Premenstrual Syndrome PMS C

Premenstrual Syndrome PMS C (Craving): Overview

Many Holistic doctors categorize PMS into four types – A, C, D and H – which were originally identified by Dr. Guy Abraham, M.D. 'Type C' or 'PMS-C' ("Craving") is associated with increased appetite, craving for sweets, headache, fatigue, fainting spells, and heart palpitations.

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Causes and Development

PMS-C is associated with low serotonin levels, which result in a craving for sweets because carbohydrates can temporarily increase serotonin levels.

Glucose tolerance tests (GTTs) performed on PMS-C patients during the luteal phase of their cycle show a flattening of the early part of the curve, whereas during the follicular phase (first half of cycle) their GTT is normal.  Some studies have also shown a fourth-hour hypoglycemic response during the luteal phase.  There is currently no clear explanation for this phenomenon, although an increased capacity to bind insulin has been identified.  This appears to be hormonally regulated, but other factors may also be involved.  For example, the cellular response to a high glucose load results in an increased affinity for insulin.  Sodium chloride (ordinary salt) enhances insulin response to glucose ingestion, and decreased pancreatic magnesium levels result in increased secretion of insulin in response to glucose.  All are possible mechanisms.

A deficiency of the prostaglandin PGE in the pancreas and Central Nervous System may also be involved in PMS-C. PGE1 inhibits glucose induced insulin secretion in humans.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of PMS-C include:

  • Cravings for carbohydrates (sugars)
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness and/or fainting spells
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Moodiness
  • Irritability due to drops in blood sugar level

Treatment and Prevention

Supplementing with magnesium may help as it assists in insulin metabolism.  Eating smaller meals frequently and including starchy and complex carbohydrate foods such as pasta, potatoes, vegetables and quality proteins (lean meat, fish etc.)  may also help.  Avoid sugar and refined foods.  The following supplements can also help:

  • Chromium (200mg daily to regulate blood sugar)
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Vitamin B-complex (taken daily)
  • Vitamin B6 (taken during the last 14 days of each cycle)
  • ¼ teaspoon of licorice extract (when sugar cravings occur)

References and Further Information

See also:

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS-A (Anxiety)
PMS-D (Depression)
PMS-H (Headache)

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Premenstrual Syndrome PMS C (Craving):

Symptoms - Cardiovascular

Symptoms - Food - Preferences

Symptoms - General

Symptoms - Metabolic

Conditions that suggest Premenstrual Syndrome PMS C (Craving):


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Premenstrual Syndrome PMS C (Craving) suggests the following may be present:


Premenstrual Syndrome PMS C (Craving) can lead to:


Recommendations for Premenstrual Syndrome PMS C (Craving):

Botanical / Herbal

Evening Primrose Oil

Treatment of women with PMS using gamma-linolenic acid to promote PGE1 synthesis shows good results in placebo-controlled studies.




In initial research, the supplementation of magnesium has resulted in the satisfying of chocolate cravings.  Since both chocolate and cocoa powder contain high levels of magnesium (520mg/100gm and 100mg/100gm, respectively), your craving of chocolate may just reflect your desire to supplement this essential element.  Additionally, there are links between low magnesium levels and the development of PMS symptoms, which may explain some women's monthly chocolate binge.

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