Alternative Therapies for Premenstrual Syndrome
Curing Premenstrual Tension Naturally
Is Moodiness, Pain and Bloating Paralyzing Your Life In the Days Leading Up to Your Period? Just what is premenstrual tension also known as PMS anyway and why does it cause most women so much misery?
This is a difficult problem in adolescence as the psychological changes that are occurring during this time of a woman's life are often complex and stressful. It is established that premenstrual syndrome is a stress-related disorder. Therefore in teenage girls undergoing puberty the stresses and emotional turbulence that are associated with this, not surprisingly, may lead to premenstrual problems. These are very difficult to manage and are usually not medically treated but addressed through the help of psychologists if reassurance from the gynaecologist and an understanding of the process to the mother is not successful.
Y-Linolenic acid was the PUFA responsible for the therapeutic activity of evening primrose oil, the high value plant oil that Oil of Javanicus was developed to compete against. Evening primrose oil has been taken for centuries as a folk remedy for a number of ailments, the most well documented of which is premenstrual syndrome. Indeed, its reputed efficacy against general illnesses was such that it was also known as King's Cure All.
Reflexology aims to relieve stress or treat health conditions through the application of pressure to specific points or areas of the feet. While it has been used for various conditions such as pain, anxiety and premenstrual syndrome there have been few studies for menopausal complaints. One randomized trial has been published so far where 67 women with vasomotor symptoms aged 45-60 years were randomized to receive reflexology or non-specific foot massage. There was a reduction in symptoms in both groups but there was no significant difference between the groups 57 .
An interesting development from dopaminergic agents is the search for drugs for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome because pituitary prolactine release is under tonic hypothalamic inhibition by dopamine. Besides, the dopaminergic system plays an important role in physiopathology of migraine, and a dopamine antagonist such as prochlorperazine has exhibited antimigraine properties in animals by possible central amplification of cholinergic transmission. There is therefore a need for original dopaminergic agents, and one of the possible more exciting sources for such agents is the medicinal flora of Asia and the Pacific. The evidence available so far suggests that such agents would be present in the following medicinal plants.
Bilateral oophorectomy usually with hysterectomy is almost always too invasive though is the only effective cure for premenstrual syndrome 12 . When removal of the ovaries is considered appropriate, it can be followed by oestrogen replacement without of course the need for cyclical progestagens. There is no logic why endome-trial ablation should be effective the studies which claim that ablation is beneficial in PMS were designed for the treatment of menorrhagia and so are not valid for PMS.
Falling oestrogen levels are thought to lead to similar falls in neurotransmitter levels such as serotonin which trigger these symptoms 4,5 . Women who have suffered from post-natal depression and premenstrual syndrome appear to be particularly predisposed to depression in the perimenopause. Stabilization of hormone levels, for example, with transedermal oestradiol appears to be particularly effective in ameliorating these symptoms. The effect of menopause on cognitive function is unclear some studies suggest a reduction in cognitive ability during the menopause transition, for example mathematical or visuo-spatial tasks which can be improved with oestrogen replacement but larger randomized studies are required to confirm these findings.
Www.pms.org.uk (the Premenstrual Syndrome website) www.nos.org.uk (the National Osteoporosis Society) www.menopause.org (the North American society) http emas.obgyn.net European Menopause Society http www.emea.eu.int European Medicines Agency www.imsociety.org (the International Menopause Society) National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Alternative therapies for managing menopausal symptoms.