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PMS, B-6, Prostaglandins and this here article

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 07, 2012 at 10:44 PM

Out of sheer desperation I have been reading ways to alleviate my often debilitating PMS.

A few days ago my hormonal nightmare reached a crescendo of anxiety, which some months feels like outright dissociation. I cannot tolerate this. If I could physically climb out of my body I would. So I did a bunch of reading and took any supplement in my cabinet that was mentioned re:pms in just an effort to calm the eff down. This resulted in a long sleepless night during which I felt like I was on a bad acid trip (yes I do have reference for that, yay 90's) floating in and out of sleep testing the boundaries of dream and reality.

I will not do that again. The truth is I've been wanting to veer away from supplements other than the basics (I need vitamin D for depression and Mg seems helpful). Really putting most things to diet/excercise/lifstyle. I do have some impulsivity issues, but that's another story.

Anyway, I've read a lot saying B-6 could be THE thing for depression/anxiety/pms (never heard that before, just B overall), and have tried a fairly high dose in the few days since. I'm feeling MUCH better. Even better than non-pms time periods. I actually have no cramps. I don't want to make a judgement yet though. I was hoping in the meantime someone had some info or could help clear up some of this prostaglandin reference in this little blurb I came across. I am not interested in the pharmaceuticals, I have had very bad experience with that. I mean, what do prostaglandins do and how does this apply exactly to pms and maybe anxiety in general (not just pms)? What do you think of this list of precursors/supplements (or finding food sources)? They do mention eating more plants less animals (not an anti-paleo sentiment I think, possibly a suggestion for a few days a month), opinion?

http://www.gunntowbincenter.com/pdf/Premenstrual%20Syndrome.pdf

UPDATE: Next cycle after I posted this and I actually experienced ZERO PMS symptoms. Not only that, Day 1 of the cycle I had a dream that I was dancing around doing some sort of free-style ballet complete with on-point tip toes and leaps and bounds and turns (I have never done ballet in my life). Weird, but I haven't had a dream that awesome in years. I followed most of the suggestions on here, eating similar to what Firefly recommends, plus my B-6 supp.

E40b2fc9ddcf702bab9d61d28b8c8440

(505)

on December 23, 2012
at 08:56 PM

Just wanted to report back, have been taking 2g of borage oil daily for the past 3 mos, & PMS gets better each month. Besides my mood improving, cramps are almost gone (to the point where getting my period is "surprising" me). Latest PMS was the mildest I've had in YEARS (maybe ever), amounting to a couple of days of lethargy, boredom and mild depression, all of which I attribute more to the fact that I got laid off and am a little bored until I start school in a few weeks. I think had I been busy, I would have felt only tired. No fight with the boyfriend, quite the opposite. Yay GLA!

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on August 21, 2012
at 03:58 AM

Lynn, please let me know if the B6 helps. My own, very recent, experience is that eating as many nutrient dense foods as possible is helpful for anxiety and pms. I've been sporadically taking the B6 still and I like with recent addition to natural calm (magnesium) and generally increasing omega3 (thank for the krill info!). Irritability isn't paleo IMO, so thanks for the sources.

E40b2fc9ddcf702bab9d61d28b8c8440

(505)

on August 20, 2012
at 06:14 PM

Heather, I've taken 2000mg of antarctic krill oil (NutriGold brand) for the past 2 weeks and my PMS this month is definitely lower. Not vanished, but lower. One month isn't probably enough to tell but I will keep taking it for overall health and then am going to start with B6 as P-5-P (here is some info on it: http://aor.ca/files/infosheets/Binder%20P5P.pdf). Found it on Amazon at 100mg for less than $11, free shipping (Source Naturals). Have been looking for pyridoxamine and may find it when I travel home to Canada, not sure. I've heard both forms are the jam! Thanks again for this info.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on August 06, 2012
at 01:45 AM

I can't be positive exactly what has had a big impact for me, but I'm leaning strongly toward b6 being one of the important variables, so worth a try. Let me know if you have any relief!

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on August 06, 2012
at 01:43 AM

Last time I had pms I actually just grabbed the quickest thing I could find at our rural grocery. It's TwinLab.

E40b2fc9ddcf702bab9d61d28b8c8440

(505)

on August 04, 2012
at 09:31 PM

Thanks for the update Heather, so glad to hear you're feeling better! What B6 are you taking, I'd like to try to the same.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on August 04, 2012
at 07:35 PM

Oh and Vit D 3000-5000 IU.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on August 04, 2012
at 07:09 PM

Ruminant meat or pork or fish/seafood daily of course. Anyway, seems to be helping.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on August 04, 2012
at 07:07 PM

I think I should outline: liverwurst sometimes, bone broth sometimes, best quality eggs I can find several times a week, root veggies daily, kale/greens once a day, coconut oil, marrow and butter only in addition to the meat fat, small amount of fruit, supp w/ cod liver/flax/borage oil daily, B6 100mg, Zinc 60mg, mg 250mg, progesterone AND estrogen 1/4 tsp 14-21 days (may need to tweak). Still having anxiety attacks, but I think they are decreasing. Focus is better.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on August 04, 2012
at 06:05 PM

http://paleohacks.com/questions/68863/anyone-have-estrogen-dominance-and-sorted-it-out/138580#138580 This one too.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on August 04, 2012
at 06:03 PM

Oh, ok...here's one discussion I had w/ her and I think there's another page, lemme find it: http://paleohacks.com/questions/136093/hack-my-pantry-fridge-essentials-for-neurotransmitter-and-hormone-function#axzz22bL0ybcp

4ecfe8ee47ea62a11be516cd59701a4b

(30)

on August 04, 2012
at 05:22 PM

Don't see anything from Firefly on this page anywhere! So what did you do????

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:46 PM

Thanks so much.

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on July 08, 2012
at 05:41 PM

I use it from day 6-28 in my cycle. From day 6 to 22 I use 1/8 tsp in the morning, 1/4 tsp in the evening. From day 22-28 I do 1/4 tsp twice a day. I stop from day 28-5. I'm not trying to conceive so if I were I'd do 1/4 twice a day from day 14-28. I went a bit heavy the first week to get it in my symptom. I felt light headed or a headache at first bt it disappeared within a week.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on July 08, 2012
at 03:39 PM

Yes, Luckie, that's what it means. N represents the number of subjects, in the case of personal experience that would be 1. It's kind of a nerdy shorthand.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on July 08, 2012
at 04:53 AM

I have been trying progesterone cream. When do you use it?

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 08, 2012
at 04:45 AM

This may be a dumb question, and that's why I'm not actually posting it as a question, but what does n=1 mean in this context? I've seen the term used quite a bit on Paleohacks and I'm just not sure. Does n=1 mean individual results / anecdotal experience?

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on July 08, 2012
at 03:02 AM

n-3 is supposed to be helpful for depression and anxiety too, which could be worse around PMS-time. Not sure how much supplements would help in the short term or if it's more of a long-term balance thing.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:44 AM

Evening primrose and borage are recommended for pms I think? Reading article....now.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:33 AM

Great to hear a personal experience. Would love to hear if Firefly has specific info.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:31 AM

And great point about n-3 vs n-6.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Thanks Lynn, I should track digestive issues along with my cycle, good point. The prostaglandins post is worth looking at.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:26 AM

Wow, Amy B, thanks, what a relevant answer. Yes I want to geek out and will read a lot based on this response.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 08, 2012
at 12:40 AM

I know from my own n=1 experience that B-6 helps immensely with my PMS. In my 20s, I would become almost homicidal 2 weeks out of each month and the B-6 helped control that. Hopefully Firefly will chime in and give you suggestions!

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3 Answers

best answer

1
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:09 AM

Prostaglandins are made from fatty acids -- from n-3 and n-6.

It's very complex, but the nutshell version is that n-3 fats and oils tend to produce more of the anti-inflammatory prostaglandins and n-6 fats and oils produce more of the inflammatory ones. Inflammation = pain. Cramps anyone? Tenderness? Feeling like general BUTT?

The inflammatory prostaglandins can also come from the arachidonic acid that's heavy in animal fats. That's why the article advises to limit animal fats. BUT...I would say the average American should worry way more about the n-6 coming from all the freaking soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, etc.

If you're doing a clean Paleo diet, I don't think it's as big an issue, even if you're eating a fair amount of animal foods. That being said, if you are eating well, you might just want to up the fish oil when you feel the PMS coming on...and possibly watch your animal fat intake. But I certainly wouldn't "increase vegetable oil" like the article says. That's asking for more n-6! (Unless we're specifically talking flax oil, but you're not gonna replace a lot of your usual fat intake with flax.)

If you're super bored and want to geek out, this is an awesome article about prostaglandins, where/how they come from our food, and what they do in the body.

pms,-b-6,-prostaglandins-and-this-here-article

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:31 AM

And great point about n-3 vs n-6.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on July 08, 2012
at 03:02 AM

n-3 is supposed to be helpful for depression and anxiety too, which could be worse around PMS-time. Not sure how much supplements would help in the short term or if it's more of a long-term balance thing.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:44 AM

Evening primrose and borage are recommended for pms I think? Reading article....now.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:26 AM

Wow, Amy B, thanks, what a relevant answer. Yes I want to geek out and will read a lot based on this response.

1
19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on July 08, 2012
at 04:40 AM

Progesterone cream is saving my life. I am in my 30s. Dim-plus to help.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on July 08, 2012
at 04:53 AM

I have been trying progesterone cream. When do you use it?

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on July 08, 2012
at 05:41 PM

I use it from day 6-28 in my cycle. From day 6 to 22 I use 1/8 tsp in the morning, 1/4 tsp in the evening. From day 22-28 I do 1/4 tsp twice a day. I stop from day 28-5. I'm not trying to conceive so if I were I'd do 1/4 twice a day from day 14-28. I went a bit heavy the first week to get it in my symptom. I felt light headed or a headache at first bt it disappeared within a week.

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on July 12, 2012
at 09:46 PM

Thanks so much.

1
E40b2fc9ddcf702bab9d61d28b8c8440

(505)

on July 08, 2012
at 01:24 AM

I suffer from really bad PMS too, and in an effort to suffer less I stopped the pill and have been taking Pure Encapsulations B-Complex Plus daily as well as Dong Quai in the days leading up to my period. Glad to say my cramps have improved but unfortunately not my moods. I usually get one severe day of depression and several of "having to filter/gloves are off" bitchiness. Nothing has ever improved it, not anti-depressants years ago, not over one year of primal eating, not exercise, etc. My poor boyfriend!!! : / Recently read a post here about prostaglandins being the cause of diarrhea during menstruation, which I also have, but that was the first I'd ever heard of them so haven't done any research yet. Would love to hear from folks here who know! P.S. sorry this was a comment but exceeded the field...

C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

(971)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:30 AM

Thanks Lynn, I should track digestive issues along with my cycle, good point. The prostaglandins post is worth looking at.

E40b2fc9ddcf702bab9d61d28b8c8440

(505)

on December 23, 2012
at 08:56 PM

Just wanted to report back, have been taking 2g of borage oil daily for the past 3 mos, & PMS gets better each month. Besides my mood improving, cramps are almost gone (to the point where getting my period is "surprising" me). Latest PMS was the mildest I've had in YEARS (maybe ever), amounting to a couple of days of lethargy, boredom and mild depression, all of which I attribute more to the fact that I got laid off and am a little bored until I start school in a few weeks. I think had I been busy, I would have felt only tired. No fight with the boyfriend, quite the opposite. Yay GLA!

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