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23
Premenstrual Syndrome is
a combination of physical and
emotional disturbances that oc-
cur after a woman ovulates and
ends with menstruation.
The hallmark of the diagno-
sis of PMS is the symptom-free
interval after the menstrual flow
and prior to the next ovulation.
If there is no such interval and
symptoms persist throughout
the cycle, then PMS may not be
the proper diagnosis. PMS can
still be present and aggravate
symptoms related to the other
conditions, but it cannot be the
sole cause of constant or non-
cyclic symptoms.
Blood or other tests may be
ordered to help rule out other
potential causes of symptoms.
Another way to help make the
diagnosis of PMS is to prescribe
drugs that stop all ovarian func-
tion. If these medications pro-
duce relief of the troublesome
symptoms, then PMS is most
likely the diagnosis.
About 80% of women exper-
ience some premenstrual symp-
toms. It's been estimated that
clinically-significant PMS (mod-
erate to severe in intensity and
affecting a woman's functioning)
occurs in 20%-30% of women.
About 2%-6% of women are be-
lieved to have the more severe
variant known as PMDD.
Mood changes surrounding
this condition have been de-
scribed as early as the time the
ancient Greeks. However, it was
not until 1931 that this disorder
was officially recognized by the
medical community. The term
"premenstrual syndrome" was
coined in 1953.
PMS remains an enigma be-
cause of wide-ranging symp-
toms and difficulty in making a
firm diagnosis. Several theories
have been advanced to explain
the cause of PMS. None of these
theories have been proven, and
specific treatment for PMS still
largely lacks a solid scientific
basis. Most evidence suggests
that PMS results from
the alterations in or
interactions between
levels of sex hormones
and brain chemicals
known as neurotrans-
mitters.
PMS has been char-
acterized by over 150
symptoms, ranging
from mood swings to
weight gain to acne.
The symptoms vary
from woman to wom-
an and cycle to cycle. For some
women, the symptoms may be
mild or moderate, and for others,
they may be so severe as to be
incapacitating.
Common symptoms include
the following:
mood-related (affective)
symptoms: depression, sadness,
anxiety, anger, irritability, fre-
quent and severe mood swings.
mental process (cognitive)
symptoms: decreased concen-
tration, indecision.
Pain: headache (e.g., men-
strual migraine) breast tender-
ness, joint and muscle pain.
nervous system symptoms:
insomnia (sleeplessness), hy-
persomnia (sleeping for abnor-
mally long periods of time), an-
orexia (loss of appetite), food
cravings, fatigue, lethargy, agi-
tation, and or vertigo,
paresthesia (prickling
or tingling sensation).
Gastrointestinal
symptoms: nausea or
diarrhea.
Fluid and electro-
lyte symptoms: olig-
uria, bloating, weight
gain, Palpitations: (a
rapid fluttering of the
heart) sweating.
s k i n s y m p t o m s :
acne, greasy or dry hair, oily
skin.
There are no medications as
such for PMS. Using drugs for
something that is not even a
disease is a heavy-handed ap-
proach anyway. There are a lot
of natural approaches to reduce
symptoms of PMS. Improve-
ments of your lifestyle, exercise,
healthy diet and positive mental
attitude could also be used.
I am trained in the Australian
and Naturopathic approach to
addressing diseases and believe
it is the best in the world. We
use much higher and more ther-
apeutic doses of nutrients than
is being used in the U.S. Herbs
and other plants have been used
in traditional medicine for 5,000
years and to this day you can't
PMS
By Alex Strande, M.Sc., Ph.D.
beat them with drugs, nutrients
or any other therapies in terms
of speed of results.
PMS causes a lot of friction
in families and sometimes dis-
integrates them. This all can be
prevented with a very simple
administration of a few key
herbs and amino acids at the
right sequence and right con-
centration. A good Naturopath
should be able to mix a liq-
uid extract herbal formula that
should work within 24 hrs.
A variety of herbs can be
used for various symptoms of
PMS and the right combinations
typically work instantly. I use 2
types of the Viburnum and Wild
Yam for pain, Vitex and Burdock
for acne and herpes, Blue co-
hosh for mastalgia, Angelica sin-
ensis for blood stasis and blood
deficiency, Helonias for conges-
tion of pelvic content and my
favorite Avena sativa for anxiety,
depression, and tension.
If you want to feel better in-
stantly or tried everything and
nothing has worked, I look for-
ward to hearing from you.
Alex Strande, M.Sc., Ph.D., is a
naturopath and microbiologist in San-
ta Monica, California. He can be con-
tacted for questions and appointments
at (310) 907-4424. Simply Healing
Clinic. 720 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 205,
Santa Monica, CA 90401. Visit: www.
simplyhealingclinic.com
From the beginning of
time to the end of time,
the force of truth wins
over violence.
-- Mahatma Gandhi