PMS: Pre-Menstrual Tension SyndromeOct 29, 2021 03:52PM ● By Les Cole, MD
PMS is a set of symptoms that occurs generally the week before and the week during your period. There are four main symptoms: breast tenderness and emotional dysregulation can occur before and heavy blood flow and cramping during your period. The cause of these symptoms is an imbalance of your estrogen and progesterone levels.
During the first half of your cycle, estrogen stimulates the lining (endometrium) and wall (myometrium) of your uterus and your breast tissue to grow in preparation for fertilization and implantation. At ovulation, you begin to produce progesterone which offsets your estrogen. It prevents the estrogen from continuing to cause the endometrium (lining) and myometrium (muscular wall) of your uterus and your breast tissue to grow. If you do not produce enough progesterone, the lining and the wall as well as your breast tissue will continue to be stimulated by estrogen and it will continue to grow during the second half of your cycle.
This overgrowth of breast tissue will cause breast tenderness usually the week before your period. Overgrowth of the lining will cause excessive bleeding and of the muscular wall cramping. Progesterone is also converted into a neuro-hormone called allopregnanolone which crosses the blood-brain barrier to stimulate GABA (inhibitory) receptors to keep you “calm, cool and collected”. If you do not produce enough allopregnanolone, then emotional dysregulation (irritability, anxiety, sadness, depression, crying for no reason, etc.) occurs.
Although these are the four main symptoms, there can be others such as migraine and even seizures, but none of these are necessary. You can be completely free of them with the simple and effective treatment of progesterone supplementation, also known as Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT).
Why might this be the best treatment for you? Because progesterone prescribed is identical to the progesterone your ovaries produce. It is an herbal extract that comes from yams, so it is natural and non-synthetic as opposed to artificial, synthetic progestins found in all birth-control pills, implants, injections and patches (BCPs). This is very important because BCPs have many toxic side effects: nutrient malabsorption (B and other vitamins and minerals); acne; bleeding or spotting between periods; bloating; blood pressure above your usual range; depression; fatigue; feeling dizzy; fluid retention; headache; increased appetite; insomnia; melasma (dark patches on the face); mood swings; nausea; tenderness or pain in the breasts; vomiting; weight gain; decreased libido; chest pain; heart attack; blood clots; stroke which may be fatal; and increased risks of breast and cervical cancer*. Progesterone has almost no side effects when dosed appropriately because it is identical to your own progesterone.
Why is treatment of PMS important? I am sometimes surprised when a woman tells me she believes PMS is natural and doesn’t want to treat it. At that point, I get concerned because of long-term potential risks from or complications of PMS. If you allow PMS symptoms to continue (untreated with progesterone), you increase your future risks for endometriosis and uterine cancer from chronic, uninterrupted estrogen stimulation of your endometrium (uterine lining); fibroids from chronic, uninterrupted estrogen stimulation of your myometrium (uterine wall); and breast fibrosis and cancer from chronic, uninterrupted estrogen stimulation of your breast tissue.
To learn more and for an appointment, call 727-202-6807. St. Petersburg Health & Wellness is located at 2100 Dr. MLK Jr. St. North, St. Petersburg.
*National Cancer Institute, Cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/hormones/oral-contraceptives-fact-sheet