Many Holistic doctors categorize PMS into four types – A, C, D and H – which were originally identified by Dr. Guy Abraham, M.D. 'Type A' or 'PMS-A' ("Anxiety") is the most common symptom category and is related most strongly to an estrogen excess and progesterone deficiency in the luteal phase.
Estrogens appear to affect mood by suppressing MAO-A while enhancing MAO-B, resulting in increased levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine and serotonin (all normally deactivated by MAO-A) and decreased levels of dopamine and phenylethylamine (both normally metabolized by MAO-B). The effects of these changes on mood and behavior are well documented:
It is of interest to note that a decreased dopamine level in the hypothalamus is also believed to be central to the hormonal imbalances found in polycystic ovarian disease.
Symptoms of PMS-A include:
Symptom ratings correspond to the raised serum estrogen levels, and serum estrogen to progesterone ratios give the best correlation. There is no significant correlation of symptoms with the decreased progesterone levels.
Eating plenty of cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts) will help your body to metabolize the excess estrogen. Other supplements that could help relieve symptoms include:
In one study, women received 50mg per day of vitamin B6 or a placebo for 3 months. Symptoms amongst these women included depression, irritability, tiredness, headache, breast tenderness and swollen abdomen/hands. At this dose depression, irritability and tiredness were the only symptoms to respond and they were reduced by 50%. [Gynecol Obstet Invest 1997;43(2): 120-124]
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