Thank you to my nutrition professor who first taught me about vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) for PMS. It is reliable treatment for premenstrual mood problems including PMDD.
I still remember B6 as the eureka moment in the way I thought about periods. Suddenly, I had much higher expectations of how healthy a period can be. Periods should arrive smoothly and without symptoms.
Our stress response system—the HPA axis—is calibrated for intermittent, severe threats such as lions. Not for the incessant, trivial threats of modern life, such as difficult phone calls. We don’t want our hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis to charge up and release cortisol every time we drive in heavy traffic, but it will do so.
If you’re like me, you’re trying to ease up on the HPA throttle. I practice yoga. I take magnesium. I switch off my computer in the evening like a good naturopath. I sternly instruct my HPA axis to power down, but I must say that it does not always listen. If I could only be more Buddha-like, then I would not need to coax my HPA axis with a herbal medicine like Rhodiola.