Help and Support for Premenstrual Syndrome
guide to alternative treatments for PMS and PMDD and links to latest
than 70% of women suffer from premenstrual syndrome and most assume
that they should just put up with it. I'm tired of being told that I
should suffer though and as a result have become a bit obsessive in my
search for a cure!!! I suffer
mainly from mood-related PMS symptoms (mood swings, fatigue,
headaches, low self esteem, social withdrawal, sensitivity etc….) and
cramps during period. These symptoms have lasted for up to 2 and
half weeks on a bad month. I tried
many alternative treatments which didn't seem to help before seeing my
GP about my PMS. This site is really just a way for me to collate all
information I've found but i hope it will be useful to other
warned, there are a lot of websites who make unfactual claims about the
causes of PMS and the efficiacy of treatments. The cause of PMS is
still unknown although there are plenty of theories. Most agree that
hormone levels are normal in PMS sufferers but their brains are
abnormally sensitive to monthly fluctuations in hormone levels and this
affects neurtransmitter levels. Doctors don't really understand the
Most treatments which claim to be scientifically proven are actually
quite controversial so the only option is
to try different things and see what works for you.
The main drug treatments offered in UK for PMS are contraceptive pills
SSRI’s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Often contraceptive
pills will agravate mood-related symptoms rather than curing them. Also
contraceptive pills affect absorption of the B vitamins which are
essential for stabilising hormone levels, or so i've read. I started getting
tension headaches after a period of time on the combined pill, whereas
made me suicidally depressed and tired all month round. My PMS was
worse while on these pills and the symptoms persisted for months after
coming off them. However some women say contraceptives help.
Prozac/Sarafem) are a type of anti-depressants and can have
very distressing side-effects. SSRI’s will treat PMS symptoms only
while you are taking the drug. At age 24, I don’t see SSRI's as a
solution for me. Quote "Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
such as fluoxetine are better than placebo, with improvement occurring
in the first month, but symptoms return to baseline after cessation of
treatment" from 22nd Annual meeting of the Canadian College of
Neurophyschopharmacology. I would only recomend anti-depressants as a
last resort, if you really cannot cope as the side-effects might be
worse than your PMS!
Here is an
article on SSRI treatment for PMS with quote from Eli Lilly (makers of
doctor may also suggest counselling. This is offered at PMS clinics and
is apparently very helpful for PMS. I haven't tried this yet as I know
my PMS is biological in origin and so fail to see the usefulness of
counselling but thats just me!
are many supplements and herbal remedies which may reduce PMS
symptoms. I’ve listed the
treatments I’ve found helpful for each symptom, most sites don't
specify which symptoms are treated with their product which is annoying
since PMS stands for a wide range of symptoms and syndrome means
"different causes"! Also I’ve included a section on the latest
scientific research on
PMS/PMDD, with links.
stands for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. It is the acronym for the
more severe form of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome). "Like PMS, PMDD occurs
the week before the onset of menstruation and disappears a few days
after. PMDD is characterised by severe monthly mood swings and physical
symptoms that interfere with everyday life, especially a woman’s
relationships with her family and friends. PMDD symptoms go far beyond
what are considered manageable or normal premenstrual symptoms."
(US) sites recommend the following tests:
thorough physical exam including gynecological examination is
recommended in the assessment of all women being evaluated for PMS.
Organic causes of PMS-like symptoms must be ruled out. Marked fatigue
may result from anemia, leukemia, hypothyroidism, or diuretic-induced
potassium deficiency. Headaches may be due to intracranial lesions.
Women attending PMS clinics have been found to have brain tumours,
anemia, leukemia, thyroid dysfunction, gastrointestinal disorders,
pelvic tumours including endometriosis, and other recurrent
premenstrual phenomena such as arthritis, asthma, epilepsy, and
be worth enquiring with your GP about these tests.
If you have any comments or want
to chat about PMS! you can post a message on my yahoo pms-resource
group which is at:
on this site has
been collected from various sources and I have cross checked
information across many different websites to try to include only
information. However I am not a doctor so these are just suggestions
which I hope work for you. Also I am a great
believer in making dietary changes before turning to drugs as drugs always have side-effects.