a - b
-c - d
- e -f
- g - h
- i - j
- k - l
- m - n
o - p
- q - r
- s - t
- u - v
- w - x
- y - z
This is a collective term for a variety
of symptoms that occur each month before the start of a period.
These can include tension, irritability, mood swings, depression,
aggression, clumsiness, anxiety, crying spells, fatigue, sleeping
difficulties, headaches, vertigo, faintness, abdominal bloating,
sore breasts, acne, or craving for sweets.
These symptoms are related to four different
types of PMS - identified by Maryon Stewart of the Women's
Nutritional Advisory Service - A,B,C,D - and are primarily
caused by imbalances in the female hormones. It has been found that
women who suffer from PMT tend to have low levels of blood
Magnesium and Vitamin B6.
Type A - Anxiety: This is thought
to be due to rising oestrogen levels prior to a period giving rise
to anxiety, irritability, nervous tension and mood swings. A deficiency
of B Vitamins and a high fat diet are thought to be implicated in
Type B - Bloating: Symptoms are:
water retention all over the body but especially the breasts, ankles,
abdomen and waist. Again rising oestrogen levels are thought to
be the culprit. In this case, again, lack of B Vitamins exacerbates
the problem and too much salt in the diet.
Type C - Cravings: especially
for sweet and starchy foods, and caffeine. This is a result of Interaction
between the female hormones, blood sugar and adrenaline. Treatment
involves balancing blood sugar levels so that hormonal balance can
Type D - Depression: Oestrogen
levels affect the status of the brain chemical Serotonin which is
involved in balancing mood and good sleep. Treatment involves balancing
Serotonin levels; which is why the anti-depressant Prozac is being
prescribed for this type of PMT (because it raises brain
levels of Serotonin). There are, however, more natural ways of raising
serotonin levels effectively (see below).
Diet and Nutrition
General: a whole-food diet, plenty of
fresh fruits and vegetables and good quality lean proteins.
Type A - increase your intake
of foods containing B vitamins, and institute a high fibre, low-fat
diet. Take a daily supplement of B Vitamins, a good daily multi-vitamin
and mineral supplement, and Calcium and Magnesium in a ratio of
Type B - Again increase B Vitamins,
Calcium and Magnesium and reduce salt in your diet. Evening Primrose
Oil has been shown to help with breast tenderness and water retention.
Take 6-8 500mg capsules a day for at least four months.
Type C - Increase B Vitamins,
Calcium and Magnesium, Zinc and Chromium which balances blood sugar
levels by influencing the production of insulin. Take 200mcg daily
Type D - Increase B Vitamin intake.
Increasing levels of Magnesium has been shown to help with insomnia,
anxiety and period pains (take 250mg twice a day) Serotone (5HTP)
is a natural supplement which raises Serotonin levels. Alternatively,
you can increase your intake of Tryptophan (an amino acid which
Is a precursor of Serotonin) rich foods - turkey, chicken, eggs,
cottage cheese and avocados are rich sources.
Agnus Castus and St John's Wort (Western
Herbalism), and Don Quai (Chinese Herbal Medicine).
Agnus Castus - is a hormone
regulator and tonic for the nervous system. It is used for PMS:
mood swings, depression, water retention and breast pain. Avoid
if taking progesterone or other hormone treatments. You are advised
to consult a qualified herbal practitioner.
St John's Wort - raises serotonin
levels which helps to alleviate the mild to moderate depression
associated with Type D PMS. Consult a qualified herbal practitioner
and do not take if you are taking prescription anti-depressants,
progesterone or other hormone treatments.
Dong Quai - (Angelica sinensis)
or Chinese Angelica is known as the "women's ginseng". Used for:
painful periods, low blood pressure and anaemia. Consult a qualified
chinese herbal physician.
- Camomile, linden flower or skullcap for nervousness
- Sage, fennel or marshmallow for breast pain
- Parsley or dandelion for water retention.
- Take the above as herbal teas
- Natural Progesterone is sometimes prescribed where low progesterone
levels are indicated. Consult a qualified medical practitioner
who specialises in complementary medicine.
- See the Doctor
- Regular aerobic exercise, relaxation
and yoga have all
been shown to help in regulating PMS
In summary the following complementary
therapies are used in the treatment of PMS:
Herbal Medicine, Herbal
are recommended to seek advice of a qualified health practitioner. To find a qualified
practitioner in your area look in the Practitioner
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