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Commonly Overlooked Diagnoses: The Subtleties of PMS

Several women’s health websites place the number of symptoms attributable to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) at 150. I personally think that’s an undercount. I really began to appreciate this some years ago when a young woman came to see me with recurring hives. Out of the blue, she’d awaken from sleep covered in large red itchy […]

Out Of Whack Hormones

“My hormones are out of whack!” That’s the single most common sentence I hear from my patients. It can come from a 25-year-old with irregular periods and industrial-strength PMS whose energy has gone down the tubes. Or from a 45-year-old (on the threshold of pre-menopause) who continues to gain weight even though she’s eating less […]

How Many Women With PMS Does It Take To Screw In A Light Bulb?

(Snarl your answer) “JUST ONE! ME! HEY, BUDDY–YOU GOT SOME SORT OF PROBLEM WITH THAT?!” Ah, PMS. Even if you don’t ever want a baby let’s see if we can fix things so you don’t have to put up with this crap for 30 years. I can write about PMS, and over the years have […]

Melanie’s PMS Hell

A smart woman in her mid forties, Melanie had written “Bad PMS” neatly on our patient intake form, and then gone on to trace the word “Bad” several times with her pen and underlined it. Until about ten years ago, the odds were stacked against women like Melanie, trying to get help from their doctors […]

What is the Triple Whammy?

The Triple Whammy is a health problem that affects tens of millions of women and is caused by three separate but tightly connected factors that work together. It’s a health problem that’s not a disease but that does underlie women’s most common medical conditions. Doctors certainly agree that any of the three components of the Triple Whammy taken separately can cause all sorts of unpleasant symptoms. But they’ll also tell you things like, “You have to learn to live with it” or “There’s not a lot that can be done.”

Vitamin B6

Day by day, there’s probably no nutrient as actively involved in keeping your system running smoothly as vitamin B6. Technically an umbrella term used to describe three B vitamins (pyridoxine, pridoxal, pyridoxamine), vitamin B6 partakes in no fewer than 100 chemical reactions throughout the body. It functions primarily as a coenzyme, working along with other enzymes to speed up chemical reactions in cells.

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), a common shrub-like perennial, bears bright yellow flowers that contain numerous therapeutic substances when dried. Europeans have used the herb for centuries to calm jangled nerves and heal wounds, among other ills. And so it’s not surprising that North Americans have recently embraced its use as a treatment for depression and conditions associated with it.

Siberian Ginseng

What Is It? Famed as an energy tonic in China since ancient times, Siberian ginseng only gained recognition in the West in the 1950s, when a Russian scientist (I. I. Brekhman) reported its notable stress-repelling powers. Healthy men and women taking the herb were found to better endure physical strain, resist disease, and perform tests […]