12 Apr 2007
Premenstual Dysphoric Disorder ( PMDD ) is currently diagnosed when a woman's premenstrual symptoms are so severe that debilitating mood and behavioural changes impair basic daily activities such as work or social relationships, resulting in a form of clinical depression. Homeopathy has been used to help women for over a century and PMDD usually responds particularly well.
Homeopathy is a gentle, holistic method of healing which concentrates on individual symptoms, both physical and emotional. It works by stimulating the bodies’ own natural energies for healing using specially prepared medicines from the plant, mineral or animal worlds. There is an old medical acronym TEETH which stands for Tried Everything Else, Try Homeopathy. What a shame that it is not THF: Try Homeopathy First. There are so many distressing women’s problems that can usually be solved quite easily by homeopathy yet most women endure medical tests, pills, implants and sometimes surgery instead.
With the exception of rare birth deformities all women’s menstrual problems are caused by a hormone imbalance but conventional hormone treatment cannot always resolve them. Hormones, being the product of the extremely sensitive and complex endocrine system, can be affected by emotional shocks such as grief or humiliation. There may also be a genetic pre-disposition to certain problems or diet, exercise, or even the ultimate hormone controller The Pill can affect symptoms.
The professional homeopath’s job is to take a careful and thorough case history which looks at all aspects of the patient’s life and health then to choose one or more remedies which will enable her body to re-engage the energy which healthy people can take for granted: to self-heal.
There are several well known homeopathic remedies which can be bought over the counter such as Pulsatilla, Nat Mur, Lachesis and Sepia which have helped women for many years. Pulsatilla for weepy mood swings, Nat Mur for feeling worse during a period rather than better, Lachesis for venomous nastiness before a period and Sepia for an ‘everything is too much for me’ state. Some women have tried them and after initial relief found that the remedy has no lasting power; they give up and don’t know about the other eighty less well-known remedies which might help. The star of the homeopathic show is a wonderful remedy called Folliculinum which has transformed women’s hormonal problems from menarche (the onset of menstruation at puberty) to post-menopause.
Folliculinum is prepared from ovarian follicle and is used for all symptoms related to over-secretion of oestrogen or over-reaction to oestrogen. It has been available since the 1950’s but only more widely used by homeopaths since 1990 when it was found that it did so much of the work that the Pill was originally prescribed for and also, importantly, for any adverse reactions to the Pill. It is especially well indicated for women who have accompanying mental or emotional symptoms such as a history of abuse which may be of physical, psychic, medical or sexual origin. They may suffer from an alternation of excitability and depression which is worse before their period; also panic attacks, extreme instability with anguish, sexual hyperexcitability or fixed ideas of a sexual nature. They may experience excessive weight gain - up to a kilogram during ovulation or before their period starts. Often they have chronic E.Coli infections or Candida Albicans with symptoms of wheat and sugar craving, bloating and itching. Perhaps the most wonderful effect of Folliculinum is that it restores self-esteem so that a woman who has lost her sense of self can experience the joy of feeling normal again.
So how can you find a homeopath? Friends or local health food shop may be able to recommend someone or you can contact the two main professional societies which keep registers of fully qualified and up-to-date homeopaths. It is a good idea to speak to the practitioner in person before making an appointment to check out these questions: Will I feel confident and relaxed telling this homeopath about my problems? Is he or she a member of a professional society with a clear code of ethics and practice? And, if Folliculinum looks as though it could be an important remedy for me, is the practitioner experienced in using it? This question may be important because the remedy is still relatively new and some homeopaths have more experience with it than others.
Having made an appointment what happens next? Usually there will be a relaxed 1-2 hour discussion with no internal physical examination. At the end of the session you may have a remedy prescribed on the spot or it might be posted later, especially if it has to be specially ordered from a homeopathic pharmacy. You will be asked to return sometime after your next period so that any changes can be evaluated and, if necessary, a new prescription given. Because PMDD can cause so many mood and behavioural disturbances it can take a while for them all to settle down and for a new stable way of living to become established. During this time your homeopath will want to keep fairly regular appointments with you so that any set-backs can be take n care of quickly. Many women are so pleased with their new-found happiness and health that they stay with their homeopath for years afterwards so that any new problems are quickly dealt with.
Jane Hurley MCCH RSHom(Rtd)
To find a homeopath in your area contact:
Jane Hurley MCCH RSHom is a founding member of the South West Homeopathic Group, and teaches at the Contemporary College of Homeopathy in Exeter. She also runs a Homeopathic Support Service for students and practitioners and runs a student group practice in Teignmouth.