Alternative Therapies for Premenstrual Syndrome
Curing Premenstrual Tension Naturally
Is Moodiness, Pain and Bloating Paralyzing Your Life In the Days Leading Up to Your Period? Just what is premenstrual tension also known as PMS anyway and why does it cause most women so much misery?
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a group of symptoms that generally appear 4 to 10 days before menstruation and end, often abruptly, as menstruation begins. The most common symptoms are irritability, nervous tension, depression, mood swings, craving for sugary foods, breast tenderness, water retention, and weight gain.1 The symptoms of PMS can be mild or severe about one in five women have severe symptoms that interfere with daily activities. In many women, an imbalance of too much estrogen and too little progesterone triggers the symptoms of PMS.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is characterized by emotional and physical symptoms that can be troubling and cause moderate discomfort for women the week or two before the onset of their menstrual cycle. PMS is estimated to affect up to 40 percent of reproductive-aged women. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of these women experience symptoms so severe that it totally impairs their everyday lifestyle. This severe form of PMS is known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). The precise etiology of PMS is still unknown however, it is increasingly believed that the sensitive equilibrium between female sex steroids (the hormones estrogen and progesterone) and neurotransmitters in the brain is altered in women with PMS. Up to 40 percent of reproductive-aged women experience symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Eating certain foods and drinking plenty of water may help alleviate some of the discomfort of PMS. Photograph by Michael Keller. Corbis. Reproduced by permission. Up to 40 percent...
Example, taking extra vitamin B6 has been suggested to help relieve premenstrual tension. Yet there's limited evidence to support large vitamin B6 doses for relief of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Many women have viewed large vitamin B6 doses as harmless, since they are water-soluble. Instead, they may cause irreversible nerve damage when taken in very large doses above the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) 500 to 5,000 mg vitamin B6 per day.
Do you experience uncomfortable symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) Women describe as many as two hundred symptoms physical, such as acne, backaches, bloating, tender breasts, and headaches food cravings and psychological, such as anxiety, irritability, and insomnia.
Menstrual disorders, gynecological problems such as dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual cramps), disorders of the vegetative (autonomous) nervous system, premenstrual syndrome, depression. Feeling of congestion and swelling in chest, bloating in epigastric region, gas, irritability, depression, frustrations, mood swings with sudden outbursts of feeling, impaired appetite, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), nausea, retching, stomach aches,
Posaci, C., Erten, O., Uren, A. and Acar, B. (1994) Plasma copper, zinc and magnesium levels in patients with premenstrual tension syndrome. Acta Obstet. Gynecol. Scand. 73, 452455. 89. Sherwood, R.A., Rocks, B.F., Stewart, A. and Saxton, R.S. (1986) Magnesium and the premenstrual syndrome. Ann. Clin. Biochem. 23, 667670. 90. Rosenstein, D.L., Elin, R.J., Hosseini, J.M., Grover, G. and Rubinow, D.R. (1994) Magnesium measures across the menstrual cycle in the premenstrual syndrome. Biol. Psychiatry 15, 557561.
Premenstrual syndrome, and its effect on millions of women, received a lot of attention during the 1990s, and many treatment modalities have emerged. The first step is for a woman to identify her symptoms and seek professional help. Through many available treatments, both traditional and alternative, and lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, women no longer have to suffer so severely on a monthly basis. Research in this area is still needed, however, and more treatments need to be explored. see also Cravings Mood-Food Relationships Women's Nutritional Issues. Dell, Diana, and Svec, Carol (2003). The PMDD Phenomenon Breakthrough Treatments for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and Extreme Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). New York McGraw-Hill. Mayo Clinic. Premenstrual Syndrome. Available from National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome. Available from Lichten, Edward M. Medical Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome. Available from
A woman is diagnosed with premenstrual syndrome if she has at least one emotional and one physical symptom during the five days before the onset of her period for three consecutive menstrual cycles. The specific symptom is not as important for diagnosis as is the cyclic fashion in which it appears. Emotional symptoms include minor fatigue, depression, angry outbursts, irritability, anxiety, confusion, social withdrawal, mood swings, and crying spells. Physical symptoms include headaches, bloating, acne, appetite changes and cravings, breast tenderness, and swelling of extremities.
Many women seek medical help for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). While nutrition advice often varies, there is insufficient scientific evidence that any diet modifications will prevent or relieve PMS symptoms. A combination of good nutrition, exercise, and stress management may be the best way to relieve the symptoms of PMS.
PLP participates in amino acid synthesis and the interconversion of some amino acids. It catalyzes a step in the synthesis of hemoglobin, which is needed to transport oxygen in blood. PLP helps maintain blood glucose levels by facilitating the release of glucose from liver and muscle glycogen. It also plays a role in the synthesis of many neurotransmitters important for brain function. This has led some physicians to prescribe megadoses of B6 to patients with psychological problems such as depression and mood swings, and to some women for premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It is unclear, however, whether this therapy is effective. PLP participates in the conversion of the amino acid tryptophan to niacin and helps avoid niacin deficiency. Pyridoxine affects immune function, as it is essential for the formation of a type of white blood cell.
Wurtman and Wurtman (12) developed the hypothesis that carbohydrates can relieve depression, a speculation that depended on three disorders carbohydrate craving obesity, the premenstrual syndrome (PMS, which is discussed below) and seasonal affective disorders. Given the widespread evidence that associates a deficiency in serotonergic functioning with depression, the Wurtmans proposed that an increase in carbohydrate intake reflected an attempt at self-medication, that carbohydrate intake enhanced serotonin synthesis. It was proposed that in
I've become convinced that magnesium deficiency is one of the biggest epidemics that we are experiencing in North America. Magnesium deficiency is widespread in its pattern of symptoms. It affects cardiovascular disease, allergies, tension, panic attacks, premenstrual syndrome, and hyperactivity in children, to name just some of the conditions. The underlying theme behind many of the symptoms is what you might call being uptight.
Not every case is going to be a miracle cure. But some cases of chronic depression, irritability, and premenstrual syndrome are related to adrenal dysfunction, with low levels of the mother hormone of the adrenal gland. This is particularly so in people with low-blood-sugar symptoms.
Vitamin B6 supplementation became popular when it appeared that the vitamin may relieve some of the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition in which a compressed nerve in the wrist causes much pain. No scientific research has shown that vitamin B6 helps either condition.