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Premenstrual Syndrome

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Saturday, January 16, 2016 | 0 comments

Image: Concern, by mgaffney / Michael Gaffney
Photo Credit: Concern, by mgaffney / Michael Gaffney
Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) is a condition affecting, to some degree at least, up to 75% of all women at some time in their menstruating years.

It usually occurs from 2 - 14 days prior to menstruation, and is thought to be primarily a problem of inappropriate hormone secretion or inappropriate bodily response to hormones (receptor site defects or enzyme defects at cell surfaces).

Symptoms are many and varied, often inconsistent from month to month and affected by many different factors.

They include tension and irritability, headaches, decreased or increased energy, insomnia, fatigue, breast swelling and pain, bloating, bowel disturbance, acne, sweet or salt cravings and depression. There is a wide spectrum of symptoms in PMS but some common underlying hormonal states include:

Unusually high estrogen and low progesterone levels 5-10 days before menses (common)
Low estrogen and high progesterone levels 5 - 10 days before menses (less common)

• Elevated Prolactin levels.

• Elevated FSH levels 6 - 9 days before the period.

• Elevated Aldosterone levels 2 - 8 days before the period.

• Hypothyroidism

• Hormone Imbalances

The imbalance of estrogen and progesterone may be due to a disruption of the normal feedback systems that control the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovary axis or to a dysfunction of any one of these glands (most commonly the ovaries).

This is commonly considered to indicate a deficiency or failure of the corpus luteum and points to the use of ovarian tonic herbs (Anemone pulsatilla, Chamaelirium luteum) for treatment.

It may also be that the ovaries are functioning fine, but hepatic metabolism and excretion of estrogens is impaired.

Dr Morton Biskind in the 1940s showed that B vitamin deficiencies caused liver impairment and accumulation of estrogens that contribute to PMS, fibro-cystic breast disease and menorrhagia.

B vitamins, in particular B6, are required for the hepatic metabolism of estrogens prior to excretion and it is reasonable to extrapolate that B vitamin deficiency contributes to estrogen loading and PMS in a significant way. Estrogen therapy and the birth control pill are known to contribute to cholestasis (the so-called sluggish liver) and so there may be a vicious cycle where B vitamin deficiency causes diminished estrogen clearance and elevated estrogen impairs liver function.

Bitter hepatic stimulants and cholagogues are called for here (Taraxacum off., Berberis vulgaris, Fumaria off., Arctium lappa, Curcuma longa), along with nutritional co-factors such as B vitamins, methionine, phosphatidyl choline, inositol, N-acetyl-cysteine and glutathione.


Image: The Fertility Diet: Groundbreaking Research Reveals Natural Ways to Boost Ovulation and Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant, by Jorge Chavarro, Walter Willett, Patrick Skerrett. Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (April 6, 2009)The Fertility Diet: Groundbreaking Research Reveals Natural Ways to Boost Ovulation and Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant
by Jorge Chavarro, Walter Willett, Patrick Skerrett

-- Reveals startling new research from the landmark Nurses' Health Study, which shows that the food you eat can boost your fertility.

The book prescribes ten simple changes in diet and activity that can increase your chances of getting pregnant.

Groundbreaking findings into changes you can put into practice today, setting the stage for a healthy pregnancy and forming the foundation for an eating strategy that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

The Fertility Diet also offers a week's worth of meal plans and delicious recipes that will make following the guidelines easy and tasty.

Image: Buy Now on Amazon.comPaperback: 288 pages
Click to order/for more info: The Fertility Diet

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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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