According to a recent study published in the Journal of Women's Health, About 80% of women experience premenstrual symptoms and about 50% of women seek medical care for them. Many women use anti-inflammatory agents for relief from PMS symptoms such as back pain and abdominal cramps. However, there have been few studies that investigate the relationship between inflammation and PMS.
This study from researchers at the University of California, has found a link between premenstrual symptoms, period pain and a biomarker for inflammation in the body called high sensitivity C-reactive (Hs-CR) protein. Having an hs-CRP level >3 mg/L was significantly positively associated with premenstrual mood symptoms, abdominal cramps/back pain, appetite cravings/weight gain/bloating and breast pain in almost 3,000 women studied. Elevated hs-CRP level was not associated with premenstrual headaches or reporting three or more PMS symptoms.
"The significant relationships of specific groups of PMS with elevated Hs-CR protein levels have potential clinical implications for treatment and possibly for prevention by advising women about the factors associated with inflammation and the potential for treatment with anti-inflammatory agents," they wrote. "These results suggest that inflammation may play a mechanistic role in most PMS, although further longitudinal study of these relationships is needed. "However, recommending to women to avoid behaviors that are associated with inflammation may be helpful for prevention, and anti-inflammatory agents may be useful for treatment of these symptoms."
Although PMS is extremely common, there is very little research in it. In another article Elizabeth Berton-Johnson wrote; "Very few studies to date have directly evaluated the association of inflammation and premenstrual symptoms or PMS, but results are remarkably consistent" "This is not only the largest but also the most racially and ethnically diverse study of inflammation and premenstrual symptoms conducted to date."
PMS may also be related to other chronic inflammatory conditions that tend to occur later in life, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. This possibility is supported by results from a recent prospective study suggesting that women with PMS have a higher risk of subsequently developing hypertension than control women. Establishing PMS as an inflammatory condition suggests that PMS may be an important indicator of future chronic disease risk, allowing for earlier identification of women at elevated risk and enhancing prevention options. This also suggests that treatment of PMS with therapies targeting inflammation could have positive impacts on long-term chronic disease risk.
When visiting with your doctor have them perform blood tests that detect inflammation using specific biomarkers such as High-Sensitivity C-reactive protein (Hs-CRP) as discussed above. Relatively high levels of hs-CRP in otherwise healthy individuals have also been found to be predictive of an increased risk of a future heart attack, stroke, and sudden cardiac death/peripheral aterial disease, even if cholesterol levels are within normal range. Researchers have also found a correlation between symptoms and blood levels of other inflammatory markers such as (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-12 and interferon (IFN)-γ.
The treatment of PMS depends on the severity and type of symptoms as well as how they are affecting your quality of life and relationships.
Treatment for Mild Symptoms:
-Exercise regularly, three to five times per week.
-Do not skip meals. Follow a regular meal schedule to maintain a more stable blood sugar level.
-Eat a diet that is low in refined sugars and higher in protein and healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil, grass fed butter)
-Get a good night's sleep of 7-8 hours. Avoid staying up all night.
-If you smoke, quit.
-Cut down on alcohol.
-Practice stress reduction techniques such as meditation or biofeedback. Take a long bath using soothing epsom salts and lavendar.
-Turmeric or Curcumin. You can use to make a tea or take a premium supplement likeProgressive Labs-Curcumin BCM-95.
-Your doctor may suggest taking vitamin B6, calcium or magnesium supplements. Follow your doctors recommended dosage. You should not take more than 100 milligrams per day of vitamin B6. High B6 dosages have been associated with nerve damage.
Moderate to severe symptoms that interfere with your normal daily activities:
This should be discussed with your doctor. Along with trying all of the previously discussed treatments, your doctor may prescribe additional supplements or prescription medications. Be Aware that many medical doctors will prescribe prescription medications solely based on your symptoms such as diuretics for bloating or oral contraceptives for cramps and length of period. Watch this video from Dr. Kelly Brogan M.D. on the risks of oral contraceptives.
Another treatment to Be Aware of are antidepressants. Antidepressants should be avoided. They have many short and long term side effects such as weight gain, decreased libido, risk of suicide and violence just to name a few. Get your hormones in check by protecting progesterone. Your doctor may prescribe a medication that causes the ovaries to stop producing estrogen, so that ovulation stops. Decreasing estrogen levels will allow for the balance of hormones. This is usually reserved for very severe symptoms, or when other medications fails.
I would suggest naturally decreasing estrogen in your body. Here are some ways to balance your hormones and decrease pain causing inflammation:
-Decrease xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are found in plastics, cosmetics and pesticides. I suggest using face and body products from companies like Primal Life Organics. For 10% Off All Products Use Promo Code: DRSUZHEALS at checkout. FYI my favorite products are the deodorant and skin exfoliator but all the products are AMAZING!
-Take Maca. Maca is a Peruvian vegetable rich in minerals and phytonutrients. This root vegetable helps support the body's ability to produce and balance hormones as well as decrease the effects of stress hormones such as cortisol. Click here --> for Gaia Maca Powder.
-Turmeric or Curcumin. You can use to make a tea or take a premium supplement like Progressive Labs-Curcumin BCM-95.
-Raspberry Leaf Tea. Yogi Woman's Raspberry Leaf Tea. A gentle and organic blend purposefully formulated to support the female system. Known to help ease the discomfort of menstruation, and to strengthen and tone the uterus. Enjoy the pleasant, earthy-sweet flavor of this tea for comfort at all stages of life.
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Source: Harvard Health