Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

 Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

PMS is described as a group of symptoms that include abdominal bloating, headaches, mood swings, irritability, poor sleep patterns, and other complaints occurring during the mid-phase of the menstrual cycle. With the onset of menses, the symptoms usually disappear. Progesterone deficiency, increased estrogen, or estrogen/progesterone imbalance can all trigger PMS. You will be happy to learn that alternative medicine offers a number of nutritional and lifestyle protocols which can benefit you in dealing with PMS. A number of the dietary weight loss books have some information beneficial for the PMS patient. These include the Dr. Phil's Diet, the Southbeach Diet and the Mediterranean Diet. We like the South Beach and Mediterranean approach but we do not recommend the Atkins Diet for PMS patients. More information on these diets is found in the Obesity pages of this web site. The candida diet or yeast diet is frequently beneficial for PMS patients. Please visit the yeast pages of this web site. You will find the links at the end of this discussion.

There is a strong movement toward more natural, non-drug forms of hormone replacement therapy. With this trend well underway, it is imperative that a woman have an understanding of clinically relevant assessments of hormone function. Any person who suffers with PMS can have her health care professional consider performing the Female Hormone Profile from Great Smokies Lab. It is an excellent method of assessment of the female cycle for a 30 day period of time. It is done on saliva samples which greatly simplifies the specimen collection process. The results of the test will guide your physician in the proper hormonal therapies for you.

One problem that is often overlooked in hormonal related difficulties is that of liver and adrenal function and more specifically, abnormally LOW cholesterol. Estrogen and progesterone are synthesized from cholesterol by the ovaries and adrenal glands. (Notice the same root word “ester” in cholesterol, estrogen and progesterone). It is not uncommon for women with serious hormonal imbalances including PMS to experience dramatic relief with simple nutritional supplementation support for the liver and adrenals. Cholesterol and other blood fats should be assessed by your physician with this thought in mind. Even though it may be considered within the “normal” range, any cholesterol reading below 140 should be considered as suspect and cholesterol readings below 100 should be seriously evaluated. Your body needs that cholesterol, it's not all bad. Supplements which are beneficial for liver support are taurine, choline, vitamin B6, B complex and magnesium. The adrenals are usually supported by pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and glycyrrhinized licorice.

Premenstrual Syndrome can be divided into four subgroups referred to as PMT-A (“Anxiety”), PMT-D (“Depression”), PMT-C (“Craving”), and PMT-H (“Hyperhydration”).

PMT-A is typically characterized by nervous tension, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and insomnia. It is accompanied by elevated estrogen and low progesterone. Vitamin B6 has been shown to be helpful in restoring hormonal balances. Commonly, the patients are consuming excessive dairy products and refined sugar.

PMT-D is typically characterized by depression, forgetfulness, crying and confusion. Interestingly, some patients with this problem exhibit high levels of lead in the hair. Hormonal levels should be assessed.

PMT-C is characterized by craving for sweets, headache, increased appetite, heart pounding, dizziness or fainting and fatigue. It is associated with intolerance for sugar and magnesium deficiency.

PMT-H is associated with water retention and weight gain, swelling of the extremities, breast tenderness, and abdominal bloating. Vitamin B6 and vitamin E help with the symptoms. Nicotine should be avoided.

Nutritionally, in all types of PMS one should avoid caffeine, dairy foods, high fat and restrict the use of salt. Epidemiological studies have shown that cultures which consume high fruit and vegetable diets and especially foods rich in soy have a significantly lower incidence of hormonally related problems including menstrual and menopausal irregularities, breast, prostate and colon cancer, and osteoporosis. The foods highest in soy, in descending order of content are tofu, soybeans, tempeh, miso and soy milk. Some soy protein products on the market have little or no isoflavone (the active ingredient) in them because of the extraction process used in manufacture of the product.

Supplements which have been shown to be helpful include vitamin B5, B6, Magnesium, vitamin A (in large doses under medical supervision only), vitamin E and Omega 6 fatty acids, particularly Evening Primrose Oil. The most commonly used herbal supplement is Chasteberry (vitex). Other herbs commonly used in hormonal problems include cramp bark, salvia root, ginger root and licorice root. Consult with your alternative medicine practitioner for guidance in taking herbs.

The Metagenics company has an excellent line of woman's health products specifically formulated for problems such as PMS. Ask your health practitioner to show you their product “Fem Premenstrual”.


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