Homeopathy and Naturopathic Treatment of PMS and Luteal Phase Disorders
Fertility Naturopath Perth: Homeopathy and Naturopathic Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and other Disorders of the Luteal Phase
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects between 70-90% of women of menstruating age. The symptoms vary widely both in their nature and their intensity. For some, it is more about emotional disturbance; but in others the physical symptoms are more troubling.
PMS or PMT?
The colloquial term of PMT (premenstrual tension) refers to the irritability and other emotional features of the luteal phase that affect a significant number of women. The “luteal phase’ is the second half of a woman’s menstrual cycle, from ovulation to the beginning of the period. The term follicular phase” describes the first half of the cycle. The quite separate problem of Luteal Phase Defect is discussed at the bottom of this page.
PMS: the Homeopathic & Naturopathic Approach
There is no one accepted cause of the problem. However, we see it as a definite reflection of the general health of the person; and that is the focus of our approach to manage and heal PMS. Naturopathic dietary and lifestyle modification combined with homeopathic treatment for the whole person can help balance the hormones and restore health on all levels: mental, emotional and physical.
At this Perth naturopathic clinic we find that most women experience significant reduction in symptoms of PMS from the first menstrual cycle.
It is not in itself an indication of infertility in the same way as the direct causes discussed on the page Causes of Infertility. It is, however, one of the key parameters we monitor at monthly visits to assess the general progress of a woman’s health.
Restoration of all parameters of the menstrual cycle into a more normal balance is perhaps the most important aspect of dealing with the causes of “unexplained infertility”. Also, because this is a general practice and we do not treat just infertility, any woman can seek our naturopathic assistance with this common problem.
Diet & Nutrition for PMS
The dietary factors we suggest for PMS are the same as those that promote fertility. The fertility diet comprises strictly wholefoods: plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains; a good balance of healthy fatty acids from nut, seeds, monounsaturated oils and fish; reduction of animal protein and increase in legumes; and an abundance of fibre generally. Things to be avoided are hydrogenated fats, refined sugar and excess salt, caffeine and alcohol.
We will assess your diet and look at your needs individually, taking into account your expectations and the changes you feel comfortable with. It does not have to be an obsessive thing.
One of the key things is reducing blood sugar irregularities. The diet must be low GI, but if the guidelines above are followed, this should already be taken care of. Many of the symptoms of fluctuations in blood sugar are similar to many PMS symptoms: anxiety, irritability, dizziness, restlessness and headaches, craving for sweets, lack of concentration, fatigue and clumsiness. A general naturopathic approach can also be assisted by homeopathic remedies that deal with deal with blood sugar irregularities and sweet cravings, provided they cover other aspects of the case.
Different Types & Categories of PMS
Natural therapists have often found it useful to group the symptoms of PMS into various categories as an aid to the treatment approach. Bear in mind that a woman may have symptoms from more than one of these categories. As always, with the naturopathic and homeopathic approach, the woman is treated as a whole and no attempt is made to fit her into a neat category and treat accordingly. However, the following provides a useful starting point:
- PMS-A: In this category of premenstrual syndrome, anxiety and other emotional factors are main features: mood swings, irritability, mild depression and nervous tension. It is thought that relative oestrogen dominance and low progesterone in the luteal phase could be at fault.
Environmental sources of oestrogen (xeno-oestrogens) from the water supplies, plastics, personal care products and other chemical sources could be contributing factors. Individually determined naturopathic and homeopathic strategies as outlined on the page on the Treatment of Oestrogen Dominance could be employed.
- PMS-C: Here C stands for cravings that are associated with blood sugar imbalance. Appetite is increased generally, but especially for sweet foods. Other symptoms related to blood sugar irregularities include fatigue, irritability and headaches.
Dietary factors are important here, and also the constitutional homeopathic remedy should cover the sweet cravings and will help modify them along with the other symptoms.
- PMS-H: H stands for hyper-hydration or fluid retention. Breast tenderness and enlargement, abdominal bloating and weight gain commonly occur. It is thought that stress, poor diet, especially high sodium and low magnesium and relative oestrogen dominance play a role.
Specifically it is thought that an increase in the anti-diuretic hormone aldosterone is the cause of the main symptoms. Again, constitutional homeopathy in conjunction with dietary changes can help resolve the problem.
- PMS-D: This stands for depression. It is the rarest form but can be the most severe. Other symptoms include confusion, clumsiness, emotional withdrawal and tearfulness.
Constitutional homeopathy can help by balancing hormones and improving the stress response, always in conjunction with a diet providing adequate quantities of the beneficial fatty acids. If response is inadequate, in the worst forms, we will refer for medical help. At its extreme it is known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: PMDD.
It is quite common that other pre-existing complaints may become more severe or more frequent in the luteal phase, especially in the last week and the last few days. These include migraine, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), vaginal thrush, increased infections, sore throats, urinary tract infections, asthma and chronic fatigue syndrome. Women with depression and anxiety will often experience a worsening of symptoms in the pre-menstrual phase. Migraines are the most commonly occurring in conjunction with PMS.
Constitutional homeopathy prescribed on the basis of her complete pattern of symptoms will assist the woman with pre-menstrual or menstrual migraines, as well as these other problems. Dietary changes to help with oestrogen fluctuations will often complete the healing effect of naturopathy as practised at this Perth clinic.
Luteal Phase Defect
Luteal Phase Defect is a disorder of the luteal phase that is not directly related to PMS, but both may be caused by relative oestrogen dominance and low levels of progesterone. The luteal phase is shorter because the endometrium breaks down and prevents the implantation of a successful pregnancy, bringing on an early period and therefore a miscarriage. It is the cause of more than 60% of miscarriages. At this Perth clinic we have seen constitutional homeopathy and naturopathic advice help the majority of women with this problem.
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This is a general practice treating all problems. Here are links to pages on our main site www.cottnat.com.au that describe our approach to many other conditions:
- Cottesloe Naturopathic Clinic
- Unit 5, Napoleon Close Arcade
- 12-18 Napoleon Street
- Western Australia 6011
- Telephone 08 9385 1484
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