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January 18, 2020 4 min read

"INFO: The team previously at hannahpad Canada launched their own new brand, illum! These blog posts have been written when we used to run hannahpad Canada. All information is still relevant and everything is the same! We simply changed the brand that we offer. :slightly_smiling_face: "


In a time when we’re all becoming more and more aware of the harmful chemicals used in a lot of health and beauty products, we’re starting to seek out natural solutions. From what we put on our bodies to what we put in them, we want to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves as best we can. One of the ways you can take better care of yourself is to treat your symptoms of PMS.

Luckily, there are tons of ways you can naturally treat your PMS—which includes the menstrual products that you use. In this blog, we’ll discuss what the most common symptoms of PMS are and the best ways you can naturally treat them, from supplements to cotton menstrual pads.

So, without further ado, let’s jump right in!

What Is PMS?

Better known as PMS, premenstrual syndrome refers to both the physical and emotional symptoms you may experience in the week or two prior to the start of your period. Changes and fluctuations in your hormone levels over the course of your menstrual cycle are what is believed to be the cause of PMS, with up to 80% of menstruating people experiencing symptoms related to it. These symptoms often vary from person to person and usually resolves itself when you start to bleed.

Close up of a woman gripping her stomach in pain

PMS Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of PMS include the following:

  • Acne
  • Cramps
  • Mood swings
  • Food cravings
  • Constipation
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety

While you may experience any number of these symptoms while on your period, what makes them PMS is if you experience them consistently from one menstrual cycle to the next.

It’s also important to keep in mind that while a lot of menstruating people share similar symptoms before or during their period, every person’s PMS experience will be different. This includes the degree to which you may experience a symptom, or at what point during your cycle.

Treating PMS Naturally

Just like the PMS symptoms you experience are individual to the person experiencing them, so are the natural remedies for them. What works for one person might not work for another. This is just a great place to start your journey towards finding what works for you and your body.

1. Check Your Bowel Movement Regularity

Fun fact: one of the many ways that our bodies eliminate any excess estrogen is through our bowel movements. That means if your digestive system isn’t functioning at its best, estrogen can be reabsorbed into your bloodstream through your intestinal tract.

If you’re not experiencing regular bowel movements (about two to three solid ones a day), there are a couple of measures you can take. This includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Adding more fibre to your diet.
  • Drinking more water to accommodate the added fibre.
  • Taking an apple cider shot before each meal.
  • Reducing your stress as it can cause large intestine spasms, leading to hard stools.
  • Not relying on laxatives as their improper use can make your bowel movements even more irregular.

Everyone will have their normal bowel movement pattern, but if any of these tips don’t help regulate them, speaking to a doctor will help.

2. Treat PMS with Supplements

In an ideal world, our bodies’ chemical compositions are perfectly balanced. However, when PMS hits we can become chemically imbalanced, contributing to your PMS. Research has shown that certain supplements can help reduce the symptoms of PMS. For example, omega-3, magnesium, Vitamin B, and supplements with Calcium D-glucarate to reduce estrogen can have a beneficial impact on your PMS symptoms.

It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before starting any kind of supplement. They will be able to tell you how each individual supplement and combination of supplements will affect your body.

close up of a women doing yoga

3. Exercise Regularly to Treat PMS

We’ve all probably been told at some point or other that exercise can make us feel happy. While endorphins do play a part in alleviating PMS symptoms, exercise has a lot of other physical benefits when it comes to your menstrual cycle.

Research suggests that any form of aerobic exercise can help improve your symptoms. This includes any type of exercise that increases your heart rate. Symptoms such as depression and fatigue were shown to be improved after exercising for 8 weeks. Additionally, another form of exercise that can help is stretching. Yoga can help lessen menstrual pains as well as bloating.

However, it’s important to remember not to just save exercise for your worst PMS days. Integrating it as a regular part of your life is the best way to reap the benefits.

4. Get a Full 8 Hours of Sleep

We all know that getting a proper night’s sleep is important, but did you know that it can actually help reduce the symptoms of PMS? A possible side effect of PMS is insomnia.

Try and get the best sleep possible so that you can feel relaxed and energized while on your period. Getting enough exercise, bringing a hot water bottle to bed with you, skipping snacks before bed, and even just writing down your worries can help ensure a good night’s sleep.

5. Switch to Organic Cotton Menstrual Pads

Making the switch to reusable cotton menstrual products can help with some symptoms of PMS and your period like menstrual cramps.

Sustainable period brands like illum have products that are made from certified organic cotton. Why is this important? Well, organic cotton crops don’t use harmful chemicals such as pesticides in their maintenance. The chances of residue from these chemicals ending up in the final product as a result of these farming practices are greatly decreased.

Additionally, no dyes or bleaches are used in the production of our cotton menstrual pads. Not only does this mean that the likelihood of rashes on sensitive skin is reduced, but many users have reported that illum’s cotton menstrual pads have helped alleviate their cramps.

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