PMT is of course the aptly named tense period before your ERM actual period.

Lasting for anything from a day (lucky lady) to actual weeks (really) it is truly a pain in the ass (or uterus in this case) for many. Yes some see few pre menstrual symptoms while others have a horrendous old time waiting for Aunt Flipping Flo to arrive.

Many report it improves after babies but for me personally, it got worse and for those like myself also suffering with PCOS, symptoms can be further exasperated.

Fear not though as a couple of months ago I began discussing ways to alleviate the symptoms with several experts from GP’s to nutritionalists and pharmacists and things have REALLY improved.

So what has helped everything from period pains, migraines to mood swings. Here’s my list of PMT life savers. Ask your doctor though as I’m not one but below are the vits I take and things I do that were approved for me.

You’re welcome, as are your partners, children, work friends…

1. Vitamin B6

This baby is my actual new best friend. There is an article from the BBC here explaining the HUGE benefits of B6 and I take 50mg daily after the government scrapped restrictions of only 10mg daily. Research found that B6 was twice as effective as a placebo in relieveing PMS. Get to the chemist pronto.

2. Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil is derived from the seeds of the Evening Primrose plant, a wild plant from North America but it also grows in Europe and Southern Hemisphere. I take 1000mg a day. It may also help with ezcema, the menopause and skin conditions.

3. Vitamin D & Calcium

Advised by Harley Street nutritionalist Nigel Denby to take this. Research from University of Massachusetts researcher Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson, ScD, and her Harvard University colleagues analyzed data collected over 10 years from nurses 27-44 years old including more than 1,000 women with PMS found those with high intakes of both calcium and vitamin D did have significantly reduced PMS risk. To read an article about it, click here.

So if I lived abroad and got lots of ACTUAL sun, Vitamin D (see above taken on holiday in Portugal) my PMT would be reduced. Sunshine makes you happier too. Fact.

…I also take, Magnesium, Zinc and Folic Acid to help alleviate PMT symptoms. Ask your pharmacist to advise on mg.

6. Iron

I don’t currently need iron but ask your Dr to check if you are anemic, especially after heavy periods.

Rescue Remedy Spray

I love this spray and has used it to get me through driving tests, exams, uni, my wedding. Instantly relaxes me when life get overwhelming.


Absolutely vital before and even though you won’t feel like it, during your period. I’m too tired the week after so don’t run then but running during my actual cycle helps alleviate period pains and I sleep better too.

Low GI diet

I’ve eaten this way for as long as I can remember. Staying away from sugar and eating slow releasing carbs, lean protein and lots of fruit (alkaline, low sugar) and veg, I eat like this 90% of the time and treat myself 10%. My 75% dark chocolate is my best friend when it’s time of the month and pretty much all month long in all honesty but the magnesium helps with the sugar cravings and high cocoa solids mean less of a sugar crash too.

The Low GI way of eating helps balance blood sugar, perfect for PCOS sufferers who tend to have insulin resistance too.

Fresh air

Even when I don’t feel like it, when I’m feeling low, I try and get outside. Nothing compares to a walk in the woods or around a lake near our house to reconnect with nature. Even if it’s raining, I always feel better afterwards.

Sofa time

Taking it easy the week of your actual period is important too. I like to try where possible to incorporate sofa days especially over the weekend where I take things easier, try and get my feet up and rest.


My miracle cream for the odd hormonal spot or three. I use this at night as the bright white variety isn’t a great base in the day!

Do you suffer from PMT? What are your tips?

Photograph ©Peter Broadbent.

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19 Responses

  1. Lilian

    I am no longer young to not pay so much attention about pregnancy. I have a problem with my menstruation. I thought, it was just a normal feeling as what every woman murmurs about, but this really caused me fear because of the diagnosis lately that I have suffered from PCOS, that may cause serious problem to getting pregnant. Thanks for this post though, what the doctor’s advice is clearly being discussed by you above.

    • honestmum

      OK thanks Lilian I am so sorry to hear that but I have PCOS and got pregnant easily, within 3 months, I kept my weight down with a low GI diet, ate healthily and exercised. The doctors can help you if there are issues, wishing you the best

  2. Lottie

    I love this post and your cheery tone! I have been one of those who had the full month to contend with – terrible pms, blushing, boils, awful depression and mood weepiness – made me wonder why i was being punished so badly – it was like a monthly living nightmare I really can’t explain just how absolutely all encompassing and debilitating it was but not any mor – thank goodness for the book pmt-reversing the curse which I believed saved my life and it says all of the above in it as well as giving great ideas for foods that balance your hormones and get back high energy levels clear your skin – I also dropped half a stone and gave kept it off but that’s insignificant in relation to just not going mad every month – God I am do glad rafts over : )

    • honestmum

      @Lottie thanks so much, will buy that book-I have PCOS (not the syndrome) so that doesn’t help either although am improving. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Sharmin

    A fabulous post hon, with some vital tips. i’m noting these down for sure. I take Evening Primrose Oil too, mainly to keep my ezcema at bay, as well as magnesium, but I didn’t know about Vitamin B6.

    In general, I’ve incorporated more avocado in my diet, i try to eat like three avocado’s week. It’s such a super fruit with so many health benefits and it also contains folic acid. xx

    • honestmum

      @Sharmin ooh yes, having avo tonight! Honestly these vitamins have been making a huge difference to how I feel and folic acid is amazing, not just for pregnant women x

  4. Babes about Town

    Ah very helpful post. I used to get PMT badly but I’m one of those lucky ladies (touch wood) who’ve found symptoms — moodiness, cramps etc — alleviated by having had babies. My auntie told me it would happen, and it did, things are infinitely better. Although I still get a little crabby and of course the bloat.

    True story: I must have mentioned to my then boyfriend that I suffered from bad PMT and when we started dating and had our first major row, I really went off on one. The next day he called me up and asked tentatively if ‘Aunt Flipping Flo’ (haha, love that) had arrived. I said yes and he said no wonder, because he’d actually marked it on his calendar with a note ‘Uju Armageddon?’ Clearly he’d paid careful attention to my cycle lol!

    What helped me back in the day: Starflower Oil, chocolate and brandy (for the cramps, ya get me) x 😉

  5. Hannah Ruth

    Thanks for the tips Vicki – I am always up for trying possible solutions to my PMS too! I’ve found the best thing to relieve my physical symptoms is eating a lower-carb, ‘cleaner’ diet as much as I can. I also take evening primrose and starflower oil. I will need to check out the supplements you’ve recommended too. Hannah xx

  6. katie

    I am rubbish at taking vitamins but am trying to make more of an effort lately so thanks for this! I am good at sofa time though (when i can get it) x

  7. Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer

    Brilliant list. So glad you mentioned sofa time! Those vits and mins make all the difference in the world. I also recommend Floradix as a daily tonic – full of all sorts and when the worst comes to the wors and you have to be active, Nurofen really helped me. Think I might be needing the Evening Primrose Oil more nowadays though ,,, #gettingold !

  8. Lola

    Fab article Vicki…I used to suffer from PCOS too. Then started eating foods with high alkaline content and have to say it did wonders plus vitamin b complex. 🙂 xx


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