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 […]
“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 […]
(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 […]
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 […]
I can always tell when there’s a major drop in barometric pressure by the number of e-mails I get from patients that begin, “I can’t believe I’m having such a terrible flare-up of my…”
Click here for the original post. 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 […]
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 (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.
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 […]
Omega-6 fatty acids belong to a group of “good” fats called polyunsaturated fatty acids. Unlike such “bad” fats as cholesterol and saturated fatty acids (which contribute to the worsening of a host of ailments including heart disease and other degenerative conditions), omega-6s can actually be beneficial to your health.
Omega-6 fatty acids are one of two types of essential fatty acids (EFAs) that people need to consume to stay healthy. Omega-3s are the other. Both are considered “essential” because the body can’t produce them on its own; it can only get them through foods.
For many women, natural progesterone cream appears to provide significant relief from symptoms related to shifts in the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
For younger women, such imbalances are often associated with PMS or endometriosis, and bring on symptoms such as irritability, breast tenderness, and pelvic pain. For older women entering menopause, decreasing supplies of estrogen can cause hormonal imbalances, producing hot flashes, mood swings, urinary urgency, and poor concentration.
Melatonin is a hormone manufactured and released into the bloodstream by the pebble-size pineal gland nestled deep within the human brain. Surprisingly, scientists only became aware of melatonin’s presence in 1958. Children tend to excrete large amounts of this hormone, while older adults produce relatively little. But individual levels of melatonin vary widely. About 1% of the population naturally has quite low levels, while another 1% has levels 500 times above the average.
Few herbal remedies have been as widely used or as carefully examined over the centuries as licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), a botanical member of the pea family that is still widely cultivated in Greece and Turkey. The herb’s key therapeutic compound, glycyrrhizin, is found in the rhizome (or underground stem) of this tall purple-flowered shrub. Hundreds of other potentially healing substances have been identified in licorice as well, including compounds called flavonoids and various plant estrogens (phytoestrogens). Researchers are currently excited about the diverse healing properties of licorice, from its anti-inflammatory abilities to its capacity to soothe stomach upset and control coughs. Even the National Cancer Institute has investigated the medicinal benefits of licorice.
Dong quai has been used in Asia for thousands of years as a tonic for the female reproductive system. In fact, it ranks just below ginseng as the most popular herb in China and Japan, although its effectiveness has yet to be substantiated by conventional Western standards.
These two important minerals are often combined into one convenient product. Such combinations are a practical way to prevent or treat myriad ailments, from back pain and perimenopause to PMS and endometriosis. While there is little to distinguish one calcium/magnesium product from another, it’s smart to take a combination that includes different forms of the key minerals (such as calcium citrate, carbonate, and malate; and magnesium citrate, aspartate, and glycinate) as insurance that at least one will get absorbed into your system and do its work.
The most abundant mineral in the human body, calcium has long been recognized for its ability to keep bones healthy and strong. New research indicates that it may also be an effective weapon against high blood pressure, heart attack, PMS (premenstrual syndrome), and colon cancer. Unfortunately, most Americans consume only about half the dietary calcium their bodies require.
Rhodiola rosea is a popular plant in traditional medical systems in Eastern Europe and Asia and is native to the mountainous regions of these areas. After considerable research by Russian scientists, it has been classified as an ‘adaptogen’ meaning that without treating one specific medical condition, regular use of Rhodiola will help the body resist stressors. By raising levels of monamines and beta-endorphins, Rhodiola raises a “stress buffer” system comparable to serotonin stress buffer raised by SSRI antidepressants including St. John’s wort. Therefore, virtually all symptoms caused or worsened by ‘stress,’ which may include depression, anxiety, insomnia, chronic muscle pain (fibromyalgia), chronic fatigue (from adrenal exhaustion), immune dysfunction (susceptibility to infections, cancer) might be either prevented or improved using an adaptogen like Rhodiola. In its historical use, before its mechanism of action was understood, Rhodiola was recommended to combat fatigue and restore energy.
Click here for the original post. For our new January newsletter readers, let’s review my PMS prescription, explained in far greater detail in The Triple Whammy Cure. When you feel crummy, you’re menstruating, AND your symptoms appear predictably on a monthly (or every-other-month) basis, the problem is definitely hormonal and definitely fixable. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) […]
I can’t imagine what PMS actually feels like, but having heard the litany of miserable symptoms from thousands of my patients, it sounds pretty dismal. But just because I happen to be a male physician doesn’t mean I can’t offer help.
Q: In a health tip on hormones, you wrote that virtually any cyclical symptom is probably caused by hormone fluctuations. You described a patient who got such severe heart palpitations that her cardiologist considered heart surgery before one herb managed to get her hormones under control. Could you tell me which herb was used and how it worked?