Are you 'sick' of premenstrual nausea?

Is premenstrual nausea ruining your appetite?

Qualified Nutritionist (BSc, MSc, RNutr)
Ask Emma

02 October 2016

Vicious cycle of nausea

Nausea isn’t one of the most common symptoms of PMS, but it’s nevertheless an unpleasant one; and one which can, unfortunately, lead on to other side effects from its mere existence!

The vicious circle of nausea usually consists of:

Lack of appetite – with this symptom your body is starved of the valuable nutrients it needs (more so, at this stage of your cycle)

Lack of energy and lack of concentration are both symptoms of low nutrient levels.

This can easily become a vicious cycle, but one simple trace element may be all you need to help here and that is zinc.

Zinc is very important in the digestion process, as it is necessary for the production of gastrin (the hormone that triggers a balanced production of digestive enzymes). Smell and taste both depend on zinc – did you know that 90% of taste comes from smell? (Think back to the last time you had a blocked nose – what did your food actually taste of?) In the week leading up to your bleed, you zinc levels drop. If you are already deficient, low or borderline, your digestion will most likely suffer and into the ‘circle’ you will head!

You can increase your zinc intake through supplements, or foods such as oysters, beef, spinach, pumpkin seeds and the best one…dark chocolate.

So, what can cause PMS nausea?


  • Period pain and PMS headaches, – both of these pains can be so severe that they actually bring about nausea. Nausea and sickness are the main symptoms experienced by migraine sufferers.
  • Sudden, heavy blood loss: The onset of your period can result in nausea if it’s sudden and low blood sugar levels. and low blood sugar levels can cause your period to be severe. Remember to take a natural iron tonic if your periods are heavy, or if you are borderline anaemic!

What else can you take to stop nausea?

There are numerous remedies available for the prevention and relief of nausea, especially if you suspect hormones are to blame. Some of the better known ‘helpers’ include:

  • Ginger – one of the best known and researched remedies for nausea. It comes in many forms, from teas to crystals to ground powders, so there’s always an option for this wondrous spice.
  • Cayenne Pepper – when taken in moderation, this spice may help to relieve nausea and vomiting, as it can help to gently stimulate the digestive tract back into it's natural rhythm.
  • Silicol Gel® – Silicol Gel is rich in silicic acid which can help to soothe the stomach lining, thus helping with feelings of nausea.
  • Vitamin B complex - the B vitamins, in particular Vitamin B6 is is often recommended for nausea, both nausea associated with PMS or with pregnancy. Take a B complex to help keep all of your B vitamins in balance. 
  • Magnesium  – magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in the body; in the run up to, and during your period, your levels are lower (due to bodily demands) and therefore, cramps, pain and nausea can peak. Magnesium can be obtained from supplements or foods: such as spinach, pumpkin seeds, mackerel, bananas and (once again) dark chocolate.

Then of course it's important to consider your diet too, avoid fatty, greasy foods which are more likely to burden your digestive system. If home and herbal remedies don't seem to be doing the trick, it might be time to go to your doctor who can prescribe anti-sickness medication if need be.

What if pain is the cause of nausea?


  • Magnesium – once again this mineral steps up. Magnesium lowers pain perception/raises pain threshold.
  • Atrogel – applying the gel directly on to the stomach – as soon as pain starts -can help alleviate symptoms.
  • Natural anti-inflammatories - Avoid pro-inflammatory foods such as refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine and processed meats. Why not try and get sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 instead - research has suggested it may help with period pain!
  • NSAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) – These should be seen as a last resort and shouldn't be  taken longer-term, however, we know that in some cases tackling the pain of your monthly cycle may help prevent that nauseous feeling.

Once again, ladies, there is no need to put up with another dreaded PMS symptom without trying one of the many options available to deal with it. Lifestyle changes really can make a difference! 

Please do share if you have found, or know of any other remedies that have helped you to have a nausea free period in the comments below!

Agnus castus


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A traditional herbal remedy used to relieve the symptoms of PMS
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Here's what I recommend

As the A.Vogel Women's Health advisor, I recommend Agnus castus to help relieve symptoms such as menstrual cramps, breast tenderness and irritability.

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