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Is your PMS (PMT) making you feel like Jekyll and Hyde?

Posted in 5-HTP,5-Hydroxytryptophan,Depression,Energy / Stamina,PMS,PMT by Head Boy on the January 28th, 2010

Natural remedies for premenstrual syndrome.

Who suffers from PMS?

At least one third of all menstruating women suffer from pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) or pre-menstrual tension (PMT). PMT and PMS refer to the same condition though PMS suggests a wider range of symptoms than PMT. PMS can last a couple of days to two weeks prior to and during menstruation though symptoms usually subside after bleeding starts.

What causes PMS?

No one knows for sure why some women suffer PMS more than others or why some women don’t appear to suffer from it at all. It is believed to be associated with changes in hormone levels though poor diet, inadequate fitness and stress can exacerbate symptoms.

Emotional symptoms of PMS

“I become a different person when I have PMS – once a month I change!”

Symptoms of PMS are not merely physical they are emotional too which is why many women with severe PMS symptoms report feeling like a different person around the same time once each month, hence the Jekyll and Hyde analogy!

Some women feel as though they experience impaired judgment, become less tolerant, more aggressive, highly sensitive to criticism and very commonly like they ‘see things clearly for the first time.’ It is this particular feeling of clarity which can create the most havoc in a woman’s life once a month as relationships (work and personal) can be eroded.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

  • You want to end your relationship without good reason.
  • You shout at your kids and become less tolerant.
  • You become argumentative and overly sensitive with work colleagues and friends.
  • You feel like you need a drastic image change and may cut your own hair.
  • You buy clothes you wouldn’t normally buy and go on a spending spree.
  • You eat lots of sweet sugary foods and snacks especially dark chocolate.
  • You feel the need to spring clean even in winter!
  • People you are close to can tell when you have PMS (PMT) as your manner and voice change.

Physical symptoms of PMS

“I have no energy and want to curl into a ball once a month”

Some women suffer more from the physical effects of PMS, from agonising stomach cramps, to tiredness and general aches and pains.

  • Spots (acne) painful lumps under the skin
  • Sore, tender, swollen breasts
  • Bloated stomach
  • Muscular aches and pains
  • Period pains
  • Tiredness and low energy
  • Weight gain
  • Water retention
  • Headaches and migraines

Remedies for PMS

Some women’s PMS symptoms are so severe that they have to take time off from work in order to cope with the pain and other symptoms. But these are extreme cases. Other women manage their PMS with a variety of diet management, herbal remedies and in some cases anti-depressants.

Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin E and Vitamin D have all been found to be helpful in varying degrees to combat the mood change aspects of PMS as well as Vit. B6 for water retention and increasing blood flow to female organs. Cutting down on caffeine, chocolate and sugary foods are also believed to reduce PMS symptoms.

For women who have found anti-depressants helpful in reducing PMS a natural compound called 5 HTP is an effective natural alternative.

5-HTP (5-Hydroxy L-Tryptophan) is believed to regulate serotonin levels in the brain which is what Prozac and other anti-depressants prescribed to alleviate PMS symptoms is for. 5 HTP is thought to provide relief for the following symptoms of PMS:

  • Weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Also an effective antidepressant

Researchers have clinically investigated 5 HTP and compared it to antidepressant drugs.

“Depressed patients who received 100 mg of 5 HTP, three times daily, showed at least a 50% improvement in their symptoms, without any reported side effects.”

If you suffer from PMS you alone know how you feel once a month. It can be like being a prisoner in your own body. Don’t let PMS control your life, whatever it takes, get it under control and start living again!

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