Hormones: the difference between "common" and "normal"

Today I had a patient describe her pre-menstrual symptoms to me.  Symptoms so common to many women: mood swings, water retention, headaches and anxiousness.  This patient also has a history of hormone sensitive breast cancer and fibroids.  After describing her pre-menstrual concerns to her family doctor, he replied that if she was menstruating every month, her hormones must be normal.

 

I respectfully disagree - these symptoms and her history are all suggestive of an estrogen-dominant pattern.  We will likely test her saliva for hormones, as it appears to be much more sensitive than blood for levels.  We need, as a society, to stop accepting "common" PMS and menopausal symptoms as "normal".

My next post will discuss the DIFFERENT types of PMS that women get, which will hopefully re-iterate the differences in hormone pictures for various women.