PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS) PMS is a combination of physical and emotional symptoms that many women get after ovulation and before the start of their menstrual period. Researchers think that PMS happens in the days after ovulation because oestrogen and progesterone levels begin falling dramatically, and symptoms appear to ease within a few days of the period starting as the hormone levels begin rising again. Symptoms vary from woman to woman, some only getting very mild and insignificant symptoms while for others the symptoms are severe and can even result in the women needing to be absent from school or work. These more severe symptoms can be a sign of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMS symptoms are different for every woman. You may get physical symptoms, such as bloating or gassiness, emotional symptoms, such as sadness, or both. Your symptoms may also change throughout your life.
Physical symptoms of PMS can include
Emotional or mental symptoms of PMS include
Swollen or tender breasts Irritability or hostile behaviour
Bloating or a gassy feeling
Headache or backache
Lower tolerance for noise or light
Sleep problems (sleeping too much or too little)
Appetite changes or food cravings
Trouble with concentration or memory
Tension or anxiety
Depression, feelings of sadness, or crying spells
Less interest in sex
Hormonal changes in PMS PMS is associated with the latter phase of the menstrual cycle. It occurs after ovulation but before menstruation and is known as the luteal phase. During the luteal phase there is an increase in the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. It is thought that, depending on the speed of change and the woman’s body sensitivity to these changes, is strongly associated with whether or not PMS will be experienced. Diagnosis There is no distinct test for PMS but it is presumed that PMS is a problem for those with symptoms that: · Happen in the five days before your period for at least three menstrual cycles in a row
End within four days after your period starts
Keep you from enjoying or doing some of your normal activities
PMS is also thought to be increased in those with high sodium intake, alcohol intake, and poor/inappropriate diet.
PMS vitamins and minerals that aid in relief
Studies have found benefits for:
Calcium. Studies show that calcium can help reduce some PMS symptoms such as fatigue, cravings and depression. Calcium is found in foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Some foods, such as orange juice, cereal and bread, have calcium added (fortified).
Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 may help with PMS symptoms including moodiness, irritability, forgetfulness, bloating and anxiety. Vitamin B6 can be found in foods such as fish, poultry, potatoes, fruit (except for citrus fruits), and fortified cereals. You can also take it as a dietary supplement.
Magnesium. Magnesium may help relieve some PMS symptoms, including migraines. If you get menstrual migraines. Magnesium is found in green, leafy vegetables such as spinach as well as in nuts, whole grains and fortified cereals. You can also take a supplement.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6). Studies show that taking a supplement with 1 to 2 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids may help reduce cramps and other PMS symptoms. Good sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids include flaxseed, nuts, fish and green leafy vegetables.
Herbs that can help with PMS
There are several herbs which also aid in easing the symptoms of PMS. It is important to get the right balance of herbs, as there is very good evidence that some herbs promote their effect by stimulating removal of excess hormones from the body by activating the liver, while others can work on the glands and tissues that stimulate the production of hormones. Herbalists have the skill to prescribe herbs effectively and safely to promote positive effects. When the woman is taking the birth control pill or has a contraceptive implant it is even more important to engage the services of a herbalist to ensure that herbs are used appropriately to avoid unwanted changes in hormones that may result in pregnancy.
Black cohosh. The underground stems and root of black cohosh are used fresh or dried to maKe tea, capsules, pills or liquid extracts. Black cohosh is most often used to help treat menopausal symptoms and some women use it to help relieve PMS symptoms.
Chasteberry . Dried ripe chasteberry is used to prepare liquid extracts or pills that some women take to relieve PMS symptoms. Women taking hormonal birth control or hormone therapy for menopause symptoms should NOT take chasteberry.
Evening primrose oil. The oil is taken from the plant’s seeds and put into capsules. Some women report that the pill helps relieve PMS symptoms, but the research results are mixed.
details: for more information and advice
Catherine Wasik BSc Hons Ost; BSc Hons MNIMH
Registered Osteopath and Medical Herbalist
With acupuncture training and rehabilitation pilates instructor training
At George Morris Physiotherapy Clinics in Hindley, Ashton and Leigh Direct line: 07828261152 email: email@example.com
Herbal Osteopathic Life