Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is real and a lot of women are looking for ways to relieve the symptoms. It is a physical and emotional disturbance that causes pain, mood swings, and irritability, even depression in women after they ovulate each month. They endure the suffering each and every month, year after year for as long as they are in their reproductive years (usually ages 12 – 50). That is a lot of suffering!
Different women can experience a variety of symptoms and can even experience different symptoms one month to another. The usual range of symptoms are: acne, anger alternating with sadness, appetite changes, bloating, breast tenderness, crying, depression, fatigue, food cravings, irritability, mood swings and being emotionally overly sensitive. The symptoms are a combination of emotional ones and physical ones. They all feel like they are out of control “things” that are happening.
These symptoms can have an impact on your ability to function if they are at an extreme level. The physical symptoms especially (acne, bloating, breast tenderness and fatigue can make you feel physically ill to the point of not being able to function at work or at home. If these symptoms are to the extreme where you are unable to function you may be suffering from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). This disorder is also called late luteal phase dysphoric disorder.
Approximately 80% of menstruating women have premenstrual symptoms. Experiencing physical or emotional symptoms does not automatically mean that you are suffering from PMS. A doctor diagnoses PMS based on the severity of the symptoms and the inability of the woman to function normally because of them. Approximately 20% to 30% of the 80% of women who have PMS symptoms have moderate to severe intensity of symptoms and 2% to 6% of those women are believed to have the severe variant of PMS known as PMDD.
The disorder was officially recognized by the medical community in 1931 and the term “premenstrual syndrome” was coined in 1953.
It is important for women diagnosed with PMS to keep a PMS diary of symptoms they experience each month and the activities they do to help relieve them. It is just as important to document the results of the treatment as it is to document the PMS symptoms.
Treatments that women may be asked to try by the medical personnel treating them may include:
* Quitting smoking
* Quitting or reducing intake of alcohol
* Avoiding salt intake prior to the menstrual time
* Reduce caffeine intake
* Reduce the intake of sugar especially refined sugar.
* Take supplements that include vitamins B6, E, calcium and magnesium.
A doctor may also prescribe medications to help bring relief to a woman suffering from PMS. These medications may include:
Analgesics (pain relievers) – to bring relief from headaches, menstrual cramps, and also pelvic discomfort. Analgesics prescribed may be nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen or mefenamic acid
Antidepressants – for mood disturbances including periods of extreme saddness. Because antidepressants work on increasing brain chemicals (serotonin) levels that can be affected by the shift in ovarian hormonal levels. Antidepressants that may be prescribed are fluoxetine (Prozac) and paroxetine (Paxil).
Oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) may be prescribed to even out the ovarian hormones as especially the newer birth control pills have shown to improve hormonal fluctuations.
Ovarian suppressors – these medications such as danazol are used to suppress ovarian hormone production. They cannot be used for long periods of time though due to side effects. A group of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormone have been used to bring relief to some women with PMS. These also cannot be given long-term because they can have an adverse effect on bone density and also an increased risk for bone thinning (osteoporosis). The GnRH drugs may be prescribed along with other hormone supplements.
It has been shown that reducing the amount of stress can have a beneficial result on the symptoms of PMS. Exercise has been found to reduce stress and also to reduce anger and depression. Exercise may also have a positive effect on hormones
There have been some studies that show that drinking tea and increasing dietary carbohydrates during the weeks before the menstrual period can reduce PMS symptoms. Carbohydrates are known to increase the level of neurotransmitter serotonin. Nutritionists recommend using vitamin B6, reducing alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, salt, dairy products and also the amount of animal fats consumed in the weeks prior to menstrual flow.
The characteristics normally reported are related to the normal levels of oestrogen in the presence of low progesterone, or elevated oestrogen and the condition of oestrogen dominance. When balance exists between oestrogen and progesterone, the symptoms are lessened, giving a woman suffering those symptoms much desired relief. Begin balancing oestrogen and progesterone and your monthly symptoms will begin to disappear very quickly leading to a healthier, more enjoyable life.
Balancing oestrogen and progesterone helps to restore the body’s natural hormonal state.
Natural progesterone is a reliable treatment for PMS because it has been shown to get rid of the oestrogen dominance that may be the cause of PMS. Natural progesterone cream is not messy or drippy and the body can absorb it within minutes of application. Natural progesterone can relive PMS symptoms such as: bloating, cramping, depression, fatigue, headaches, irritability, and also weight gain.
A woman suffering from PMS has many treatment alternatives and many combinations to explore so that she can find the right one for her PMS symptom relief.