Naturopathic Case Study: Dysmenorrhoea or painful menses
T., 21 years old, suffers with severe menstrual pain. Her G.P. diagnosis was primary dysmenorrhoea. She decided to try natural remedies first.
Dysmenorrhoea is painful menstruation and is the most common of all gynecologic complaints. This usually begins with the first ovulatory cycles beginning in most cases before the age of 20. Primary dysmenorrhoea is associated with nausea in 50% of patients, vomiting in 25% of patients and stool frequency in 35% of patients. The pain is low and crampy, recurring in waves. The pain usually occurs a few hours before bleeding, comes to peak intensity within a few hours, and dissipates within 1-2 days and generally is relieved by the onset of menstrual flow.
1) Herbs and supplements:
- Anti-spasmodic herbs will ease the muscle spasms that are the immediate cause of pain (Viburnum opulus)
- Nervines will help associated psychological tension or anxiety (Scutellaria spp.)
- Diuretic remedies are indicated if the dysmenorrhoea is of a congestive nature accompanied by water retention.
- Uterine Tonics provide the basis for any healing work in this body system (false unicorn or Angelica sinensis)
- Hormonal Normalizers are indicated if the iris diagnosis suggests a pivotal contribution by hormonal imbalance.
- Magnesium, B6 and evening primrose oils: muscle relaxant and hormone metaboliser.
2) Dietary changes include
-I ncreasing omega 3 essential fatty acids, thus increasing deep-sea fish consumption or a regular breakfast of well-ground linseeds, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin seeds and almond meal combined with stewed fruit and yoghurt.
-I ncreasing fibre from cooked and raw vegetables
- Restricting coffee, alcohol and refined carbohydrate intake
- Reducing saturated fats intake
T. responded well to the naturopathic treatment. After three cycles the herbs and supplements were slowly discontinued and replaced with a herbal tea of chamomile and lemon balm.