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PMS & Menstrual Cramps

Is PMS & Menstrual pain cramping your life style?

What is PMS

PMS is a recurring condition of discomfort or pain before and during menstruation affecting approximately one out of every three women in the U.S.  Although PMS can start during adolescence it is often most severe for women in their forties.  The symptoms disappear at menopause.  The cause is not definitively known by current medical science. It is not due to either:

  • Excessive or deficient estrogen levels.
  • Progesterone deficiencies.
  • Vitamin deficiencies.
  • Insulin resistance.
  • Electrolyte imbalance.

Progesterone, which is the primary component, in birth control pills, but scientific studies have shown it to have limited or no value in most cases.  However, most women do benefit from a natural nutritional approach and risk no serious side effects.  Holistic doctors might use the herb Vitex and/or certain calcium, magnesium and B-complex supplements.

As far as we know, the pain of PMS primarily is due to cramping and is the result of the accumulation of inflammatory hormones (called prostaglandins) during he menstrual cycle.  This causes a constriction of the blood vessels in the lining of the uterus with a rhythmic contraction as the blood tries to pulse through.  A secondary type of dysmenorrhea combines the effects of excess prostaglandins with the pain from endometriosis or a uterine injury of some sort.  This usually first occurs when a menstrual cycle takes place without ovulation.  Also, it should be noted that any underlying uterine injury can be triggered in to painful expression when starting the birth control pill.   As I mentioned there are some wonderfully effective nutritional, herbal and homeopathic remedies that can “save the day” for you.

Some of the predisposing factors and clinical indicators of PMS and menstrual cramps are:

  • Obesity.
  • Excessive use of carbohydrates, alcohol, tobacco, or hydrogenated fats and oils.
  • Hormonal imbalances such as decreased estrogen and/or testosterone, increased FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone)
  • B vitamin, calcium and/or magnesium deficiencies.
  • Carbohydrate sensitivity or allergy.

Some useful dietary suggestions:

  • Eliminate all refined carbohydrates, processed foods, alcohol and caffeine.
  • Eliminate all hydrogenated fats and oils.  Increase raw and fresh oils.
  • Increase raw food and quality protein.
  • Drink at least 8 full glasses of pure water daily (not well or city water)
  • If patient is obese, and kidney function is not compromised, ensure that total daily carbohydrate intake is limited to not more than 60gms.

Dr. A. I. Cushing D.C., D.Ch., C.N.C., F.S.A.C.