PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)
Premenstrual tension has been described as a progressive symptom complex occurring seven to ten days premenstrually, thereafter improving with menses. Clinical experience now shows that PMS may encompass one to 150 different symptoms that occur cyclically in women during their estrogen active years. Dr. Susan Lark describes PMS to be one of the most common problems afflicting younger women. It is believed to affect between one-third and one-half of all American women between the ages of 20 and 50—in other words, 10 to 14 million women. Dr. Penny Budoff succinctly states, “It is curious that in this day and age when we are probing outer space that we permit more than 50% of our population of the world to suffer.”
A naturopathic approach to treating someone PMS would start with a complete hormone panel between days 19-24 when PMS symptoms are most prevalent to discover any hormone imbalances. Most often the imbalance in the hormones is estrogen dominance. Therefore treatment would start with an estrogen detoxification program. Estrogen is detoxified through the same p450 enzymatic pathway as caffeine and alcohol so one way to maximize the detoxification of estrogen is to eliminate caffeine and alcohol from the diet. Clinical nutrition may also be added to assist. If insulin resistance is determined on lab findings a low glycemic, high protein meal plan may be recommended to help address the underlying insulin resistance. Clinical nutrition to help manage more specific symptoms associated with PMS may also be included as part of the treatment plan, as the individual works on the underlying cause.