Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a disorder that occurs in certain women during the days preceding menstruation. It is characterized by noticeable weight gain due to excessive water and sodium retention, painful swelling of the breasts, headaches, a feeling of heaviness in the legs, skin rashes or acne, as well as behavioural symptoms, such as nervousness, anxiety, aggressiveness, emotionality and depression. The syndrome's complex pathogenesis involves various hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, prolactin and, likely melatonin.
Four types of premenstrual syndrome have been identified. Each corresponds to specific symptoms, which are caused by hormonal imbalances.
Note: A woman can have one or more of these symptoms, depending on her premenstrual hormonal fluctuations.
PMS-A: "A" is for anxiety, the predominant symptom. This type of PMS is associated with excess estrogen, which stimulates the central nervous system, resulting in anxiety. Excess estrogen can be caused by a progesterone deficiency or by an inability of the liver to properly metabolize estrogen.
PMS-H: "H" is for hyperhydration, or excessive water retention. The predominant symptom is bloating, water retention and increased water and sodium retention by the kidneys.
PMS-C: "C" is for cravings for starches, carbohydrates (sugar), or both. This is caused by an increased reaction or sensitivity to insulin.
PMS-D: "D" is for depression. Depression is caused by excess progesterone. Estrogen stimulates the central nervous system, whereas progesterone relaxes it.
From a naturopathic perspective, the goal is to help create hormonal balance and compensate for any imbalances.
In all cases, your diet should be rich in isoflavones. Legumes are a good source of these. Avoid refined carbohydrates (simple sugars) and saturated fats.
Also avoid soy and all soy by-products.
- DC 22 or DC 37
- DC 52
- PMS-A: DC 15, DC 24
- PMS-C: DC 47
- PMS-D: DC 17
- PMS-H: DC 22 or DC 37, DC 52