Wild Yams

Q: I had irregular periods for years, so my doctor put me on birth controlpills. Since then, I've suffered from PMS like clockwork every month. I get irritable, depressed, and bloated. Can you help?

A: What you are reporting doesn't surprise me. Birth control pills contain synthetic hormones that can disrupt the body. Sometimes these synthetic hormones may be dangerous to your health. A 27-year-old patient of mine developed high blood pressure on the birth control pill. In fact, a recent study showed that synthetic progesterone actually increases the risk of heart disease by constricting blood vessels. In this study, women given natural progesterone were able to exercise on a treadmill much longer than women given a synthetic version of the hormone.

Natural progesterone can help regulate a woman's menstrual cycle. Many women suffer from PMS because of an imbalance between estrogen (too much) and progesterone (too little). Progesterone boosts mood, calms anxiety, and gives an increased sense of well-being. Cream containing natural progesterone, made from WILD YAMS, is available in most health food stores. The cream is applied to the skin in the last two weeks of a woman's cycle. Many of my patients report a decrease in their PMS symptoms.

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