Find PMS relief with zinc
How often have you heard complaints about monthly period pain, mood swings and acne? Perhaps you experience these symptoms and are wondering how a trace mineral like zinc could possibly improve these symptoms.
Zinc is used in many reproductive health processes – it is truly a miracle mineral for reproductive health. Even your dreaded menstrual symptoms can be improved with the right levels of zinc!
What is PMS?
The term premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is used to describe a group of uncomfortable symptoms that occur around 2 to 10 days before menstruation. These symptoms can be physical or psychological, and usually resolve when the period starts each cycle. PMS is extremely common – studies show that at least 91% of those who menstruate experience at least one symptom each month. The severity of symptoms varies, and in some cases, PMS can negatively impact careers, relationships and mental well-being.
Common PMS Symptoms
- Migraines or headaches
- Irritability or mood swings
- Lower back pain
- Breast tenderness
- Uterine cramping
- Brain fog
- Increased levels of anxiety
- Heavy periods*
- Period pain*
*occurs during menstruation
Those who experience debilitating PMS each cycle often blame it on their hormones. Although these symptoms are common, they are a sign of hormonal imbalance.
With a healthy lifestyle and diet, these issues can be addressed. If you feel completely out of control before your period each month, you may benefit from speaking with your healthcare practitioner, such as a Naturopathic Doctor or Holistic Nutritionist. They can help determine the root cause of your PMS.
Benefits of zinc for common menstrual symptoms
What causes period pain?
Period pain, known as dysmenorrhea, is often normalized and can be treated with ibuprofen or relaxation. However, these are not long-term solutions.
Primary dysmenorrhea is caused by a high level of inflammatory prostaglandins. These compounds help the uterus contract to release the blood and uterine lining during menstruation. When there are too many prostaglandins, the uterus contracts excessively, leading to painful cramps.
Zinc for period pain
Zinc's anti-inflammatory properties can help combat the inflammatory effects of the prostaglandins. It has been shown to improve period pain over time, serving as an effective long-term solution.
What causes mood swings?
Mood swings, crying, nervousness, anxiety and inexplicable anger are telltale signs of PMS. You feel great most days, but as soon as your time of the month approaches, your feelings and emotions are difficult to predict. Why is this?
These changes are commonly caused by fluctuations in estrogen levels. Estrogen plays a role in changing emotional behaviour and can help with serotonin production. Levels of this hormone increase mid-cycle and drop right before the next period. The bigger the hormonal fluctuation or imbalance, the bigger the impact on mood changes.
Zinc for mood swings
Many organs rely on zinc in their biological processes, and the brain is no exception. Zinc deficiency has been linked with emotional instability, irritability and even depression.
In contrast, zinc supplementation can improve PMS symptoms related to mood changes. Because zinc plays a role in liver detoxification, it helps remove excess estrogen during the first half of the cycle to prevent a steeper drop during PMS. By reducing hormonal fluctuations, PMS symptoms are less severe.
What causes acne?
The risk of acne increases when there is a hormonal imbalance, resulting in too much testosterone, as is common in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Your skin naturally produces sebum, an oily substance that sits on the surface of the skin. High testosterone increases sebum production, clogs the pores and causes breakouts.
Zinc for acne
A well-known mineral for skin health, zinc inhibits 5-alpha-reductase activity to block the effects of excess testosterone. By reducing excess sebum production, zinc prevents your pores from clogging and becoming inflamed.
Zinc is a popular supplement for skin health that has been shown to be an effective treatment for testosterone-related breakouts. Furthermore, as an important player in the immune system, zinc helps the body fight the bacteria that causes acne.
The relationship between zinc and hormone health
In addition to its role in preventing PMS, zinc is needed at all stages of the monthly cycle. This important mineral is needed for healthy egg development, hormone production and regular ovulation. A normal, regular period without uncomfortable symptoms starts with healthy eggs and hormones.
When it comes to period health, the thyroid hormones cannot be left out of the picture. Insufficient levels of thyroid hormones (known as hypothyroidism) is the second most common hormonal imbalance, and is particularly common among those with severe PMS.
Low levels of thyroid hormones can reduce the energy needed for the body to run the reproductive system properly, as well as impair the liver's ability to detoxify excess estrogen. This means that zinc's role in the conversion of inactive thyroid hormone (T4) to active thyroid hormone (T3) is extremely important!
Where does zinc fit in?
Zinc's role in hormone health covers many biological processes, including the internal reproductive system. Eating plenty of zinc-rich foods such as beef, eggs, oysters, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds will ensure you are nourishing your body for regular cycles.
Using zinc for common menstrual symptoms is a great way to start feeling better every month. For those with severe PMS or other period problems, high amounts of zinc may be needed to correct a zinc deficiency.
A daily dose of zinc from our gentle, yet absorbable Zinc Bis-Glycinate 25 is a great long-term addition for healthy periods.