Along with other practical ways of escape, taking care of our bodies in the midst of PMS, menopause, postpartum depression etc. is wise and helpful. Because we girltalkers have no medical expertise whatsoever, we consulted two Christian doctors, Dr. Jeffrey Trimark and Dr. Christopher Mays and asked for their advice.
First, Dr. Trimark explains that:
“Treatment for either PMS or PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a severe form of PMS) begins with non-prescription interventions. I recommend women take Vitamin D 1000IU daily, Calcium 1000mg daily and Vitamin B6 100mg daily. In addition, I recommend avoiding caffeine and alcohol and participating in regular aerobic exercise (150 minutes weekly). As always, a balanced diet is recommended, but there is no evidence to suggest certain foods will improve or worsen symptoms. Because the symptoms of PMDD and PMS are cyclical, I also encourage women to be intentional to spend some additional time in prayer and meditation during these challenging times.”
Dr. Mays adds for those experiencing menopause:
“Although PMS and menopause are conditions that are primarily hormonal, they are obviously not the same and the treatment for the most part is not the same. The non-prescription interventions for PMS (Vitamin D, Calcium and Vitamin B) are important in menopause, but they will not treat the symptoms of menopause. Non-prescription treatments include Vitamin E, black cohosh, and naturally occurring estrogens called phytoestrogens. There are several other prescription options as well.”
Both doctors concur, in Dr. May’s words, that: “The main message when it comes to treating PMS or menopause is that each patient responds differently and often a physician will need to try several treatment options before a successful combination is reached.”
As Christian physicians they do, as Dr. Trimarks says, “believe there is a God-honoring role for prescription therapy” and so, if your symptoms are severe, you should consult your physician.
However, both doctors caution their patients “to not excuse the sinful behaviors that occur during these times of increased temptations by thinking of them as simply a result of a disease.” That is why we’ve spent the majority of this series examining ways of escape, so we can stand up under the increased temptation during PMS, postpartum depression or menopause.
Wise doctors are a gift from God. We are so grateful for the common grace of medical wisdom, and to Dr. Trimark and Dr. Mays for their willingness to serve the girltalk audience. Tomorrow we’ll look beyond the helpful advice contained here to the promises of God’s Word, which is sufficient to sustain us, regardless of the severity of our trial.