Ask the Doctor

by drfay on February 6, 2009

Ask the Doctor

Dear Dr. Tom

I believe that I may have PMS. I find myself snapping at my children and husband sometimes and then regret the hurt I have caused. I have also been experiencing some of the other things that I have heard are PMS related. These are breast tenderness, some weight gain, I am tired a lot and my head is kind of foggy were I just don’t remember things as well as I once did. It’s not like I am old I am only 34 years old and this has been going on for about 7 years ever since my first child. Do you think I have PMS?


Dear Ginny,

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a symptom that many woman experience (up to sixty percent of American woman). There are far to many women suffering from what is a normal physiological function, we need to get to the cause and support the system to relieve these symptoms. Symptoms normally start about seven to fourteen days before their menstruation. The symptoms include: decreased energy level, tension, irritability, depression, headache, altered libido, breast pain, backache, abdominal bloating, swelling of the fingers and ankles. Some women experience mild-to-severe personality changes, diarrhea and/or constipation, uterine cramping and facial acne cheeks and jaw line.

Although PMS has been a well-defined clinical entity for well over sixty years, many physicians still argue that it really does not exist. The idea that it’s all in your head is at best non supportive. Many women have been encouraged to numb their senses with pharmaceuticals such as Prozac and Zoloft these drugs are anti-anxiety drugs related to Valium.

PMS is not a Prozac, Zoloft or Valium deficiency. Most frequently I find that by reviewing the diet with some moderate modifications, along with improving the function of the gastrointestinal tract, supporting the efficiency of the liver, have produced significant improvement. By supporting the liver with a gentle cleanse and nutritional support I have observed that the liver can process fats more easily and detoxify more efficiently.
Most people in this modern world have had their dose of anti-biotics and in many cases they were needed and possibly saved their life. The thing to remember about anti-biotics is once they have done their job we must replace or build up our intestinal flora. Our good intestinal bacteria (flora) will help prevent an overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract of the usually benign yeast Candida albicans. Candida albicans is now becoming recognized as a complex medical syndrome known as “the yeast syndrome” or “chronic Candidiasis”. The overgrowth of Candida is believed to cause a wide variety of symptoms in virtually every system of the body, with the gastrointestinal, genitourinary, endocrine, nervous, and immune systems being the most susceptible.
Every woman who has presented to my office with PMS symptoms is also given a saliva hormone test to determine if there are any hormonal imbalances. Another factor to consider is adrenal and thyroid function testing.

Diet, exercise and supplements. By removing offending foods I have seen moods shift and dramatically improve. Some foods to watch out for would include refined sugars, certain commercially raised proteins, many dairy products, saturated fats, caffeine and tobacco. Refined sugars may have a direct effect on estrogen levels so it is wise to read labels carefully. If the words sucrose, glucose, maltose, lactose, fructose, corn syrup, or white grape juice concentrate appear on the label, extra sugar has been added. Several studies have shown that women who are engaged in a regular exercise program do not suffer from PMS nearly as often as sedentary women.

Remember to take the time for yourself. In our busy hectic days many women do not stop to check-in with them selves. A relaxing walk on the beach or around the block can be a wonderful chance to visit with friends and watch the children play, and besides it is exercise. Hire your husband or significant other to baby sit; no matter how old the children are and take time for you with a warm relaxing bath. Set time aside for you to read, write, paint or do something that is not ultra demanding in a physical sense. Please make and take time to nurture, and nourish you, you are definitely worth it. Besides if the nurturer can’t nurture who will take care of all those who need you?

If you would like to e-mail me with a question or two, I will do my best to answer you in the next edition. Please send to

Thanks for all of your past, present and future support.

Dr. Tom

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kayla Franklin November 4, 2009 at 10:13 am

Dr. Faye,

Can you give me any information on the H1N1 vaccine? I have two grandaughters that are 2 years and 6 monthst and we are really perplexed as to wether they need the vaccine or not and what harm it might do to them. Please shed some light on this for us.

Best Regards,