If you think about it, a difficult period can cast a shadow over half of your adult life (before menopause). One half of your month may be perfectly fine. You almost forget about any period woes. Then, a week of uncomfortable premenstrual syndrome hits. Then comes another week of cramping or heavy bleeding. Some people have irregular periods or prolonged PMS/ bleeding. For these women even more than half of their month is difficult.

Whether your PMS symptoms are “in your head” or very much physical, they should be treated. First, because they make it hard to make the most out of life. Second, because it may be your body trying to tell you that something is out of balance.

The concept of different types of PMS was popularized by a medical doctor named GE Abraham in the 80s. He was well known for his research in women’s health. He was also a big believer in the power that nutrition plays in premenstrual syndrome. Below I’ll mention his four different types of PMS. It may be interesting to see which category you fall under.


The “A” here stands for anxiety. If you have this type of PMS you’re anxious and irritable before your period. This is the most common type of PMS. These women may have higher than ideal levels of estrogen, and sub-optimal progesterone.


This is the bloating type of PMS. If you have this type, you retain a lot of water during your PMS. You feel swollen, bloated and breasts feel more painful and full. Adrenal hormones may be off balance here.


This type of PMS is associated with food cravings (especially for sweets). Appetite may be high. You may also have symptoms of dips in blood sugar. This includes headaches, fatigue, racing heart and feeling shaky. Low prostaglandin levels have been blamed for this as well as nutrient deficiencies.


“D” for depression. You feel low mood when you experience this type of PMS. You may also have brain fog and feel tearful. This type has been associated with low estrogen and high progesterone.

Many women have symptoms that show up in different categories and don’t have one type of PMS. However, some women find GE Abraham’s categories make sense for them. I will say that I’ve seen many of my patients’ PMS symptoms improve with herbs, nutritional support and lifestyle changes. The protocol varies depending on the symptoms they’re experiencing.

If you’re ready to take back your month book an appointment or FREE 15 minute consultation!

If you are interested in naturopathic services please contact Holland Landing Health Centre at 905-853-7900 or via e-mail at info@HLHC.ca.



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