PMS pre-menstrual syndrome

alt=snarling lionness PMS pre-menstrual syndrome
Feeling Snarly

You feel snappy and mean. Your breasts are tender and your ankles are swollen. Chocolate is your only friend. Yes, you’ve got PMS again. You know that these last few days before your period are going to be a struggle. At least nowadays you recognise it for what it is and you no longer believe that the world has turned against you, but it still feels like it.

Most women get premenstrual syndrome at some time. But only between 10 – 20% get it to the degree that it blights their lives. PMS has been the cause of women leaving their jobs, falling out with friends and even ending relationships.

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I think I’m losing it

alt= losing it, confusionDo you ever get the feeling that you are losing it? ‘What did I come in here for?’  ‘I’ve lost my thread. What was I about to say?’ ‘Where are they? I know I put them here somewhere.’  Is this familiar? Does it sound like you? It sounds like a lot of my patients. It also sounds like me sometimes too on occasion. I know what that is like. I’ve missed planes (see Forgiveness), lost keys and very, very, very slowly, while looking the other way, driven my car into a post and written it off.

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Migraine

alt=migraine
Killer headache

You’ve got that blinding headache again. It’s (probably) one-sided and pounding or throbbing. It pins you to the spot. You don’t want to see anyone or be disturbed, can’t stand the light, noise or smells  and it might go on for days. Yes, it’s another migraine.

I’ll come clean here. I’ve only had one bad headache in my life in my twenties, but I remember at the time thinking I’d rather be dead than go on in that sort of pain for any longer. I am truly in awe of people who have migraines and somehow get on with life.

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Indigestion

alt=indigestion
Indigestion

Oh no! You’ve got indigestion again. It’s that terrible pain in your chest that always makes you think you are having a heart attack. Or that horrible feeling of fullness that means you can’t consider bending over. Or that embarrassing belching and a bad taste in your mouth. Whatever it is, it probably comes from a faulty upper digestive tract.

It’s not surprising that it feels so awful because digestion is a complex system, mixing your food with enzymes that require strong alkaline and then strong acid solutions to work. So you’re dealing with a chemistry set. The acid in your stomach can be as low as 1 or 2 on a ph scale and that is very acidic.

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I think I drink too much

Too much wine alcohol
I think I drink too much

Do you sometimes think you drink too much. Or you wonder how much alcohol is too much alcohol. You can’t sleep well and you wake feeling creaky and stiff after getting up in the night to pee. Your digestion isn’t good and your eyes are dry. You have a sneaking idea that all these things are related to alcohol rather than to ageing or life in general.

Well, you are not alone. We are bombarded by TV programs and articles telling us that we have become binge drinkers and we can’t even congratulate ourselves that we have never been seen out in a drunken state because now we know that most alcohol is consumed in the home, not in the pub.

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Insomnia and why sleep is so important

Insomnia sleeplessness
I can’t sleep!

Yes, you know what it’s like to have insufficient sleep. You wake up feeling hungover, fuzzy in the head, heavy eyed, dull thinking, maybe with a headache, grumpy and not fit for the day. But do you remember what it’s like to wake up after a really good sleep? Feeling bright, cheerful, capable of getting on with the day and optimistic.

There is a reason for the difference. The brain, which is only about 2% of the body’s total weight, uses up 25% of its energy. All metabolism has toxic by-products which the lymphatic system carries away. So far, just basic level biology. But what happens to all the toxins that accumulate around brain cells (using a quarter of the calories you consume)? The lymphathic system is not connected to the brain. Continue reading

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