05 February 2008

PMS and PMDD Causes - Part 2: Stress

Researchers state that there is no real known reason why PMS (or PMDD) occurs in some women and not in others. Let me tell you what I think why PMS (and PMDD) occurs (part 2):

2. Stress

Stress, especially if it is unmitigated and occurs long-term, is devastating to the body's health equilibrium. When stress occurs, the body prepares itself by activating the "flight or fight" hormones, which is the way the body reacts when faced with danger, real or imagined.

Now if the body is in a constant state of stress, these stress hormones (produced by the adrenal glands which are located on top of the kidneys) produce various effects on the body such as the following:
  • Increase of sodium and chloride retention and water re-absorption (basically fluid retention)
  • Increased excretion of potassium, which causes blood pressure to rise
  • Increase in glucose levels, to fuel the muscles for "flight or fight"
  • Increased use of amino acids and fats
  • Decreased immunity
  • Formation of other steroid hormones, such as oestrogen (an increase is oestrogen is part of the reason why experts think women get PMS, as progesterone is reduced in comparison, so the levels of these two hormones become askew)
Basically if the body is in constant state of stress, there is a decreased level of many nutrients as the body uses them to prepare to either get away from the dangerous situation or stay and fight. But with stress, if it is continuing, there is no getting away from it and the health of the person suffers as a consequence.

It is much more preferable to reduce stress revels and reduce the negative effects on the body that this has, especially where PMS and PMDD is concerned.

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