PMS Blues

webmd_rf_photo_of_pms_trackerPremenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to a group of symptoms that occur prior to menses and affects 75% of menstruating women.  Typically symptoms resolve once the  menstrual period begins but some women have a more severe form (premenstrual dysphoric disorder -PMDD) that can last all month.

Symptoms are Body-Mind-Spirit

  • Body:  Fatigue, Joint or muscle pain, Headache, Weight Gain, Bloating, Acne, Breast tenderness, Constipation or diarrhea, Changes in appetite
  • Mind: Poor concentration, Insomnia, Depression
  • Spirit: Anxiety, Crying spells, Mood swings and irritability or anger, Social withdrawal

For some women, the physical pain and emotional stress are severe enough to affect their daily routines and activities. Regardless of their severity, though, the signs and symptoms disappear, for most women, as the menstrual period begins.

Self-Help (from the Mayo Clinic)

  • Calcium. Consuming 1,200 milligrams (mg) of dietary and supplemental calcium daily, such as chewable calcium carbonate (Tums, Rolaids, others), may reduce the physical and psychological symptoms of PMS.
  • Magnesium. Taking 400 mg of supplemental magnesium daily may help to reduce fluid retention, breast tenderness and bloating in women with premenstrual syndrome.
  • Vitamin B-6. A daily dose of 50 to 100 mg of vitamin B-6 may help some women.
  • Vitamin E. This vitamin, taken in 400 international units daily, may ease PMS symptoms by reducing the production of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that cause cramps and breast tenderness.
  • Modify your diet- limit salt, eat smaller meals, choose foods high in complex carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and rich in calcium. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Incorporate exercise into your regular routine-at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity most days of the week.
  • Reduce stress– acupuncture, meditation, yoga or massage to relax and relieve stress.

Research on Acupuncture & PMS

New research published in the Medical Acupuncture journal (June 2013) reported that in a review of 12 studies, participants in acupuncture groups compared to control groups reported fewer PMS symptoms

Reference: Zheng-Rong Guo and Liang-Xiao Ma. Medical Acupuncture. June 2013, 25(3): 200-204. doi:10.1089/acu.2012.0913.

“Background: Acupuncture might be an effective intervention for treating premenstrual pain syndrome (PMS).

Objective: The aim of this review was to investigate various acupuncture methods and analyze treatment characteristics for future research studies.

Search Strategy: A specified literature search was performed in MEDLINE® (2001–2011) and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (1992–2011). The key word searches combined premenstrual syndrome–related, menstrual-related, and acupuncture-related terms.

Results: Twelve studies were found that met the criteria. Eleven of the trials focused on observing the treatment effect of acupuncture on PMS, while one trial focused on the relationship between pain sensitivity at acupoints and the severity of PMS. Nine studies applied body acupuncture and one used scalp acupuncture, and one used auricular acupuncture. Three studies lacked controls. The results of eight studies showed that acupuncture groups had better therapeutic effects than those in control groups.

Conclusions: There were some specific acupuncture-treatment characteristics for PMS, point selection, syndrome differentiation, and timing of interventions. Further, well-designed, PMS, acupuncture clinical trials, which include the specific characteristics are needed.”

At Wildwood Acupuncture Center–we are a family owned medically based clinic who will work in collaboration with other treatments you are receiving to enhance your treatment results.

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