Approximately 40% of women experience unpleasant emotional or physical changes associated with menstruation, commonly known as PMS. This usually begins at or before that stage of maturity when your body is undergoing the “Change of Life” associated with hot flashes, insomnia, loss of libido, and mood and memory changes.
Women throughout the ages have successfully used progesterone, along with numerous herbs. These include Wild Yam, Black Cohosh, Dong Quai and others. This type of natural hormonal replacement is best applied through the skin in a cream form. The reason is that very little progesterone is actually assimilated via the digestive tract.
PMS, Peri-Menopause, and Menopause symptoms can be traced to an imbalance of progesterone to estrogen. A deficiency of progesterone develops in relation to an excess of estrogen. This imbalance results in an abnormal excess of estrogen. Symptoms include, but are not limited to: Mood swings, depression, headaches, edema, and eating high sugar foods. Excess estrogen can also cause a lack of libido. Besides this imbalance, which usually begins in the hypothalamus, there are “zeno-estrogens” in our environment that can enter into our bodies, both men and women. These estrogens can be found in herbicides, pesticides and the foods we eat.
Some women may say they are on birth control pills and therefore they receive their proper supply of progesterone. Birth Control Pills contain Progestin, which is a synthetic form of progesterone. Progestin has been known to cause breast cancer.
Are there benefits in taking progesterone? Most certainly! However it must be a natural source of progesterone, not the synthetic form called Progestin.
The best form of progesterone supplementation is in a cream. It should be a Natural Progesterone with Wild Yam and perhaps a few other supportive herbs. This is the best possible combination for progesterone supplementation.
Application of the cream is best when applied to the soft tissues of the female body: The palms, inner forearms, chest and inner thighs. The cream can also be applied vaginally and offers good benefits. If applied vaginally, also inserting one vitamin E capsule into the vagina can be very helpful for the skin. Do not worry about puncturing the vitamin E capsule prior to insertion. The pH of the vagina will dissolve the vitamin E capsule.
For PMS support, apply during days 14 to 28. (Day number one is the first day of menses.)
For Peri-Menopause and Menopause, twice daily during days 6 – 28, or until the beginning of the next menses.
PMS: There are those who feel that premenstrual syndrome, commonly referred to, as “PMS” is not physically real but rather a symptom that is psychosomatic (“all in the mind”). We absolutely disagree with that belief! What is PMS? Premenstrual Syndrome is a hormonal disorder characterized by widely varying physical and emotional symptoms. It usually occurs before the menstrual period but can occur anytime during the cycle. The symptoms of PMS usually improve once the menstrual period begins, followed by a relatively symptom free period of time after menses. PMS isn’t just another name for menstrual cramps or simple premenstrual tension. By analyzing the body as a whole, you can get a clearer understanding of what the actual causes of the PMS are. In Naturopathic practice, we usually obtain a full history and physical examination as well as a blood analysis during the first visit. By the conclusion of the second visit where we usually test for allergies, candidiasis, and assess thyroid and hormonal imbalances, most patients know the causes of their PMS and other related problems. They also learn the type of treatments to be utilized to help them get well. An important point to remember is that PMS usually isn’t any one particular symptom, but rather a complex of symptoms. As a syndrome or a characteristic collection of symptoms, it represents several problems interrelating in such a way as to cause different symptoms in different women depending upon their specific hormonal / nutritional imbalances, and the status of their immune system.
Is it any wonder that even some highly skilled doctors find the diagnosis and treatment of specific symptoms difficult and often frustrating? It has been our experience that merely treating symptoms or masking them with drugs can attain no long-term relief. It is our opinion that the entire PMS disorder spectrum has to be treated as a whole with each of the contributing components addressed. Only in treating the entire system can the physician help the patient on a long-term basis. It is estimated that over 50% of all women who menstruate experience PMS. At least 30% of these women’s PMS symptoms are severe enough to seriously disrupt both their personal and professional lives. The best way to determine if you are suffering from PMS is to keep a daily record of exactly what your symptoms are, and when they occur, for a minimum of three consecutive menstrual cycles. Your Naturopathic Physician can then determine from that record if your symptoms are indeed related to your menstrual cycles, or if they have their origin elsewhere. Many of the related conditions that aggravate PMS (such as hidden food or environmental allergies, low thyroid or yeast infections) can also bring on other health imbalances by weakening the immune system.
Because the practice of Naturopathic Medicine is an art as well as a science, it is important that you work together with your physician to find the treatment that works best for you, your particular symptoms and personal lifestyle. Depending on your individual symptoms and their severity, you may be advised to consider dietary modification, therapeutic natural medicines, physical and physiotherapies, exercise, stress reduction and the use of natural progesterone. Natural medicines are available to help PMS sufferers accomplish the therapies outlined by the physician. These are based on a woman’s individual needs as ascertained through blood and hair analysis, thyroid studies and other naturopathic medicine diagnostic procedures and our clinical experience.
Many women today are seeking alternative approaches to assist in hormonal balancing associated with menopause. Soy isoflavones can help. These natural phytoestrogens have demonstrated positive effects in control of hot flashes in a number of research studies. Additionally, Black Cohosh can help. This herb was recently evaluated in 629 women with menopausal complaints. At six weeks, 80% noted improvement in previous ailments. Another herb, Dong Quai, is a time-honored Chinese herb used throughout Asia to support well-being in women throughout menopause. If in a formula together, these phytonutrients and herbs work synergistically and represent an effective natural approach for women during their pre-menopause and menopause years.