pMS - pMT & AD/HD


pMT and AD/HD
By Kathy West for ADDNet UK.

There is growing evidence that women with AD/HD are frequently more seriously affected by AD/HD during key fluctuations caused by the menstrual cycle.

This is often a particular problem for AD/HD girls during puberty, when cycles are likely to fluctuate even more. An article in the Health section of the Guardian (25 March 1997) on pMS (pre-Menstrual Syndrome) suggests some further evidence as to why this may be the case. This article (p.16 G2 section) states that it is now widely accepted that 30% of all women are seriously affected by pMS. "The latest thinking is that pMS results from a malfunction of serotonin levels, rather than hormone imbalance. Serotonin, a brain chemical responsible for the 'feel good factor' seems to be low in women suffering from pMS.

Treatment is aimed primarily at boosting serotonin levels and production."The decreased uptake/availability of the neurotransmitter serotonin is also believed to be a key factor in many cases of AD/HD" - so this evidence provides an interesting possible explaination about why many AD/HD women suffer particularly badly from pMS. The article also states that "patients may well benefit from a low fat, high fibre diet which encourages production of serotonin."

professor Shaughan O'Brian of the pMS clinic at the North Staffordshire Hospital Trust is also quoted: "What we think now is that some women's systems are more susceptible, for some reason not yet known, to the normal hormonal cycle.

It also appears that pMS itself acts to lower serotonin levels, and we know that if you can boost serotonin levels, you can make women less sensitive to hormonal changes in the body."

Sometimes professor O'Brien prescribes serotonin re-uptake inhibitors such as prozac - a medication also often effective in treating some cases of AD/HD - to help pMS symptoms. Natural progesterone and frequent intake of carbohydrates during the pre-menstrual phase are believed to be the most effective approach to severe symptoms however.

More information about treating pMS can be obtained from NApS (National Association for pre-Menstural Syndrome), pO Box 72, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 IXQ (enclose A5 SAE) or ring 01732 741 709 for a 24 hour info line.

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