PMT (Pre-Menstrual Tension) or PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome) is characterised a variety of unpleasant experiences just before your monthly period. Any woman who suffers from regular monthly symptoms prior to menstruation is probably suffering from this condition.
There are a whole variety of symptoms, and each woman’s experience is different. Symptoms range from
mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression, fatigue, weakness, weepiness, poor concentration, bloating, fluid retention, cramping, breast tenderness or swelling, headaches, menstrual discomfort, weight gain, insomnia, joint and muscle pain, food cravings, skin infections, and many others.
It has been estimated that up to 80% of women suffer from this condition.
CONVENTIONAL MEDICAL TREATMENT
“There is no cure for premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but there are treatments that can help you manage your symptoms so they do not interfere with your daily life”.
Not a very encouraging introduction, but one that many women experience when they present conventional doctors with this problem.
NHS Choices provide sensible advice concerning diet and exercise, and even suggests psychological therapy (only PMT is not a psychological illness). The treatment offered includes the following:
- Painkillers, the dangers of which should be well-known. For example, see here.
- The oral contraceptive pill, which do not help all women, and which also carries the risks associated with these drugs. And of course, many women will not wish to use them.
- Oestrogen only patches and implants, a treatment available only for women under the guidance of a gynaecologist.
- SSRI drugs. These are anti-depressant drugs, which are known to have severe adverse reactions, such as hot flushes, vaginal dryness, loss of libido. For a more comprehensive list of dangers, click here, and here.
* Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone analogues, an injection of hormones, recommended only when all the above treatments have failed.
Homeopathy does not treat illness or diseases. It treats the individual who has been diagnosed with a particular illness or disease. The distinction is important, and if you wish to read more about this, click on the chapter “Illness Diagnosis” above.
Rebalance your hormones with Homeopathy (these remedy descriptions are taken mainly from the HomeopathyPlus website). Homeopathic remedies seek to correct the underlying imbalances that cause PMS, PMT symptoms.
Bryonia alba (Bry)
Key Symptoms: Irritable and easily angered. Prefers to be alone and dislikes being disturbed. Painful, swollen breasts that hurt with movement. Breasts must be supported during movement. Stitching, shooting pains in the breasts. Thirsty for large drinks.
Supporting Symptoms: Much better for being quiet. Anxiety about business affairs or finances. Dryness of mouth. Hard constipation. Headaches before the periods, often in the forehead and back of the head, worse for movement. Feels worse during the heat.
Key Symptoms: Extremely irritable and angry. Rude and short-tempered. Dissatisfied – cannot be pleased no matter what is done. Oversensitive to pain or environmental stimuli such as noise, odours, and touch.
Supporting Symptoms: Does not want to be spoken to or touched. Symptoms worsened by coffee. Physical symptoms caused by anger. Pains in the uterus from anger. Painful cramps before the periods. Feels worse once periods start.
Lachesis muta (Lach)
Key Symptoms: Irritable, sharp-tongued, vindictive, jealous, or suspicious. Witty, sometimes with meanness. Passionate and talkative – may hardly pause for breath. Premenstrual symptoms or cramps settle as soon as the period begins.
Supporting Symptoms: Overactive mind, especially in the evening and before midnight. Tight clothing is unbearable, especially around the neck. Headache before the periods, pulsating in temples.Left-sided symptoms or complaints. Feels the heat. Feels worse after waking from a sleep.
Lycopodium clavatum (Lyc)
Key Symptoms: Weeping before the periods. Lack of confidence. Anxiety about new things. Feelings of helplessness. Avoids responsibilities. Digestive disturbances – bloating and flatulence. Craving for sweets.
Supporting Symptoms: Bossy or rude with family members or subordinates. Headaches from overheating. Dry blockage of nose at night. Worse between 4 – 8pm. Symptoms worse on the right side, or starting on the right and moving to the left.
Nux vomica (Nux-v)
Key Symptoms: Driven. Fussy and fault-finding. Extreme behaviour. Irritable or angry if hindered, to the point of rage. Desire for stimulants (eg, coffee) or relaxants (eg, alcohol).
Supporting Symptoms: Competitive and ambitious. Quarrelsome, even to violence. Jealous. Feels the cold. Symptoms from becoming cold. Cramps. Worse in the morning. Desires fatty food.
Pulsatilla Pratensis (Puls)
Key Symptoms: Weepy and moody. Feeling alone, unloved, and as if nobody cares. Wanting sympathy, affection, or to held and cuddled. Tears and irritability if ignored.
Supporting Symptoms: Mild and yielding. Symptoms worse at times of hormonal change (puberty, periods, pregnancy, menopause). Changeable symptoms – no two menstrual cycles or periods are alike. Sensitive to heat. Everything feels worse in a stuffy room and better for fresh air. Little or no thirst. Symptoms from rich or fatty food. Headaches before the periods.
Key Symptoms: Irritability and anger. Sarcastic. Desire to be alone. Not wanting to talk. Better for work, keeping busy, or strenuous exercise.
Supporting Symptoms: Dislikes being touched or shown affection. Weeping before the periods. Craves sour things or chocolate. Dragging pain during periods. As if everything was going to ‘fall out’ during periods. Chilly. Exhausted.
Homeopathy Plus states that the immediate symptoms of PMT are easily treated by yourself in the home situation, but notes that PMS is a chronic complaint which may need a series of remedies for complete improvement. It recommends that you see a fully qualified homeopath if the symptoms are severe, or long-term.
You can see more on the homeopathic treatment of PMS here:
RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TESTS (RCT’s)
RCTs are the third, and decidedly the least important type of evidence supporting Homeopathy as a medical therapy.
In two studies conducted by Hadassah Hospital (Jerusalem, Israel) in the 1990’s, 90% of women treated with homeopathy over a 3 month period experienced improvement in their PMS symptoms. The main remedies – there are others – for the treatment of premenstrual symptoms are listed below. Most should be found in home-use kits.
Yakir M, Kreitler S, Brzezinski A, Vithoulkas G, Oberbaum M, Bentwich Z (2001). Effects of homeopathic treatment in women with premenstrual syndrome: a pilot study. British Homeopathic Journal; 90:148–153.