A Look at Premenstrual Syndrome

A Look at Premenstrual Syndrome

My impression is that premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is worse in modern times than in the past. For one thing, women have had to deal with a lot more periods in their lifetimes than in the past, since they spend less time being pregnant. In recent years, women have also experienced radical changes in their diet, environment, stress levels, career and family expectations.

Today's women are also exposed to a sea of pollutants with estrogen-like effects. In women, this may create a relative progesterone deficiency, that likely contributes to increased frequency of premenstrual difficulties.

Premenstrual syndrome consists of physical and emotional symptoms occurring one to 14 days before the period, and can extend into the first four or five days of the period.

Positive PMS

There is another side to premenstrual symptoms. Some women report increased energy levels, increased sexual drive, and bursts of creativity during this time. Even increased levels of anger and aggression can be viewed as constructive events in a woman's life, empowering her to change untenable situations. Once a woman has brought troublesome symptoms of PMS under control, she is free to realize the positive aspects of this period.

Nutrition and Vitamins

Sugar, salt, caffeine and alcohol should be reduced or cut out in the two weeks before menstruation. In general, changing slowly to a healthier, high fibre, low animal fat diet emphasizing grams and beans, fish and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables should be the overall goal. Regular exercise three to five times a week increases endorphins in the brain, which in turn has a calming effect.

Vitamin B(6) improves the overall mood of women with PMS and can be taken in closes of between, 50 to 200 mg with meals, either daily or only for the last two weeks of the cycle.

Evening primrose od helps symptoms like breast tenderness, depression, irritability and bloating. The dosage is increased gradually from one or two capsules twice a day during the first two weeks of the cycle to up to six capsules a day in the last two weeks of the cycle. Alternatively, take two tablespoons of flax seed off in salads or on cold dishes.

Vitamin E in doses of 200-800 IU daily with meals has been shown to reduce PMS symptoms.

Magnesium citrate, 200-600 mg taken at bedtime, because Food contains much less magnesium than it did a century ago. As well, food processing destroys magnesium, resulting in widespread deficiency. Magnesium should be combined with 500-1,000 mg of calcium.

A liquid iron supplement may be recommended, especially for women with heavy or prolonged periods.

Natural progesterone skin cream or pulls me available with a prescription. The cream is applied to the skin of the face, neck, back of the wrists, hands, chest or abdomen. The site where it is applied should be rotated daily. For PMS, begin with one quarter to one half teaspoons of the cream applied to the skin twice daily, for the last two weeks of the cycle.

Taking herbal combinations which support and tone the liver are very helpful for PMS. These include such herbs as dandelion, milk thistle and celandine.

Chasteberry herb (vitex agnus castus) has been used for women's problems for hundreds of years. It can be a great help, used as a tincture 20 drops once or twice a day. This herb is slow-acting and gentle. It is best to use it for three to six months at a time.

Canadian Health Reform Products Ltd.

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By Carolyn DeMarco

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