Melatonin Imbalance Related to PMS & PMDD

Leslie Carol Botha: A healthy endocrine system, i.e. hormone balance, is crucial to women’s health. We need to stop accepting the ‘syndromes’ we have been labeled and start realizing that nutritional deficiencies and an imbalance between the ratio of estrogen and progesterone (other hormones in the body) cause many mental/emotional and pathological problems associated with the menstrual cycle.

Impaired melatonin secretion may play a role in premenstrual syndrome

Medical Press
December 2012

A new study by Douglas Mental Health University Institute researchers shows altered body rhythms of the hormone melatonin in Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) women with insomnia. This finding may help explain some of the sleep disruptions experienced by women with PMDD, also known as premenstrual syndrome. PMDD is a mood disorder which appears in the week preceding menses, and affects about 3-8% of women. PMDD sufferers can experience depression, tension, and irritability of sufficient intensity to interfere with daily activities and relationships. Disturbed sleep is also a common symptom of the disorder, with up to 70% of patients frequently reporting either poor sleep quality with increased awakenings or excessive sleepiness during the symptomatic phase.

Dr. Diane B. Boivin’s team at the Centre for Study and Treatment of Circadian Rhythms at the Douglas Institute investigated how rhythms of the hormone melatonin vary across the 24-hour day in a group of women with PMDD and a group of healthy controls. In the study, participants underwent two 24-hour laboratory visits, once during the pre-ovulatory follicular phase and again during the post-ovulatory luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Each visit consisted of intensive physiological monitoring under highly controlled time-isolation conditions. During this time, blood samples were collected to determine circulating plasma melatonin levels. The main finding was that compared to healthy controls, PMDD women had significantly decreased melatonin secretion levels during the night-time hours. PMDD women also had a further reduction of melatonin levels during their symptomatic luteal phase compared to the asymptomatic follicular phase.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.