Why didn’t anyone tell me about natural, bioidentical progesterone when I was young and in the throes of hormonal imbalances caused by PMS?
Unfortunately, even today millions of women within the teen through menopause age groups suffering with mild to severe symptoms of PMS are offered antidepressants, birth control pills or are just being told to grin and bear it. Conventional medicine has failed to address this incapacitating and all pervasive problem. A woman cannot lead a happy life if she suffers with PMS every month.
PMS is a problem that conventional medicine still chooses to ignore with the possible exception of the diagnosis of endometriosis.
PMS includes but is not limited to the two weeks before the period starts. As we get older the problem often expands to encompass the whole month. The most common description I hear from women in their mid-forties is “I live in a perpetual state of PMS” and “I only feel better when I get my period.” Many women I see have learned to manage their lives around the time of the month when the scourge of PMS hits. I see young women who stop caring for their children, miss work and get into horrible fights with husbands, lovers and friends. Suspiciously, these dramatic situations seem to occur more frequently when the woman is suffering with PMS.
Another statement I hear that makes me shudder is “I’ve learned not to trust my judgment during PMS.” These are women in their 20s and 30s, with children and careers speaking and they are severely handicapped by PMS.
The symptoms of PMS include:
•weight gain up to 10 pounds in 24 hours
•loss of sex drive or heightened sexuality
•anxiety and panic attacks
•complete personality changes
When I started to write about hormonal imbalances and made the connection between symptoms of hormonal imbalance and the lack of progesterone, estrogen and thyroid hormones at all ages, not just at menopause, I was overwhelmed by the response I received from women in all walks of life.
These women had given up, they were desperate and their physicians had told them that there was no hormone basis for their symptoms. They were told they were basically crazy and the level of validation and care they received from their doctors was minimal to non-existent.
Yet the problems exist and they need to be addressed. Discarding and discounting the women is no longer an option. The time has come to do something about it. Life is too short to pull the blanket over your head during PMS or second guess every decision you are making.
No, you are not crazy; you are suffering with a concrete change in your hormonal balance that affects everything you do. Correcting the change is possible, even easier to achieve than you think.
PMS is easy to understand if we think of the hormonal changes the woman’s body undergoes every month. As we ovulate, in the middle of the cycle, exactly 15 days before our next period, the levels of estrogen and progesterone we make peak. If we do not get pregnant, the estrogen and progesterone are no longer needed so they start to drop. As they drop, we start to develop PMS.
The best times of the month for a woman are the times when we are having our period and the times right after when we are building our hormone levels. When the levels start to drop we are no longer on the top of our game.
So, how can we minimize or even eliminate the symptoms that are ruining our perfectly okay lives for the rest of the month.
The answer is- natural, bioidentical progesterone. The hormone that is leaving us PMSsy is easily supplemented by adding it to our regimen during the two weeks before the period.
I personally work with cream from progesterone. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, I prescribe between 50- 200 mg a day in those difficult times. The lower doses go for younger women, the higher often for women in their 30s and 40s.
For women nearing menopause or further along in age, I have found that if progesterone alone does not suffice, we add estradiol to help even things out.
In addition to the bioidentical hormones, diet and supplements as well as exercise are a must to keep the PMS at bay. A hormone friendly diet is key and you can find it’s ingredients in my book The 30 Day Natural Hormone Plan. Exercise will help keep the good hormones in balance and even if you feel like it’s the last thing you want to do, believe me it’ll help you once you do even a little bit. Sleep is another key ingredient so make sure you get that shuteye instead of partying till dawn. It will pay off in your life and stave off the PMS blues.