August 2014

Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

 

What is Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)?

PMS is a complex of symptoms that occur in some women one-to-two weeks prior to the onset of menstruation and disappears shortly after the onset of menstrual bleeding.

PMS occurs in 30% to 40% of all women 19 to 45 years of age. The highest risk group is women who are between the ages of 25 and 35. Some 50 million women suffer from PMS in the United States.


What are the Symptoms of PMS?

PMS is recognized by its characteristic appearance within the week to two weeks prior to the onset of menstruation. Symptoms may start early in the teenage years or later in the twenties. In the early stages, symptoms can be minimal and hardly noticeable. Once full-blown, the symptoms may be devastating, destructive and even life threatening.

Many women have symptoms of PMS, but do not recognize where they come from. Some women believe that it is normal to have these symptoms and that all women experience them. The symptoms may increase gradually over a period of years or have a sudden onset with a rapid increase in intensity.

A common sign of PMS is the Ms. Jekyll to Ms. Hyde personality change. Another is the intense craving for chocolate in the week to two weeks prior to menstruation. There are four groups of symptoms. All together there are more than 200 symptoms which have been attributed to PMS.

 

Most Common PMS Symptoms

Anxiety Group

Craving Group

Edema Group

Depression Group

Anxiety

Headache

Weight Gain

Depression

Mood Swings

Craving Sweets

Swelling of Extremities

Forgetfulness

Irritability

Increased Appetite

Breast Swelling/Tenderness

Crying

Nervous Tension

Fatigue

Abdominal Bloating

Confusion

 

Dizziness or Fainting

 

Insomnia

 

Heart Pounding

 

 

 

To Learn More About the Symptoms of PMS, click here. 


What Causes PMS?

The cause of PMS is still not clearly understood, but it appears to be due to an imbalance of the two female hormones estrogen and progesterone. While Katrina Dalton, M.D., in England, believes that PMS is due to deficiency of Progesterone, Dr. Guy Abraham of University of California, Los Angeles, CA believes that it is due to an excess of Estrogen. We, Allen Lawrence, M.D., Ph.D. and Lisa Lawrence, M.S., Ph.D., believe that PMS is an imbalance of the ratio between these two female hormones. This model fits both Dr. Abraham's and Dr. Dalton's view and answers many questions left unanswered. Drs. Abraham, Lawrence and Lawrence believe that the real problem is a nutritional deficiency--a deficiency of the mineral magnesium and vitamin B6.


How is PMS Treated?

Dr. Dalton believes that women with PMS must be treated with natural progesterone and eating small, frequent meals. Drs. Abraham and the Lawrences believe that the best treatment is correcting the magnesium and B6 deficit and eliminating the so-called "Offender Foods"-- foods high in calcium, refined sugars and caffeine. In addition the use of vitamin-mineral supplements containing magnesium and B6, along with other essential nutrients is also extremely helpful. While progesterone reduces the symptoms of PMS, it does not correct the underlying problem, and in many cases, higher and higher doses are required. The PMS elimination diet and vitamin-mineral supplements correct the deficiency, and usually within a short period of time, the symptoms just go away.


Can PMS be Cured?

PMS is not a disease. It is a nutritional deficiency syndrome. If the deficiency is corrected, it goes away. If the individual allows the deficiency to recur, it will come back. As long as women manufacture or take prescriptions of estrogen and progesterone, there is always a possibility of recurrence of PMS symptoms, should they go off the dietary corrections. We like to tell our patients, "What you used to eat caused your PMS symptoms, what you choose to eat now can eliminate them."


What Do We Do for Women With PMS?

The first and most important step is education. This is essential. Each woman must know what causes PMS and how to eliminate her symptoms. A complete medical history, examination and diagnostic testing is necessary to insure that there are no other problems such as thyroid disease, diabetes, or any other condition which may imitate PMS. Next we evaluate the diet to determine if PMS is caused by a deficiency of essential nutrients in the diet or an excess of offender foods. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, we teach you what you need to do to eliminate your PMS.


"Can I Just Eat Better-- Won't that Solve My Problem?"

In our experience over the last sixteen years, we have found that just eating better does not eliminate PMS and in some cases, it can actually make it worse. The concept of "eating better" does not necessarily mean that you know the right foods, foods high in magnesium and vitamin B6 and low in the offender substances. With a little education, your healthy diet can be transformed into an Anti-PMS Healthy Diet.


Weight Gain and PMS

While not all women who have PMS are overweight, PMS does occur more commonly in women who are overweight. Women who have PMS often eat foods that increase the chance of PMS. These foods are also generally full of refined sugars, starches and foods which contain empty calories. Women who gain more than twenty pounds have an increased risk of PMS. Women who lose twenty pounds or more also have an increased frequency of PMS. Most women diet frequently or constantly and therefore increase their risk of developing PMS symptoms. With the right diet and the right supplements, women can lose weight, eliminate PMS and keep their weight off for the rest of their life.


What Do I Have to Do to Begin?

If you think that you have PMS, the first step is to fill out a PEQ (PMS Evaluation Questionnaire). If it is positive for PMS, the next step is to seek professional help from a specialist in PMS, preferably one who treats PMS as a nutritional problem.

If you think you have PMS, you can call upon us we are experts in the evaluation and treatment of PMS. We can help you and counsel right on the Internet in the privacy of your own home. If you are interested then contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will get you started immediately.