fingers and ankles.
Altered hormonal patterns are normally present as the body has elevated oestrogen and reduced levels of progesterone. Oestrogen is detoxified and eliminated by the liver and this requires adequate B vitamins, zinc and magnesium Impaired bile flow and deficiencies of these nutrients can result in high levels of circulating oestrogen and the symptoms of PMS.
Dietary factors such as vegetables, fruits, seeds, especially flaxseed, hempseeds and sunflower seeds, nuts, legumes and wholegrains will reduce circulating oestrogens or block their attachment to cell receptors thus reducing their effects.
Women with PMS also exhibit deficiencies of essential fatty acids and poor conversion of dietary Omega 6 to GLA (Gamma Linolenic acid). As a result they can have prostaglandin abnormalities. Prostaglandins are a group of hormone-like substances that regulate many functions of the body such as
· Production of steroids
· Hormone synthesis and balance
· Fluid balance and kidney function
· Inflammation, pain and swelling
· Regulation of blood pressure & Regulation of blood clotting
· Allergic response to allergens & Nerve transmission.
GLA, present in its pre-made form in hemp oil serves as the building block for prostaglandins. By helping to balance hormone levels and reduce inflammation, it is possible that GLA might also ease bloating, cramping, and other PMS discomforts.
Research also indicates that women who are deficient in GLA can be oversensitive to the hormone prolactin, which is linked to breast pain. GLA appears to benefit about half of women with the painful menstrual-related condition known as fibrocystic breasts. As many women have impaired conversion of omega-6 to GLA, it is important to supplement GLA from other sources. Virginia Harvest Hempseed oil contains 2.7 percent GLA.
Hempseed oil is particularly useful as a GLA source as it also contains a perfect balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats are known to help regulate blood sugar levels, fluctuations of which are also related to PMS. Although the level of GLA in hemp may look low in comparison to the other GLA sources such as borage oil or evening primrose capsules, hempseed oil can be used as part of your normal diet, poured over salads, and vegetables and used in smoothies, green drinks and dips, Hempseed oil is particularly delicious with potato or in potato and leek soup. Taking hempseed oil in your daily diet means you get the benefit of not just the GLA but also the essential fats, the magnesium the chlorophyll and the plant sterols present in hempseed oil.