How Hormone Therapy Helps Manage PMS

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy or hormone replacement therapy is used to help balance estrogen and progesterone in women who are experiencing difficulties. The imbalance of hormones affects the reproductive, thyroid system, and more. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a group of symptoms that occur in many women 1 to 2 weeks before and during their cycle. Some symptoms include mood swings, chronic fatigue, changes in appetite, depression, bloating, and more. Most women experience some symptoms associated with PMS at least one to two weeks before their periods. The severity of these symptoms may change from month to month and can change after childbirth or other life changes associated with the reproductive system.

Research has proven that at least 50 to 90% of women have and will develop one or more symptoms related to PMS during their reproductive years. Most women who have had one or more children or women who have developed fibroids or have a family history of reproductive disorders are highly at risk of developing PMS or PMDD. Additionally, all women should be advised to keep a monthly menstrual diary to chart their premenstrual symptoms after diagnosis, to determine treatment effectiveness and to give women a sense of control over their symptoms. For patients with mild physical and emotional symptoms of PMS, a trial of nutritional supplements, including calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B6, may also be considered along with blood work to detect if there is a need to address any hormonal issues.

It is highly recommended that if the symptoms of PMS or PMDD become worse that you speak to your OB/GYN about getting labs done to detect if hormone therapy for PMS is needed. After the diagnosis of PMS or PMDD has been made through the exclusion of other medical and psychiatric conditions, as well as by prospective daily ratings of symptoms, treatment can be initiated.

A decrease in estrogen levels during a woman's monthly cycle may trigger mood changes in some women, causing some females to reach for comfort foods that are high in fat, calories, sugar, and salt to feel better. Sadly, eating these foods backfires, and makes women feel worse, cause excessive bloating, and weight gain. Too much sodium intake can increase water retention and bloat. Sugar, excess fat, and calories will lead you to pack on the pounds. If these estrogen levels continue to decrease, it can also affect leptin, which is a hormone that inhibits hunger. Hormone therapy treatment for PMS combined with a healthy diet and exercise plan can help alleviate symptoms and prevent excessive bloating. Sticking to lean meats, healthy fats, complex carbs, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables can help prevent PMS and encourage healthy blood sugar levels and weight loss.

Some symptoms of PMS that can be improved with hormone therapy for PMS are swollen, bloating and water retention, irregular bowel movements, headaches or migraines, cramping (ranging from moderate to severe, fatigue, insomnia or trouble falling or staying asleep, acne or other skin irritations, muscle and/or joint pain, pain in lower back and abdomen, change in appetite, and irritability. Premenstrual syndrome is becoming more common in women’s health; therefore, many women are seeking the best treatment to alleviate the symptoms.

Many people turn to over-the-counter medications that only provide temporary relief for the symptoms of PMS while the underlying hormonal problems that cause the symptoms are still present. However, it is best to consider speaking with your OB/GYN about testing to see if any hormone deficiencies may be making your symptoms worsen over time. This helps you in taking the appropriate treatment to make sure the underlying problems are addressed well.