Menopause and PMS both bring with them some uncomfortable symptoms. They may appear in varying degrees of intensity from month to month for an individual. No two women will experience the symptoms in exactly the same way. ALL women though, do seek out relief from their symptoms. The various treatments may work for one woman but not for another. You and your doctor will be able to come up with the most appropriate treatment.
Research has been looking to see what causes or triggers PMS symptoms. Two events could be triggering PMS. Low levels of serotonin – a brain chemical that controls sleep, appetite and mood changes, and the changing levels of hormones that occur during PMS.
Symptoms that are associated with low levels of serotonin might include erratic moods, irritability, anger, and aggressive behavior. Concentration and sleep problems have also been noted in PMS. Anxiety and depression may occur or increase now as well. You may have a bigger appetite and experience food cravings. High fat foods and sweets like chocolate will raise serotonin levels quickly, but it can play havoc with blood sugar levels.
Whole grain bread, pasta, and cereal will also raise serotonin levels but are healthier for you.
Hormone level changes have triggered headaches including migraines. Breast tenderness, back ache and bloating have occurred. Weight gain may occur due to water retention. Calcium and magnesium help to ease water retention as well. Yogurt, cheese, puddings, broccoli, and salmon will relieve water retention.
PMS is sometimes treated with anti-depressants no matter how mild or severe the symptoms are because some of them affect serotonin levels. Muscle relaxants, both prescribed and over the counter, and pain relievers may also be of some benefit to PMS symptoms.
Menopause for many women is treated with Hormone Replace Therapy (HRT). There are two types of HRT that may be used. Estrogen alone is most typically given in pill form. This is an option for women who have had their uterus removed. Combination HRT is Estrogen plus Progestin (female hormones). A healthy diet and regular exercise will help to relieve some of the symptoms and may even increase your sex drive that can be adversely affected by some prescribed treatments. Pain relievers may be used for non-specific pain and discomfort.
Herbal supplements and other natural products are becoming increasingly popular because many women want to avoid the potentially serious side affects that go with many of the other treatments. There are two types of herbs used in supplements that treat PMS and Menopause.
Phytoestrogen herbs are those that contain plant based estrogen and works well on low hormone levels. They are not as beneficial for hormone imbalance. The drawback to using externally produced hormones is that these hormones can actually lower the body’s ability to produce its own hormones.
Non-estrogenic herbs do not contain any estrogen. They work to strengthen the ability of the body’s hormonal glands to more effectively produce the body’s own hormones. They help to stimulate hormone production, by allowing the pituitary glands and endocrine glands to provide optimal production of hormones. While each of these types of herbs can work on their own, a combination of phytoestrogenic herbs and non-estrogenic herbs is ideal. Hormone production will be optimized and hormone levels produced by the body will even out.
Herbal supplements to treat early Menopausal symptoms and PMS may include Black Cohosh, Chasteberry, and Red Clover to name a few. They are beneficial in relieving many of the symptoms of both menopause and PMS. Chasteberry is a natural anti-inflammatory. The highest quality herbs have undergone extensive testing including the examination of the interactions of the ingredients, the testing of the metabolic path of these herbs at the molecular level and they’ve been made to meet pharmaceutical grade standards.
A word of caution must be noted here. Do not add anything to your health regimen without first checking with your doctor. Some of the herbs may have an effect on
the performance of prescription drugs you may be taking for other health conditions.
PMS and Menopause do have some common symptoms and possibly some common treatments like pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and/or anti-depressants. These drugs however have some potentially dangerous side effects that most women want to avoid.
For this reason, many are turning to herbal supplements (and other natural treatments) because they have few side effects, if they have any at all. They are safer, purer, and more effective than many other supplements because of the extensive testing and strict manufacturing standards that are used to produce high quality supplements.