Premenstrual Syndrome PMS

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PMS is characterized by symptoms including mood swings, irritability, insomnia, joint pain, tender breasts, headache, and bloating and starts approximately 2 weeks before menstruation begins. The cause is likely a hormonal imbalance, too much estrogen being produced by the body as opposed to the amount of progesterone. In studies, eating complex carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes, pasta, rice and oats throughout the day has relieved symptoms due either to the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that elevates mood, or to the stabilization of blood sugar levels. Caffeine-sensitive individuals have experienced relief when the beverage has been eliminated from the diet. Estrogenic foods such as soy and other legumes stabilize hormone levels by interfering with and limiting the uptake of estrogen that the body produces. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms of PMS.

Nutrients

Vitamin B6—50 to 200 mg, relieves symptoms. Vitamin B complex

Evening primrose oil or black currant oil—500 mg twice daily throughout the month increasing during symptoms if necessary. Magnesium—200 to 400 mg, may help reduce symptoms.

Calcium—1000 to 1300 mg, prevents mood swings and other symptoms. Vitamin A—10,000 to 25,000 IU Vitamin E—200 to 300 IU with mixed tocoph-erols, may reduce symptoms.

Foods

Fresh fruits Fresh vegetables Carrots

Dandelion greens Whole grains Legumes

Soybeans

Lima beans

Black beans

Peanuts

Nuts

Seeds

Fatty fish

Salmon

Sardines

Mackerel

Albacore tuna

Extra virgin olive oil

Cold pressed organic canola oil

Herbal therapy

Vitex aka chasteberry—2 ml extract or 175 to 225 mg, decreases estrogen to balance progesterone; in a study was as effective as vitamin B6.62

Dong quai—1 to 2 g powdered root, 4 ml tincture, or 1 ml extract three times daily, relieves PMS symptoms, normalizes hormone balance; known as the "female ginseng."

Scullcap, valerian—sedative and tranquilizing effect, relieve tension and irritability.

Dandelion—a diuretic, for water retention.

Crampbark, raspberry—for cramps.

Homeopathy

Take remedy according to symptoms: Bovista

Calcarea carbonica

Caulophyllum thalictroides

Chamomilla

Cimicifuga

Kreosotum

Lachesis

Lilium tigrinum

Lycopodium

Natrum muriaticum

Nux vomica

Pulsatilla

Sepia

Veratrum album

Aromatherapy

Geranium—apply topically to relieve pain in breasts.

Clary sage—has estrogenlike properties, eases

PMS symptoms. Neroli, jasmine, ylang ylang—use as full body massage, beginning several days before symptoms begin. Juniper—for water retention.

Auyurvedic medicine

Treatments are prescribed according to metabolic type and to balance the doshas.

Angelica

Chinese medicine

Herbal preparations are prescribed.

Angelica

Peony

Hoelen

Skullcap

Acupuncture

Chiropractic

Consult a qualified practitioner.

Bodywork

Massage

Deep tissue manipulation

Movement therapies

Acupressure

Shiatsu

Reflexology

Mindbody therapy

Meditation—relaxing and reduces tension. Yoga

Biofeedback

Imagery

Hypnotherapy

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