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Irregular periods

Discussion in 'Gynaecology' started by prathi, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. prathi

    prathi Bronze IL'ite

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    Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) - Part I

    I came across this article and thought it was a worthy information to share with the gals in this forum.





    Premenstrual Syndrome: PMS is a disorder characterized by a set of hormonal changes that trigger disruptive symptoms in a significant number of women for up to two weeks prior to menstruation. Of the estimated 40 million suffers, more than 5 million require medical treatment for marked mood and behavioral changes. Often symptoms tend to taper off with menstruation and women remain symptom-free until the two weeks or so prior to the next menstrual period. These regularly recurring symptoms from ovulation until menses typify PMS, premenstrual syndrome.

    Characteristics
    Over 150 symptoms have been attributed to PMS. After complaints of feeling "out-of-control", anxious, depressed and having uncontrollable crying spells, the most common complaints are headache and fatigue. But symptoms may vary from month to month and there may even be symptom-free months. No women present with all the PMS symptoms. Characteristically symptoms may be both physical and emotional. They may include physical symptoms as headache, migraine, fluid retention, fatigue, constipation, painful joints, backache, abdominal cramping, heart palpitations and weight gain. Emotional and behavioral changes may include anxiety, depression, irritability, panic attacks, tension,lack of co-ordination, decreased work or social performance and altered libido.

    Originally described in 1931 by an American neurologist, the grouping of symptoms has remained the same:

    A- Anxiety: irritable, crying without reason, verbally and sometimes physically abuse, feeling "out of control", or Dr. Jekyl-Mr. Hyde behavior changes.

    D- Depression: confused, clumsy, forgetful, withdrawn, fearful, paranoid, suicidal thoughts and rarely suicidal actions.

    C- Cravings: food cravings, usually for sweets or chocolate; diary products including cheese, an on occasion, alcohol or food in general.

    H- Heaviness or Headache: Fluid retention leading to headache, breast tenderness, abdominal bloating and weight gain.

    Aside from the regularity of symptoms seen prior to menstruation, there are certain elements which distinguish PMS from other disorders:

    *PMS may often be triggered by hormonal changes. It tends to begin at puberty, after pregnancy, after starting birth control pills, after hormone related surgery as hysterectomy or tubal ligation or around the onset of the menopause. In fact, it is not unusual for the PMS sufferer to confuse her symptoms with those of an early menopause.

    *Lifting of symptoms (including headache) with pregnancy, especially in the second and third trimester.

    *Heredity appears to be a factor although specific symptoms may differ between sisters or mother and daughters.

    *There is often an aura of increased activity prior to the worse symptoms of PMS or migraines. At this time, the woman may clean the house, function with little sleep, and feel euphoric. This is followed by the PMS symptoms, migraine, fatigue, exhaustion, depression and the inability to function. Women typically feel “out of control” at this time and this can cause the signs and symptoms of depression.

    Causes
    The exact cause of PMS, headaches and depression are unknown. In fact, it is not known why some women have severe symptoms, some have mild ones, while others have none. It is generally believed that PMS, migraine and depression stem from neurochemical changes within the brain. Hormonal factors, such as estrogen levels, had not been appreciated until recent studies. The female hormone estrogen starts to rise after menstruation and peaks around mid-cycle (ovulation). It then rapidly drops only to slowly rise and then fall again in the time before menstruation. Estrogen hold fluid and with increasing estrogen comes fluid retention: many women report weight gains of five pounds premenstrually. Estrogen has a central neurologic effect: it can contribute to increase brain activity and even seizures. Estrogen can also contribute to retention of salt and a drop in blood sugar. PMS patients and migraineurs benefit from both salt and sugar restriction and a mild diuretic.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2005
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  2. prathi

    prathi Bronze IL'ite

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    Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) - Part 2

    Postpartum Depression
    A special form of PMS is the severe depression experienced after delivery. Most women experience a “let down” from the high hormone levels during pregnancy. Because of this, there is a normal amount of feeling “blue” immediately after childbirth. But the depth of depression experienced with postpartum depression is much deeper. These individuals cannot tolerate the hormonal disruption to their nervous system: their actions may harm themselves or their infants. That is why the treatment of PMS in the postpartum period is first to replace the missing hormones. If unsuccessful, then other hormonal preparations can be included as well.

    PMS and Migraine Diet
    Depending on the patient’s individual symptoms and their severity, the doctor may recommend how one may take an active role in the management of PMS and premenstrual migraine by following these guidelines:

    *Eat six small meals at regular three-hour intervals, high in complex carbohydrates and low in simple sugars. This helps to maintain a stead blood glucose level and avoid energy highs and lows.

    *Substantially reduce and eliminate use of caffeine, alcohol, salt, fats, and simple sugars to reduce bloating, fatigue, tension and depression.

    *Daily supplemental vitamins and minerals may be administered to relieve some PMS symptoms. A multivitamin with B6(100 mcg), B complex, magnesium (300mg), Vitamin E (400 IU) and vitamin C (1000 mg) may be recommended to alleviate irritability, fluid retention, joint aches, breast tenderness, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking any medication for PMS.

    *Exercise is helpful for PMS because it reduces stress and tension, acts as a mood elevator, provides a sense of well-being and improves blood circulation by increasing natural production of beta-endorphins. It is recommended, if your physician so advises, to exercise at least three times weekly for 20-30 minutes. Aerobics, walking, jogging, bicycling and swimming are a few of the suggested ways to exercise.

    The Psychiatric Treatment of PMS
    The psychiatric literature since the 1930’s has portrayed women as the weaker sex and in need of medical treatment for their “hysterical” and “hysteronic” complaints [pertaining to the uterus]. With the availability of psychotropic drugs, 1)the tricyclics (Elavil, Triavil, Sinequan), 2) the tranquilizers (Valium, Ativan, and Xanax), and 3) the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, there have been many documented studies showing the benefit to the patient in taking this medication for severe P.M.S.

    The problem with the treatment approach when used for more than a few cycles, is that it fails to address the underlying hormonal problems. So the result is the woman taking these medications may become sleepy, forgetful or not communicative. For this and other reasons, our primary approach has been hormonal.

    Medical Treatments of PMS
    Since 1953, hormonal therapies have been the mainstay of the treatment of premenstrual distress and premenstrual syndrome. Kathrina Dalton, M.D., a family practitioner in England, evaluated the effectiveness of a program of aqueous progesteone suppositories on her own symptoms. When they were relieved, she repeated the study with 50 patients under the care of a leading gynecologic endocrinologist. They also experienced improvement.

    These aqueous progesterone suppositories have been found effective. They are safe during pregnancy, as the placenta produces many more times progesterone than the pregnancy. They are safe in men too! In the 1940’s, progesterone was injected into men-- no side effects except they fell asleep! And since we use a slightly smaller dose to help women conceive, progesterone can be continued until well in the menopause.

    Since 1979, Day and others have reported on the use of low dose danazol to control the worst PMS. Danazol is taken all month long and prevents the rise and fall of estrogen levels. In more than 10 medical articles, the success fate for controlling PMS in more than 80 percent. Although danazol has the side effects in some of acne and fluid retention, most are easily treated. Rarely has there been liver or bone changes with these dosages of medication. Some patients are so well controlled on hormonal therapy that they are able to discontinue the medications prescribed by the psychiatrist.

    SSC Yen in 1985 showed that luprolide acetate, a long-acting agent for endometriosis, can rapidly eliminate the worse PMS symtpoms. Although luprolide is not usually used for these symptoms, it does confirm what these women have known for years--THE PAIN AND MOOD SWINGS ARE REAL!

    So women need not feel that they are going crazy for these two weeks every month. They are experiencing an exaggeration of normal function. The physician can help the patient by first explaining the process, secondly using an anti-estrogenic hormonal medication to lower and stability the estrogen level, and lastly, using psychotropic medications for short periods of time.

    PMS IS REAL-- AND THE PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION MUST ADDRESS THE WOMAN’S NEED AND THE UNDERLYING HORMONAL IMBALANCES.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2005
  3. ambika ananth

    ambika ananth Bronze IL'ite

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    PMS- worst nightmare

    Very Very Important article Prathi...thank you. I suffer from PMS and the worst thing I experience is my abdominal cramps, which almost leave me incapaciated for two days...and I pop in very strong painkillers, which in turn aggravate my acidity and cause headache...it is surely somebody's badluck to catch me while in this state haha...

    If you have more information to tackle physical symptoms like this...please do share with me...I will bless you dear Prathi...
    ambika
     
  4. poojitha

    poojitha New IL'ite

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    Reduce intake of PMS problem foods

    Prathi, that was very useful information about PMS. I thought I will add this piece of information too - this is about reducing or avoiding intake of certain foods that has side effects to PMS symptoms.

    This is from a flyer given in a Women's Health association.

    Certain foods exacerbate the side effects and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, and are best avoided. Such problem foods include:

    Caffeine
    Reduce or avoid caffeine in any form: coffee, tea, cola soft drinks and chocolate. Caffeine is a stimulant that may induce irritability, anxiety, depression, nervousness, headaches and insomnia. Drink herbal teas, grain coffees or hot/cold water with lemon. Fennel tea is especially effective at reducing certain PMS symptoms, such as sore breasts.


    Sodium/Salt
    Reduce the amount of sodium in your diet, as sodium increases water retention and symptoms of PMS like bloating. Sources of sodium include: table salt, soy sauce, salted nuts, salted snack foods, soups, some breakfast cereals, processed cold cuts, foods canned in salted water, ketchups, sauce mixes, processed cheese, margarine and butter. Also, increase your potassium intake from foods like: bananas, tomatoes, citrus fruits and most green leafy vegetables.


    Dairy Products
    Reduce your consumption of non-organic dairy products. These are full of estrogenic compounds and other hormones and may interfere with magnesium absorption, a mineral many PMS sufferers are deficient in. Instead, choose Soy milk.


    A Healthy PMS Diet Needs Exercise

    Studies show that regular physical exercise relieves symptoms in many PMS sufferers. It improves lymphatic circulation, cardiovascular health and production of endorphins (the "happiness chemicals") for reduced comfort-eating.
     
  5. Prema

    Prema New IL'ite

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    Worst Part of Life....PMS

    Dear Prathi & Poojitha,

    That was a useful information indeed!! Inspite of myself keeping away from Caffeine, Dairy Products, reducing salt intake, I still suffer from this nightmare called PMS. I go into very bad depression.Infact I have got all the symptoms mentioned in textbooks for PMS.Iam left with no other option but to take strong pain killers a Iam working. I feel this is the worst part of my life.Can anyone please help me how to handle this?

    Regards,
    Prema
     
  6. jyoti

    jyoti New IL'ite

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    Relief of PMS

    Hi,

    I too work and it's very difficult when you get menstrual cramps & pains at work. I also used to throw up earlier whatever I eat solid, except for fluids stuff.

    I consulted with a gynaecologist who speculated the throwing up to be symptoms of PMS. She also suggested a pain relief tablet called - 'Meftal Spas'. It is a good relief to cramps & pains.

    I would recommend consulting a gynaecologist, for these symptoms vary with one another.

    Avoid caffiene totally during menstrual periods, that itself relieves most symptoms.
     
  7. Kute Kiddo

    Kute Kiddo New IL'ite

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    Kollu gives good relief.

    Period pains can be effectively reduced to the minimum by doing regular walking, at least 30min. everyday .
    Additionally, hormonal imbalance is the other reason, why some days are terrible pain & some are not that bad. That is also the main reason why females are getting that pear shape figure. As they say in tamil "Elachanvanukku Ellu, Kozhuthavanukku Kollu" , the humble horsegram is good for reducing this body fat . Horsegram [kollu] is a great pain reliever during period time ! No medicines needed. Just include a handful in your diet daily [or weekly twice if you have a 'heaty' body, as kollu increases body heat] , like a dal or rasam or kootu. Start on the 6th. day after period ends, and continue till just 2 to 3 days before the expected beginning of the next period. I guarantee that you won't feel the usual crampy legs/thighs, lower back ache, loss of apetite etc. which I used to bear with before I started kollu.

    ** But do not consume kollu, at least 3 days before the start of the periods [like I already said] 'cos it may give a heavier/increase in blood flow.
    I've just shared my experience, try out in small quantity & see if it benefits & suits your system.
    Bye to painful periods !
     
  8. Jaya

    Jaya New IL'ite

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    Magnetic therapy for painful cramps during periods

    Dear Friends,

    This article was published in an health magazine. Its about the latest discovery made by scientists regarding magnetic therapy for menstrual cramps.

    The name of the magnet is mn8, its only about the size of a coin. The magnetic field of this magnet increases the blood circulation in the pelvic region thereby reducing menstrual cramps, that is what the scientists have claimed in their research. When a study was made in women suffering from menstrual cramps and PMS, 94% women were found to get relief from the pain either partially or fully. The scientists are in the process of developing a magnet, which can be kept permanently in the pelvic region, the research team's head states.

    There are some useful tips, which prevent menstrual cramps given in this book. Other members have already given their suggestions. I am just adding what I have read:

    1. Exercises done before menstruation prevents the menstrual cramps.
    2. Keeping a heating pad or steam bath in the area of pain also relieves menstrual cramps.
    3. Dates eaten along with milk throughout the entire menstrual cycle helps to eliminate the menstrual cramps.
    4. Avoid having curd, coffee, and meats during menses.
    5. Sesame seeds taken along with jaggery is also good for relieving menstrual cramps. (ellurundai).

    Hope this helps all of u.

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2005
  9. Prema

    Prema New IL'ite

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    Interesting!!

    Kute Kiddooooo......

    This seems to be quite interesting. But can you tell me how to consume this horsegram???? Like sprouts???? or can we cook & eat. How exactly it has to be consumed??????? If you can elaborate on this it will be really helpful to me.

    Thanks!!
    Prema
     
  10. Kute Kiddo

    Kute Kiddo New IL'ite

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    Hi Prema,

    Sorry for the delayed reply, actually forgot about my posting in this thread. I cook kollu, just like any dal, pre-soak & cook in pressure cooker. The water [kollu thanni, like the paruppu jalam] I just drink warm adding a pinch of salt. Or, you can make rasam using that water. The kollu paruppu can lightly mash & make any poriyal, or I just add a few tbsp. to any kootu, or even sprinkle on dosa that I make. Remaining kollu paruppu & water, just refrigerate, and finish off by 3 days. Every day, just one tumbler of this kollu jalam I take & few tbsp. of the boiled kolluparuppu, in any form, sometimes even like sundal it is good. I do not sprout it, 'cos any form of sprouts gives me horrible cough/ chest congestion.
    It has been like a miracle for me, giving immense relief & regulating the periods too. Hope you find it beneficial too,
    Any other queries let me know,
    Good luck,
    K K .
     

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