PMT - natural ways to ease the symptoms
Pat Thomas looks at natural ways to beat PMT
Here you go again - the bit of your cycle when you don't feel yourself, things get on top of you and your body seems to have a life of it's own. It seems too easy to blame it all on hormones. But then isn't that the bottom line on pre-menstrual tension (PMT) - raging hormones?
Unfortunately, the answer is neither yes nor no because PMT isn't a straightforward condition. For many years PMT was thought to be a figment of a woman's imagination; just an excuse to blow off steam, get a few days off work and, generally, behave badly. All that changed in 1987 when it was officially declared a 'psychiatric disorder' by the American Psychiatric Association.
PMT is as common as it is difficult to treat
Officially, the syndrome is made up of a collection of more than 150 different symptoms and is experienced by around 90% of women at some point in their reproductive lives. While some women are told that PMT will go away after they have a child, others find that childbirth is the trigger for PMT, often with a vengeance.
There seems little disagreement that body, mind and emotions do change pre-menstrually. While PMT is now recognised as a legitimate medical condition, it's worth considering the flip side of the argument - if up to 90 per cent of women suffer regularly from one or more of the symptoms of PMT, is it really a disorder or simply a normal, if somewhat unglamorous, part of being a woman?
Conventional medicine believes in a hormonal cause of PMT. Women may be offered synthetic hormones, such as the birth control pill, to 'regulate' their cycles. PMT guru Katrina Dalton, author of PMT - The Essential Guide to Treatment Options (Thorsons, £7.99), concurs with this view and is an enthusiastic proponent of progesterone treatment for severe PMT.
Excessive bleeding, also known as heavy menstrual bleeding, causes significant problems and inconveniences for women....