The Vibrant Health Podcast: Episode #25 – PMS 101

by lydia on January 26, 2016

The Vibrant Health Podcast: Episode #25 - PMS 101 //

Today, Jessica and I tackle all things PMS related. We talk about what PMS is and why so many women suffer from it, as well as common symptoms of PMS (from mild to severe).

Most importantly, we talk about why it is NOT normal for women to suffer from PMS and what we can do to help regulate our bodies and eliminate PMS once. Women don’t need to suffer every month, and there are a number of easy things that can help.

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Ask the Vibrant Health Podcast Hosts a Question - Jessica Espinoza and Lydia Shatney //

Download The Vibrant Health Podcast :: Episode 25

Introducing The Vibrant Health Podcast :: Episode 1 //

Read The Vibrant Health Podcast Transcript :: Episode 25

Jessica:  Hi, everyone. Welcome to Episode Number 25 of the Vibrant Health Podcast. I am Jessica from and And I’m here with my co-host, Lydia of

Today we’re are going to talk about PMS. So this one’s for the ladies, but if there are any gents tuning in who have women in their lives, who are suffering from PMS, then this episode may have some useful information for them. So we would love it if you would pass it along to all those lovely ladies.

So hey Lydia, how are you doing today? Let’s dive in to the world of PMS.

Lydia:  Do we have to? No, I’m just kidding. Hey, everyone. We are going to talk about PMS today. We’re going to try to have a little bit of fun even though this is a serious problem that is not fun.

It’s very common, and it’s pretty unbearable at times for many women, and we’re going to say it is not normal just because it’s common.

We aren’t meant to have PMS. 70% to 90% of all women do experience some PMS, so I think that this is pretty important to talk about. And it’s pretty epidemic. And it’s something I hear commonly from clients, and it’s something that we are able to usually get some major improvements on quickly once we dive in.

So today, we want to give you some insights of what it is, and how to deal with it, and some steps you can take as well as some deeper things you can do if those aren’t working.

Maybe you’ve heard some of the things that PMS stands for like “Psychotic Mood Swing” or “People Make me Sick” or “Pass Me a Shotgun,” all those funny stuff.

It’s really intense and it’s a huge, huge alteration for women.

And so I’d love it if you could share your quick story of overcoming PMS, and then we can talk more about some things that people can – information and some tips too.

Jessica:  Yes, I would love to share my story because it – I mean, I still look back on it, and it’s just one of those moments where the clouds parted. And I’ve had – when it comes to my health, I have had very few moments where I had had a noticeable improvement in my health. A lot of times, I just go along and I can’t really notice if things are working, or if they’re not working. But, my PMS being resolved was one of those moments where I was just like, “Wow. This really did work.”

So for several years, it had gotten progressively worse. I had started having really, really bad cramps. I would get a little bit moody, and I would have some of the mental aspects of the PMS, but really, my PMS problems were cramps.

And there were a couple of times in probably early to mid-2014 where my cramps were so bad that I couldn’t even get off the couch. They were debilitating.

I don’t take any pain relievers or anything, so I was trying to do what I needed to do with herbs and essential oils and stuff like that, but nothing was really working. And there were two times, specifically, that I remember being so sore after that. I was actually sore for three to four days after I had my cramps. I literally felt like a bus had run over my torso over and over and over again. It was absolutely horrible.

I knew something was not right because I had never had cramps that debilitating before. And so of course, around that same time, I had actually gone to get my physical with the doctor and everything, and I just mentioned it to them because he asked about my cycle and everything was okay and all that.

So I just mentioned that the cramps are getting really unbearable.

And so of course, he was like, “Okay, let’s just put you on birth control.”

I’m like, “No, let’s not.”

So I declined that and I really just – I knew that this was something that I needed to start looking into.

And so about that same time, I had started working with you, and I started doing the hair tissue mineral analysis stuff. So I actually did my first hair tissue test in November of 2014 and I got my protocol, we had our call and all that stuff.

So on December 1st is when I actually started the new protocol. So I had all of the new supplements and the minerals and everything that I was taking based on what the test results had shown that I needed help in.

And so I started December 1st, and then on December 11th, I got my period. And I had really minor cramps. It was so minor that I didn’t even really know that they were there, and it was funny because it wasn’t until my period was almost over when I was like, “Hold on a minute. I wasn’t debilitated for this one. That’s crazy.”

So I was like, “Okay. The only thing that’s changed is in the mineral. Let’s wait until January and see what happens.”

So January cycle came around, no cramps. Not even a hint of cramps.

I was absolutely ecstatic.

And then I was like, “Okay, is this a complete fluke?”

And then February rolled around, so I started to get a little bit nervous. I’m like, “Maybe that was just two fluke months.”

And February came, no cramps. And it has been consistent since then. I may have some very faint-like hints of cramps, maybe a little bit lower abdominal discomfort. I do still get some lower back pain around that but it’s nothing that prevents me from working or being able to actually have a life during my period.

So consistently since December of 2014, I have not had the PMS issues that I was having. And so knock on wood that that continues because it really has been liberating just to not have – I mean people – I imagine that that’s maybe what labor pain was like. But that’s of course because I haven’t had labor pain but if I – it was horrible.

So my heart goes out to women who are suffering with PMS, and not just the cramps really. That’s just one aspect of what can happen with PMS.

So let’s talk a little bit about – so yes, I can personally vouch that minerals literally changed my life. That was just – I’m so thankful for that whole experience that those are now gone, and I don’t have to worry about it every month.

But let’s talk a little bit about what PMS is specifically and why it’s not normal.

Lydia:  Yes, totally. It’s not normal. Just common. Remember that. Typically, like you said, the doctor’s only answer is going to be to put you on birth control, or maybe if it’s so bad and you’re bleeding horribly, they’ll say, “Oh, we could do a hysterectomy.”

There’s no in between.

They don’t know how to handle it. They don’t know what to do. That’s the medical mindset.

So PMS can be actually quite broad symptom-wise. It can be varying intensities as well, depending on the person and their situation.

But it is real. It’s very real, it’s very serious, it’s very debilitating at times, like you just said. And it can consist of physical, mental, emotional symptoms as well as during the period. It can be intense as well. So it can lead up to and continue.

But the PMS part is typically going to occur anywhere from 7 to 10 days before the onset of menstruation. Some women might not get it until later in life, but now, I’m finding more and more teenagers are really struggling with this. I didn’t really have it bad until I got older, and then thankfully, was able to recover from it.

But I do remember some of my friends in high school passing out and being carried to the nurse’s office and having these horrible PMS issues.

So it can be set on by many things. Once you make this connection, now that’s occurring prior to menstruation, anywhere from 1 to 10 days even. Some people have very mild lower back cramps or get really tired right before their period and that’s their symptoms.

For some people, it’s 10 days of hell, and it builds, and it builds, and it builds.

Some people actually experience their PMS symptoms at ovulation, and that’s a whole other topic for another day. But it’s going to be related to a lot of things.

So we can start very simply with diet. We want to have a clean, healthy diet. Avoid eating processed foods, sugar, too much sugar because these foods do not provide nutrients and our body runs on nutrients, and we need those to be healthy.

So that’s always a good starting point for anyone.

If you’re already eating real, clean, healthy food, and you’re still struggling with PMS, you want to look at the stress in your life because stress leads to deeper problems down the line.

So if you’re not getting adequate nutrition and then you add stress on top of it, it’s just even worse because stress is going to impact your overall hormones, and your neurotransmitters, and both of these are going to play a big role in PMS.

So stress management – and that’s something we talked about as well. We gave you support to better deal with stress through the minerals, but it’s always going to be key for everyone alive today to manage stress. It’s just got to be part of life.

And so I know for me, my cycles are worse the months when I have the most stress. Even if I’m eating great and all this other stuff, if I have a really stressful month, I’m going to feel it at that time of the month.

So it’s a big deal, and we can’t always prevent that, but we can put strategies in place in our life just to say, “Hey.”

I always want to have some stress management practices in my life.

But ongoing stress is going to cause the body to steal pregnenolone to make more cortisol and that will deplete progesterone. Low progesterone is a key indicator in PMS. It’s also going to impact your adrenal functions, which is a vicious cycle.

If your adrenals need more hormones, they’re going to steal from sex hormones.

So that’s a big problem there, and if you don’t have the right nutrients to begin with, to build all these things, you know you’re at this double whammy.

So that’s just some of the basics when it comes to understanding what can lead to it. And for you, you had been doing a lot of healthy things already. It was just that you needed the little bit more support.

I had a client who had a similar story, too. That was her big thing. She didn’t even talk to me a whole heck of a lot about how bad her cycles were because she just lived with it. She thought it was her reality.

When we talked on the re-test, she over-emphasized how amazed she was at how she literally had no more cramping, her emotions are better. She feels like a real, happy human being again instead of this debilitated, broken person.

But I think it’s just so pervasive and common that we accept it because so many other women have it. It’s like, “Well, this is what it is.” And we make the jokes about hiding the candy and the tampon box. Warning our family members, “Look, it’s that time. Just leave me alone.”

But you know, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Jessica:  What was interesting about how it happens with me is that I – this was not even really on my radar as far as something that I thought that HTMA would help with. It hadn’t even crossed my mind.

I was really focused on the Hashimoto’s, the adrenal aspects of the HTMA. So it had never even occurred to me that my cycles would be better regulated.

So when it happened, I was just like, “Whoa.” Totally wasn’t expecting that.

And of course, I think that’s sometimes how healing happens because the areas that I really, really focused on and that I really want to heal seem to be the slowest, and then the areas that don’t even cross my mind or that I’m maybe not even aware of are the ones that improve.

Lydia:  Yes, your body is smart. Your body is prioritizing.

And that’s the thing. There is no one size fits all protocol that every single woman can do to recover from PMS. It’s going to vary from person to person but the key is, we have some core things. We can clean up our diet. Anyone can do that.

We can do some basic stress management practices. Anyone can do that.

Some people need specific nutrients, more in depth, and to know that, you need to do some testing like the HTMA, for example.

Toxic liver can be a big thing. If you have build-up in your liver, if your liver is not clearing well, which anyone could benefit from some improved liver health these days because we just have so much toxicity that we come in contact with.

So the worse someone’s PMS, the chances are they need liver support.

So hey, you know what, ladies? We could always do something to help our liver whether it’s just the simplest things daily, or we need to do deeper work. So basic liver health practices on a regular basis are going to go a long way to helping someone who struggles with PMS. That’s something I always include in every protocol I do.

But then there are key nutrients like for example – and these are something that anybody can benefit from, would be magnesium. Magnesium will actually go a long way to even reducing breast pain – that didn’t even come up yet.

So there’s breast pain, that weight gain people get around their belly. They all of a sudden bloat up. Overall tension, headaches even.

Some women might get bad sugar cravings, like I just joked about a minute ago, which could be correlating with low blood sugar and all these things.

But magnesium is a rock star mineral that we all need these days, so if you’re not using magnesium, then you need to go listen to our magnesium podcast and get started because this is a very basic thing and anyone can do it.

Now, there are probably some tweaking and fine tuning that you might find you need help with, but for now, suffice it to say, a little bit of transdermal or even transdermal and a slow dose of oral magnesium supplement can go a long way.

The other thing is B6. B6 plays a huge role in the production of neurotransmitters including serotonin, and B6 is important to help with the uptake of magnesium. So these two paired together could be really helpful for many people.

And I can’t tell you exactly what dose of B6 you will need, but you can start with somewhere from 25 to 50 mg a day more than likely, and be okay.

And so those are just two key nutrients right there that can certainly benefit anyone across the board. I also have a post on B6. I’ll make sure we link so you can just read a little bit more about that nutrient-specific.

You know how the – we’ve heard so much about calcium, we’ve heard so much about B12, but really, we need to hear more about magnesium and B6 and those two partner together really well.

Jessica:  I totally agree.

Lydia:  And that was one of the things we were giving you a little bit more of than you had been in the past. So just took more than your body was getting prior.

And then we could go even more into the minerals a bit here because I don’t think most people are getting the mineral picture right. It’s very complicated to know for sure what you need. But there’s this big, long chain of connection with minerals and the adrenals and all this stuff.

So we can take a minute to talk about that because if you aren’t getting enough relief from just cleaning up your diet, managing your stress, doing some basic liver detox or gentle, very gentle, simple liver support things, as well as adding in some magnesium. You may need a little bit more – a little bit further detective work, and that’s when the HTMA can come in really handy to fine tune a protocol that’s unique to what your body currently needs.

So we talked about magnesium there for a second. There are other minerals involved and it can vary from person-to-person. But one thing that is key is going to be the adrenal glands. And the reason why is because they produce and secrete mineral-regulating hormones.

And that’s one of the things the mineral analysis will show us. It will show us what’s going on with those adrenal glands in a different way than something like a saliva test would to see cortisol and DHEA and things like that. We can get a different picture.

So if someone has diminished adrenal activity, they’re going to be more prone to PMS. And during that cycle, it’s interesting because the adrenal activity will change, and this is because we’re going to have increased copper and estrogen during that pre-menstrual period, or at least we should. That’s the flow of the hormones there.

But they can also have an inhibitory effect on the adrenal activity.

So if you already have weak adrenals, which I’m pretty sure everyone does to a degree. I’m sorry. It’s just where we’re at, unfortunately.

So this is why it’s so common.

So supporting your adrenal gland health is going to be very key as well, and we’ve done some podcast on that as well.

So that’s another piece of the puzzle that you can’t figure out entirely without seeing some more information including your copper, maybe even a whole hormone panel. It includes the sex hormones as well.

So if you are someone who is really struggling, or you’re doing a lot, and you haven’t had some recovery, you really probably do want to get some deeper work done through testing.

Those mineral corticoids and even the glucocorticoid hormones are going to play a role here. So when you have weak adrenal glands, it results in a greater deficiency of those hormones. So that’s another piece of the puzzle.

They also can produce sugar craving, salt craving, hypoglycemia, fatigue, depression. Some of the things are what we’re really dealing with when we feel completely beside ourselves during that time of the month.

But the other thing, and this one’s really tricky, is copper.

Jessica:  I was going to see if we wanted to – I know we have some plans to talk about copper and adrenals and thyroid and stuff a little bit down the road. So I know this opens up a huge can of worms, but I think it’s important to touch on just to give people a little bit of food for thought.

Lydia:  I just want to at least introduce the idea because it’s not something that’s a quick fix and easy fix. It’s very complex. But we don’t hear about it anywhere. We don’t hear about in a lot of these health groups out there, and we don’t run across it, but it’s coming out more and more. And anyone who practices HTMA is going to be talking about this.

It’s really, really a key piece. And that’s another thing we can see in HTMA, however, we can’t see it entirely clearly on HTMA because we can’t see what’s going on with the ceruloplasmin – and I’ll get to that in a second.

So copper, we need copper. It’s important. It’s going to help with energy production. It’s got a valuable role to play in our health. However, when we don’t have copper properly regulated by ceruloplasmin, which is a copper transport protein in the liver, if that’s not working right, and our adrenals are weak, copper is going to be all screwed up.

So we can have a copper deficiency and at the same time have too much copper in the body not able to be used.

And that can really affect the PMS situation even more.

So if you have this high copper level or copper that you can’t even access, you’re going to be more prone to PMS, and you can also be zinc-deficient at the same time, and that’s a big piece too because zinc is a key mineral that when you’re deficient you can really struggle with PMS as well.

So those are some of the key minerals there. We’ve got other things too. There’s a role that iron can play if you have toxic iron and heavy metals as well. There are just so many pieces that could be a part of what contributes to PMS.

But if you start taking some of these steps, the ones that you can do on your own without help, and you can see some improvements for sure. But if you’re really struggling, it may be time to get some help and take it further.

Certainly, a hair tissue mineral analysis would be great, possibly looking at your sex hormones could help too, but we’re going to give you some links to some information that you can start working on now because anyone can start to feel better.

And that’s the goal here. We want to make sure you know that you don’t have to struggle with PMS. It’s not your destiny just because it’s common. So hopefully, some of this information was useful today, and if you do need help, you certainly can reach out to me. I’m not the only person out here that can help you, but I do – the HTMA, I can run some additional functional evaluation test that can help as well. And I have seen numerous women who have recouped from their horrible debilitating PMS.

Jessica:  Definitely, if you’re suffering from PMS, you don’t have to suffer. There are things that you can do.

To recap on everything, so what are the top things that people can maybe start implementing now on their own? And then if those don’t work, then they can really start looking at maybe trying to find somebody to work with.

Lydia:  Well, the very first thing is make sure you’re eating clean, real, whole, nutrient-dense foods. If you’re reading our blogs already, you probably are already doing that to a degree, so that’s great.

If that hasn’t helped enough, you want to think about, is your life just crazy? Do you have a ton of stress and you’re not managing it well? And if that’s the case, try to find ways to get more rest, get more relaxation, cut things out that don’t need to be in your life, take a soak at night. Take 20 minutes and go sit in the tub a couple of times a week, or get a babysitter once a week for the kids and just go do something fun, and just start finding ways to take more self-care. That’s important. That’s really, really important.

Basic liver support, and I don’t want to give – I don’t want anyone to feel like they have to go do some crazy liver detox, and that’s not just warranted nor is it always safe. But there’s a lot of things you can do to support your liver.

For one very simple thing, just staying hydrated, moving your bowels every day. If you’re constipated, you might have worse PMS because of that, too. Drinking some lemon water in the morning, eating some healing foods like beet-related foods, or radishes or just certain great foods that can support the liver as well as something basic like milk thistle tincture, which is pretty safe for pretty much anyone, especially if you cycle through it.

There’s a lot of things you can do to help daily support your liver, and that would be Jessica’s awesome herbal coffee teas can be great too.

Even something like a massage or acupuncture towards the end of self-care, but also supporting your body and relaxing things could be helpful.

So those are some basics as well. Go start with magnesium. Anybody can. That is a biggie. Read our post about that.

And then next, I would say probably movement to some degree, but if you’re overdoing it, it might be not a good idea. Fitness is great, but we can overdo it. We can underdo it.

We did a podcast about that. So make sure you listen to that.

So those are just some of the very barebones basics. There’s a lot. There’s a lot of nutrients to take to run the body, and we could really all stand to find out what our bodies uniquely need.

A nutritional therapy can go a long way to really helping unwind something like PMS. And I don’t think it was just the minerals that helped. I’ve had women even start something like nettles tea, and they found – the next cycle they had after they had been consistently drinking nettles tea was much better. And they were shocked.

They’re like, “Wow.”

I’ve got some recipes for nettles tea. That’s something anyone could try, and it certainly will benefit you as well.

Those simple steps, anyone can do and really needs to be done in general for overall health. It may not work for everyone. You might get some relief but you may still have struggle. So that’s when you want to definitely get help.

Jessica:  I agree. I think those are great points, very simple for people to implement, to get them started, and then they can see whether their body takes them, and what they need from there.

But yes, you don’t have to suffer. So definitely we hope that the information that we shared today has been helpful for you, and if you know somebody – maybe you’re not suffering from PMS symptoms, but if you know somebody that is, please share this information with them. Share the episode or the blog post. We always have the full transcript down below as well.

We don’t want people to have to suffer in pain every month. So definitely pass the information along.

We would also love it if you could leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher. If you’re on our site, or on YouTube listening, we have the links down below. If you’re listening to this on your phone through either the iTunes or the Stitcher app, you can just leave a review directly through there. And it only takes about a minute. Super fast, super easy to do. We really, really appreciate it.

And your shares and your reviews that you leave us actually help us reach more people with our message of health and wellness. They give us better ranking whenever people are searching for health and wellness podcasts. So we really appreciate your support and your shares and reviews and everything.

So if you are looking for more information on health and wellness, both Lydia and I have a ton of information on our sites regarding PMS, and HTMA, and magnesium, everything we talked about today, and a gob more.

You can find me over at, which is my main practice website, and where I offer my 21 Days Sugar Detox Coaching. And also at, which is my main real food and natural living website.

And you can find Lydia over at Lydia offers nutritional therapy consultations and hair tissue mineral analysis services for those of you who are ready to take your health to the next level and maybe dig a little bit deeper into issues that you’re having.

And lastly, if you have any suggestions for topics that you would like us to cover in future episodes, we would absolutely love to hear from you. The goal of these podcasts is to really help you live a healthier life and we want to make sure that we’re providing you information that is motivating you and inspiring you and educating you on things that you can do to just create a better life for yourself.

So definitely email us or contact us on social media or leave a comment down below, and let us know what you want us to talk about.

So we are going to sign off then, and we look forward to serving you and inspiring you to live the healthiest and happiest lives possible. Have a great day, everybody. We’ll be back again next week.

*Disclaimer: This blog post may contain Amazon and other affiliate links and should you purchase through them will not affect your price and all proceeds go towards the cost of maintaining this website. Thank you!



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Evie Dawson January 30, 2016 at 5:46 am

Great inspiration, the post gives as much information as we want :)


Janet (Divine Health Assistant) March 16, 2016 at 5:33 pm

Thanks Evie! If you enjoyed this article by Lydia, then you’d love this one:


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