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Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome is a disorder that affects 80% of women during the two weeks before menstrual cycle begins. The symptoms can range from acne, anxiety, backache, abdominal bloating, depression, breast tenderness, insomnia, outburst of anger, violence, food craving etc.… Up to 40% of women report that their symptoms are so severe it impacts their day to-day lives.
The causes of PMS are varied, but it is usually due to a hormonal imbalance. At GIM we used 24-hour urine hormonal panel to access the patient hormonal levels. This test is the gold standard of hormonal testing, because hormones tend to fluctuate throughout the day. From time to time we do salivary or blood level hormonal checks to recheck the patient to ensure our treatment is working properly. Usually the hormonal imbalance is excessive levels of estrogen and inadequate levels of progesterone. An individual’s diet may also impact hormonal levels for a variety of scientific reasons. Therefore having a proper amount of essential fatty acids in the diet also impact hormone levels, because they become incorporated into individual cell membranes. If a patient has a healthy cell membrane hormones can freely move into the cell thereby improving hormonal functions. Proper mineral intake can also impact PMS symptoms. Minerals like calcium and magnesium may impact muscular function and the contractility of the uterus, which attributes to menstrual cramps.
Unstable blood sugar, hypoglycemia and mal-absorption issues from the gastrointestinal tract can also impact hormonal regulation. If a person has gastrointestinal issues and can’t properly eliminate toxins from the body the hormones can be recycled in the body and cause PMS symptoms. Another potential cause of PMS are food allergies that trigger inflammation in the body and promote the formation of menstrual cramps.
Traditional medicine tends to prescribe birth control pills to treat the symptoms of PMS however that treatment may serve to only increase estrogen levels in the body unless the prescriber gives only progesterone based birth control. Many wonderful alternative medical treatments exist for PMS ranging from nutritional therapies, botanical medicine (herbs), acupuncture and so much more. At GIM, we save hormonal therapies (including bio-identical hormones) as a very last resort for treatment, because in medical literature hormonal therapies are highly debated due to potential cancer risk attached to the replacement of hormones. With the proper knowledge PMS can generally be treated with simple lifestyle modifications and herbs for a short period of time.
Wishing you lots of health and happiness.
Dr. Matesa Pringle is a naturopathic physician who practices in Mesa, Arizona. She practices alternative medicine as well as traditional medicine and serves the East Valley cities of Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, Tempe, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, Phoenix, and even has some patients who travel from West Valley!
Disclaimer: The information on this site regarding medical conditions is presented for general informational purposes only. It should not be considered exhaustive and doesn’t contain all available treatments. The information here should not be used as a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician. Global Integrative Medicine, PLLC or Dr. M. Pringle assumes no liability for anyone using information on this site but is not under the care of a medical professional. By using this site you agree not to rely solely on any of the information contained herein for medical treatment. It is strongly encouraged you see a licensed physician, like Dr. M. Pringle or a physician of your choosing and adhere to that protocol first and foremost.