Doctors are perplexed
Is premenstrual syndrome a hormonal disease or is it due to psychosocial causes? There is very convincing evidence that it is associated with hormones, since during the week before menstruation, the level of female hormones, estrogen and progesterone changes, and during menopause, previously repeated monthly symptoms disappear. However, researchers who hospitalized women with pronounced premenstrual syndrome and measured their hormone levels at different times, never found any significant deviation from the norm. Englishwoman Karina Dalton in one of her early works advised using progesterone as a remedy for premenstrual syndrome. Although some women with premenstrual syndrome have reported that progesterone gives them relief, they were even ready to swear it, most studies have claimed that the hormone helps no more than a placebo. In one study, limited in scope, women severely suffering from premenstrual syndrome received estrogen, usually prescribed for severe menopausal symptoms.
The most recent research, described in an article published in the New English Medical Journal, sheds a little light on these conflicting data. In the course of these studies, people suffering from premenstrual syndrome were given a medicine that was supposed to prevent the hormonal changes usually occurring in the premenstrual phase of the cycle. However, the condition of women who received such a medicine did not change for the better, which led researchers to think about other causes of the disease, maybe the syndrome is caused by hormonal changes in another phase of the cycle or the disorder has no causal relationship with the menstrual cycle, but is only synchronized with it in time .
Some researchers have studied the possible relationship between premenstrual syndrome and thyroid dysfunction, seasonal emotional disturbance, circadian rhythm disorders, which are treated with dosed irradiation with full-spectrum bright light. But until now, premenstrual syndrome remains as mysterious as it was in 1931, when obstetrician gynecologist Robert Frank, MD, first used the term to describe the cyclical disturbance in the psychological state that his patients suffered from.