The Fundamentals

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMS, is characterized by symptoms such as depressed mood, anxiety, affective lability, and decreased interest in activities. The symptoms begin just before the onset of menses, and are conspicuously absent the week after. Other symptoms include irritability, tearfulness, feeling fatigued, breast tenderness and swelling, headaches, bloating or weight gain. The pattern of symptoms must have occurred most months for the previous 12 months, to be certain it is PMS. The symptoms disappear completely shortly after the onset of menstruation. In some cases, some women also have a few symptoms for a few days around ovulation.

Helpful Links:

National Association for
Premenstrual Syndrome
Premenstrual Dysphoric

8 M
ost authorities believe that the symptoms of PMS are caused by changes in the levels of female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, that precede menstruation. The higher the estrogen level, the greater the risk of PMS. It is estimated that between 25 and 50 percent of menstruating women suffer slight to moderate symptoms of PMS, with about 12% experiencing severe symptoms. Cramp Bark is particularly effective against some symptoms of PMS, especially cramps, as it relaxes smooth muscle tissue, including the uterus. Dong Quai's constituents stimulate the central nervous system which can remedy weakness and headaches associated with menstrual disorders. Studies show it to be effective in decreasing discomfort of many symptoms of PMS. Chaste Tree has been used for menstrual disorders for thousands of years. Research shows that it has an effect on female sex hormones which authorities believe is the cause of PMS symptoms. Chaste Tree helps balance the hormones produced during the monthly cycle, decreasing estrogen.
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Note: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the use of a qualified health care professional. We strongly recommend the use of a physician for the diagnostic phase of any treatment. With an accurate diagnosis in hand, we believe the consumer, at that point, has a basic, unalienable right to seek out factual information on all therapeutic approaches, both orthodox and alternative, and choose those approach(es) that are right for them. Nonetheless, a "good doctor" should be considered a requisite starting point.

To U.S. Users: None of the products mentioned on this page have been evaluated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration; therefore, they are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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