Some women experience a variety of symptoms a week or 10 days before menstruation. These include bloating, weight gain due to water retention, tender or swollen breasts, headaches, backaches, irritability, depression, joint pains and a craving for sweets.
These short-lived symptoms are part of the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) which is apparently caused by too much estrogen (the female sex hormone) and lack of progesterone (another hormone secreted by the ovaries). Decreased levels of the neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) dopamine and serotonin are other factors.
To prevent this, Kurt Butler and Dr. Lynn Rayner of the University of Hawaii recommend the following in “The Best Medicine”:
Cut down on salt and concentrated sugars to reduce water retention and symptoms of hypoglycemia (a deficiency of glucose in the bloodstream common in diabetes).
Exercise regularly to decrease water retention. Avoid excessive alcohol intake days before your period begins.
Diuretics can reduce water retention and bloating. These are drugs which make the kidney produce more urine, thus getting rid of excess salt and fluid from the body. In
view of their side effects, however, see a doctor for the right medicines.
Some megavitamin advocates believe high doses of vita¬min B6 or pyridoxine can treat PMS. Consumer Reports, a magazine published by Consumers Union which has been providing people with helpful information since 1936 says “the evidence supporting this practice is thin.”
While daily pyridoxine supplements may relieve the symptoms of PMS in some people, mega dosing should be avoided since it can cause severe neurological damage and may harm the fetus of a pregnant woman. This was reported by Drs. Schaumburg and A. Berger in the New England Journal of Medicine.
They observed that seven adults who took daily pyridoxine megadoses of 2,000 to 6,000 milligrams suffered from severe and permanent nerve damage.
Even small doses of pyridoxine can be harmful. Schaum¬burg said 30 people who took 500 milligrams of pyri¬doxine every day also developed neurological disorders. Six¬teen other subjects suffered the same fate with only 200 milligrams a day of vitamin B6, he said.
“Their symptoms, which resembled those of multiple sclerosis, included numbness and tingling of the hands, difficulty in walking, and electric shocks shooting down the spine,” warned Consumer Reports.
If you must take pyridoxine supplements, do so under the guidance of a competent doctor. To help you rest during a PMS attack, take Sedamine – the supplement that will help you sleep naturally. Visit http://sedamine.com/ for details.