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Suggest treatment for premenstrual syndrome

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Practicing since : 1999
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My daughter is 16 and has her period for about 1-2 years now. Her periods come with strong abdonminal cramping, naseau, vomiting, headaches. My sister has had these sypmtoms since she was a teen and is now 50 and still experiences it. Yet her daughter is fine without any symptoms like me. What can my daughter do to ease this non medically and why does this happen?
Posted Mon, 3 Mar 2014 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 24 minutes later
Brief Answer: Hello, I would be happy to help... Detailed Answer: So from what you are saying: 1. Your 16 year old daughter has significant cycle related symptoms 2. Your sister has similar symptoms 3. Your niece is unaffected 4. You imply that YOU suffer from these symptoms too - "...symptoms like me". So there is slight confusion as you imply that you are affected as well. Regardless, the question is about your daughter, and here is my answer: While there can be similar causes of pain with cycles within a family (endometriosis), it is not unusual for women (even whom are related) to be affected in different ways. We approach a 16 year old very differently than a 47 and 50 year old. The cause of the symptoms are related to a change in hormones with ovulation and during the second half of the cycle (nausea, headaches) and related to the cramping of the uterus itself during menstruation (cramping, pain). But this question is about the 16 year old. Medical options include prescription and non-prescription medications. Prescription medications that would ABSOLUTELY help your daughter would include placing her on birth control pills. Non-prescription options that have been proven to work include medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). One regimen that has been proven to decrease pain and bleeding is: Naproxen 500mg orally twice daily with the onset of symptoms and through the period. It should be used alone and not with ibuprofen. It can be hard on the stomach lining if used continuously throughout the cycle for an extended period of time. The best thing to do for her would be to take her in to see an OB/GYN. She would probably prefer a female OB/GYN. This is the best place to discuss these options and to assess whether additional workup of her symptoms is indicated. I hope that this helps!
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Follow-up: Suggest treatment for premenstrual syndrome 9 minutes later
Sorry for the confusion. NO I am not affected by any menstrual symptoms, but I find it odd that my older sister and my daughter are. Her daughter and I are NOT. It's the opposite. My concern about putting her on birthcontrol is high as her father had colon cancer at age 29 and is a survivor, so I don't want to add to that possibility. Anything naturopathic?
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Thank you for the clarification... Detailed Answer: Well, this just goes to show you that different women can be affected differently, even within the same family - that is not so unusual. Second, a family history of colon cancer is NOT a contraindication to the use of birth control pills in a 16 year old female - this you can discuss further with her OB/GYN who will know her better. Finally, here is some information on alternative treatment for painful cycles (it is paraphrased from a reputable source): Diet and vitamins — A variety of dietary changes and vitamin therapies has been reported to reduce the severity of menstrual pain. 1. In one clinical trial, there was a benefit from eating a low-fat, vegetarian diet 2. Another study showed that three or four servings of dairy products per day had less cycle related pain. 3. Vitamin E alone (500 units per day or 200 units twice per day, beginning two days before menses and continuing through the first three days of bleeding) was more effective than placebo for relieving cycle related pain 4. In a systematic review including mostly single small trials, vitamin B1 (100 mg daily), vitamin B6 (200 mg daily), and fish oil supplement (1080 mg eicosapentaenoic acid, 720 mg docosahexaenoic acid, and 1.5 mg vitamin E) were each more effective for reducing pain than placebo. I hope that these ideas help.
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