5-HTP for Managing PMS Symptoms
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
PMS or premenstrual syndrome is obviously bothersome for a woman because that accompanies a whole variety of emotional and physical symptoms such as mood swings, irritability, hot flashes, abdominal bloating, cramping, and the list goes on. But is there any way to manage these daunting symptoms? - yes, 5-HTP might be the answer for many women. The use of 5-HTP for managing PMS symptoms is widely promoted in the women’s community. Keep reading to learn more about the impressive link between 5-HTP and PMS symptoms.
In this article, we’ll try to uncover the benefits of taking 5-HTP for managing PMS symptoms along with necessary precautions and possible side effects. But before we get into how 5-HTP can help manage PMS, it’s important to learn the fundamentals of PMS a little bit more. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- Understanding PMS
- Signs and symptoms of PMS
- Causes of PMS
- What is 5-HTP?
- Benefits of 5-HTP for managing PMS symptoms
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
PMS is the abbreviated form of premenstrual syndrome that refers to a set of varying undesired physical and emotional symptoms that women experience a week or two before starting their menstruation. The signs and symptoms of PMS may occur anytime between ovulation and the beginning of menstruation and may last for a few days since menstruation begins. Most women have some form of PMS symptoms at some point.
PMS symptoms affect different women differently and may also vary from month to month. Symptoms may range from mild to slightly noticeable to intense. The symptoms of PMS may cause emotional distress and physical discomfort in some women and sometimes may disrupt normal daily life. But in most cases, symptoms of PMS can be easily managed by simple lifestyle adjustments and dietary supplements such as 5-HTP.
Signs and symptoms of PMS
PMS is involved in a varying range of symptoms related to physical, emotional, behavioral, and mood. Each woman’s signs and symptoms are different from the others and may also change from one month to other. If a woman has PMS, she experiences at least a few following symptoms.
Physical symptoms of PMS
- Muscle and back pain
- Abdominal bloating
- Breast sensitivity
- Unusual clumsiness
- Unusual sensitivity to sound and light
- Hot flashes
- Greasy hair
- Spotty skin
- Unwanted weight gain due to water retention
Emotional and behavioral symptoms of PMS
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Unusual irritability and anger
- Mood swings with often emotional outbursts
- Changes in sex drive
- Difficulty focusing and remembering things
- Changes in appetite, such as elevated cravings for sweets
- A low and sad mood with often crying spells
- Changes in sleep pattern, including trouble sleeping and unusual fatigue
Causes of PMS
Researchers are still working to find out the exact cause of PMS, it’s assumed that some factors may play a role in the development of this condition, such as:
- Changes in brain chemicals, especially serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine
- Changing levels of female hormones, particularly progesterone, and estrogen
- Unhealthy lifestyle factors like inadequate sleep, smoking and eating lots of sugar, fats, etc.
- Existing psychological conditions like bipolar disorder, depression, excess stress, and anxiety
What is 5-HTP?
5-HTP is the abbreviated term for 5-hydroxytryptophan which is an organic chemical naturally produced in the body as a precursor to brain chemicals serotonin and melatonin in the long process of chemical reactions that turn L-tryptophan into these brain chemicals.
5-HTP is also available as supplements that are prepared from the seeds of a native African plant species Griffonia simplicifolia. These supplements work well for the enhancement of serotonin and melatonin levels.
Both serotonin and melatonin play an essential role in regulating various physical and emotional factors including mood, attention, behavior, sleep cycles, as well as others. For this reason, increasing levels of serotonin and melatonin by taking 5-HTP supplements have significant potential to improve many aspects of physical and mental symptoms, especially those related to PMS.
Benefits of 5-HTP for managing PMS symptoms
5-HTP produces two happier brain chemicals - melatonin and serotonin, the first one plays a key role in regulating the body’s internal circadian rhythms and is often considered a “sleep hormone”, and the second one is a neurotransmitter that helps transfer chemical signals between brain nerve cells and controls a range of functions including emotion and mood and is often called “the feel good” neurotransmitter.
This is the reason why taking 5-HTP supplements hugely helps women in managing and preventing many different PMS symptoms, such as:
- It helps treat headaches and migraines
- It helps promote sleep pattern
- It helps alleviate muscle pain and tenderness called fibromyalgia
- It helps reduce anxiety and depression
- It helps keep body weight in check
- It helps reduce the occurrence of hot flashes
Precautions and side effects
Although 5-HTP is usually tolerable in recommended amounts, some people may experience mild side effects including stomach upset, nausea, heartburn, and dizziness. Besides, 5-HTP may potentially interact with certain conventional drugs such as antidepressants and medications that are used to treat pain and migraines. Therefore, consulting with a professional natural medicine doctor is important before starting 5-HTP supplements.
5-HTP supplements are considered safe and effective agents for increasing serotonin and melatonin levels. It’s why taking 5-HTP for managing PMS symptoms has been found highly beneficial to reduce and prevent various issues such as insomnia, hot flashes, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, unwanted weight gain, and more. But consulting with a natural medicine doctor is important before starting 5-HTP supplements.
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