Earlier this month, we shared a post about I.V. Vitamin/Mineral therapy. If you haven’t read it yet, you can check it out HERE.
Let’s talk about the specific benefits of some of the nutrients that are commonly used in I.V. therapy in relation to a condition I treat so often – PMS!
Although I’m sure you could easily tell me what it is, let’s get clear! Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) is a cluster of symptoms that occur in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. The luteal phase is the (approximately) two week period that occurs between ovulation (mid-cycle) and the next period. For some people, symptoms last the whole two weeks but usually they just last for a few days leading up to the period and resolve within 1-2 days of the period starting.
Symptoms of PMS include irritability, mood changes, bloating, water retention, headaches, breast tenderness and so on. It is also very common for pre-existing issues like anxiety or depression to get worse during this time.
Although menstrual cramps don’t technically count as PMS (they are their own thing – dysmenorrhea) – they often get lumped in when we talk about PMS.
Most will tell you that PMS sucks. You feel cranky and uncomfortable. So what do we do about it?
Lots, actually! PMS is a condition where there is some evidence around the role of specific nutrients to treat it. Let’s talk about the nutrients commonly found in a vitamin mineral I.V. and how they can help PMS.
Magnesium is a mineral that is important for a wide variety of functions in our body, including muscle function and mood regulation. Magnesium has been shown to be effective at helping reduce mood symptoms and painful cramping associated with PMS. In addition, magnesium could help prevent menstrual migraines.
Calcium is an important mineral that is influenced by hormones like estrogen. People who experience PMS are often deficient in calcium and calcium is the nutrient that has the best evidence as treatment to prevent painful periods and PMS symptoms. Calcium has shown to help reduce severity of mood symptoms (depression, anxiety), and water retention.
Pyridoxine – more commonly known as B6 – has a small amount of evidence that shows it could be helpful for PMS mood symptoms such as depression. Its effectiveness might be increased when combined with magnesium. It is worth noting that B6 is well documented to be a helpful tool for pregnancy induced nausea and vomiting.
Zinc is another mineral in our body that has many important roles. The evidence for zinc in the treatment of PMS is small at this point, but a couple studies have shown in might have an impact on quality of life of someone with PMS. It is also worth mentioning that zinc can be a very important nutrient for thyroid health, which can play a role in severity of PMS symptoms.
So – why do I.V.s instead of supplement?
I think that comes down to a few different factors.
Personal preference. Some people would prefer this route to oral supplementation.
Digestive issues. Chronic digestion issues can impair absorption of nutrients, which reduces the effectiveness of taking oral supplements.
Taking a flight or driving there – I often explain that doing I.V. therapy can be a quicker way to getting to the same place. Either way, we can likely get there but doing I.V. might provide quicker results. That being said, most studies on oral intake of nutrients and PMS show improvements after a minimum of 1-3 months of treatment, and it is unclear exactly what an expected timeline would be if doing I.V. nutrients instead.
Do you have questions about I.V. therapy and PMS? Reach out!
I should also say that nutrient therapy is only one aspect of dealing with PMS. If you are struggling with this, I highly recommend you chat with your naturopathic doctor. PMS is a very common condition but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is normal or that we should brush it off as a normal part of menstruating. We have tools to help manage it!
Wyatt KM, Dimmock PW, Jones PW, Shaughn O'Brien PM. Efficacy of vitamin B-6 in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome: systematic review. BMJ. 1999;318(7195):1375-1381. doi:10.1136/bmj.318.7195.1375
Facchinetti F, Borella P, Sances G, Fioroni L, Nappi RE, Genazzani AR. Oral magnesium successfully relieves premenstrual mood changes. Obstet Gynecol. 1991 Aug;78(2):177-81. PMID: 2067759.
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Shobeiri F, Araste FE, Ebrahimi R, Jenabi E, Nazari M. Effect of calcium on premenstrual syndrome: A double-blind randomized clinical trial. Obstet Gynecol Sci. 2017 Jan;60(1):100-105. doi: 10.5468/ogs.2017.60.1.100. Epub 2017 Jan 15. PMID: 28217679; PMCID: PMC5313351.
Siahbazi S, Behboudi-Gandevani S, Moghaddam-Banaem L, Montazeri A. Effect of zinc sulfate supplementation on premenstrual syndrome and health-related quality of life: Clinical randomized controlled trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2017 May;43(5):887-894. doi: 10.1111/jog.13299. Epub 2017 Feb 11. PMID: 28188965.