Pre-menstrual tension (PMT)
Seeing a regular period is, from an evolutionary point of view, an unusual state of affairs. In primitive society, women would miss a period because:
- They were too young
- They were too old
- They were pregnant
- They were breast feeding
- They were starving
- They were diseased
- There was major social unrest (stress will stop the periods)
World wide, starvation and breast feeding are the commonest forms of contraception. During breast feeding and pregnancy, hormone levels are constant and therefore the women do not suffer from "wobbly hormones".
It is falling levels of progesterone just prior to a period which allows a woman to know that she is pre-menstrual. These symptoms are inevitable but may be very subtle such as sugar or chocolate craving, fluid retention and weight gain, irritability and mood swings, breast tenderness, poor night's sleep etc. Hormone levels should drop in a crisp clear way so these symptoms are short-lived. It is when hormone levels do not drop quickly that symptoms may become severe and drag on.
If hormone levels wobble at other times, then these symptoms will appear at other times to a greater or lesser extent.
Treatment of PMT (in order of importance)
- Identify the cause of wobbly hormones. This is most likely to be poor diet. Remember a regular menstrual cycle is the best indictor of good nutritional status.
- Take nutritional supplements: a multivitamin, mineral, essential fatty acids and vitamin C. Some nutritional supplements work well: high dose vitamin B6 100-200mgs daily (the active form is pyridoxal 5 phosphate 50-100mgs daily).
- Get your thyroid checked.
- Keep the toxic stress down. Everything in moderation especially caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, drugs.
- Exercise more to allow you to eat more!
- Stress management (too much stress or too little can be a problem). Make sure you sleep well and get enough of it
- Don't take the Pill or HRT . This is just covering up the problem, not sorting it out. Furthermore the Pill and HRT bring even more problems.
- Thyroid profile: free T3, free T4 and TSH
- Tests of nutritional status.
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