Wellness Hub May 2016 Laters PMS Swisse August 2, 2016 Share Turns out for 80 per cent of Australian women who experience dysmenorrhea (the medical term for menstrual-related abdominal pain), this isn’t the story. “Your period and the lead-up should be just like the rest of the month,” says Dr Libby Weaver, a nutritional biochemist and author of Rushing Woman’s Syndrome. Bye bloating, headaches, food cravings, irritability, fatigue, breast tenderness, unexplained sadness or heavy painful periods. In other words, no big deal. BALANCING ACT What’s got us so out of whack is stress, throwing off our reproductive hormone balance and resulting in that long list of less-than-pleasant calling cards. Modern excesses aren’t doing our liver pathways any favours either (the organ is responsible for processing and regulating hormones among other things). Yes, they tend to be more jam-packed than a donut. “The liver will get congested when there’s been regular overconsumption of loaders such as alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar and trans fats. When your sex hormones reach those pathways there’s no room for them to be detoxified,” Weaver explains. That means processing that one-glass-too-many of Merlot will be prioritised ahead of regulating your hormones. The good news is you can take back control of your body. No matter what your symptoms, you may be able to find a solution with these natural therapies. Behold, the ways to reclaim your cycle. UP YOUR GREENS Support your liver by increasing your consumption of green vegetables such as broccoli and kale. “These greens are a great source of fibre which naturally cleanses the body from toxins and aids digestion,” says Swisse nutritionist Sherree Banh. Broccoli bake, anyone? START A RELAXATION RITUAL Try breath-related practices like restorative yoga, tai chi, meditation and even some forms of Pilates to slash stress. Deep breathing moves your diaphragm, activating your parasympathetic nervous system to pull you out of fight-or-flight mode. Nice. TRY ORGANIC VITEX Swap the standard chocolate as period-crutch for chaste tree (or vitex). “Vitex has been traditionally used in Western Herbal Medicine to support female reproductive health including helping to regulate the menstrual cycle, relief of symptoms associated with PMS as well as relief of symptoms associated with menopause,” says Dr Graeme Smith, Swisse Scientific Research Manager. TRACK HACK Keep tabs on your monthly cycle with pen and paper, or an app, so you have a symptom diary to show your doc if pain persists. Try Glow, Kindara, Clue, Groove and Period Tracker. Swisse Ultiboost High Strength Organic Vitex has been voted the Best Supplement in the 2016 POPSUGAR Australia Health and Beauty Awards.