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The Premenstrual Problem

Foreword to Dr. Lolas’ book

The book “Sindrome Premenstrual Desde Una Nueva Perpectiva” (Premenstrual Syndrome From a New Perspective) by Dr. Jorge Lolas, is now available online in Spanish on Amazon.com. The English edition is currently in the works, with the foreword by Dr. Juani Lafaja shared below. She bases her observations on her personal experiences with Dr. Lolas and in the clinical setting of her practice NG Clinicas in Elche, Spain.

Sometimes life presents you with an unexpected gift. That was what I experienced in January 2014 when I learned about the work of Dr. Jorge Lolas and later when I had the great pleasure to meet him personally in Santiago, Chile. I can say without hesitation that it was one of the most exciting and unforgettable moments of my professional life. It was also the beginning of an incredible personal adventure that I still enjoy to this day. Today, December 18, 2016, almost 3 years later, in my 5th or 6th revision of this never-ending prologue, I just want to thank him for all that I have learned about gynecological pathology and the women I have met. I want to thank him again for all his work for women and our families. With his relentless battle to shed light on this disorder, as he did as an international speaker, sharing a table with other great doctors like Dr. John Studd in the NAPMDD Conference in Philadelphia, USA, I can say with confidence that there is hope.

I never would have suspected that on that late January day, I would encounter a turning point in my understanding and consideration of the obstetric-gynecological pathology. On that day, I read an interesting article about Dr. Jorge Lolas in a Spanish medical magazine. I expected to read about some recommendations on supplements or herbal medicine for the treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), but instead I found a whole organic theory on the non-neoplastic pathology of chronic inflammation/infections of the cervix and its close relationship with the development of extreme PMS or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

Unlike other colleagues, who might have had access to this information but who underestimated it due to it not being linked with the operational paradigm of this illness, I thought it was, at the very least, worthy of further study. If someone had spent more than four decades developing this medical protocol and exclusively treating seriously ill patients with this disorder, he could not be entirely wrong. After all, patients with this disease are still looking for effective solutions because, although some have found some relief with classic symptomatic treatments such as contraceptives, anti-inflammatories, antidepressants, anxiolytics, diuretics, besides others, a large percentage of them have been completely resistant to these measures. The same was true with many patients who resorted to complementary therapies and dietary changes.

Being aware of these issues, I wanted to know more and to delve into this pathology. I had to contact Dr. Jorge Lolas. Although we were separated by about 6,800 miles (11,000 km), there could be no other plan than to meet him personally. I went to Santiago in mid-April of that same year. Once there, I had the opportunity to observe firsthand the work he was doing, as well as gain access to his immense medical file. I talked with many of his patients and from one day to another I could see the actual results of the procedure. But as important as this was, I came to know this syndrome, their master. Up until that time, PMS/PMDD was almost a complete stranger to me. It was clear to me that this significant and common condition was under-diagnosed. Today I am aware that this happens with most medical specialists: we still fail to diagnose these patients. Without a diagnosis, we cannot create a treatment plan. Without a diagnosis, the patient’s “medical pilgrimage” begins in an attempt to find a credible explanation for their symptoms and of course, to seek symptomatic relief. Without a diagnosis, the patient will continue to remain ill forever.

Each patient begins by looking for a specialist most related to their key symptom: a neurologist if you suffer from migraines or cognitive problems; a gynecologist if you have sexual dysfunction or chronic pelvic pain; a rheumatologist if what predominates is fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue; the psychiatrist if half of the month is spent suffering from depression, mood swings or generalized anxiety disorder. The psychiatric section is especially dramatic for many of them, who have come to receive up to four different diagnoses, such as bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or major depression, before a particular clever psychiatrist might identify the cyclical pattern of symptoms and finally reach the diagnosis of PMDD.

In sum, as described throughout Dr. Jorge Lolas’ book, and in my own experience in the clinical setting, PMS and PMDD are the consequence of genital inflammation, I would say that it’s almost always due to an infectious origin (although we cannot always pinpoint the pathogen) which begins in the cervix, manifesting itself as cervicitis. This inflammation/infection could ultimately affect the rest of the genital tract, leading to endometritis, myometritis, or even annexitis; in other words, a real pelvic inflammatory disease that is more difficult to treat the more extensive it is.

The infectious/inflammatory process, always in susceptible patients, generates a systemic inflammatory cascade responsible for various metabolic pathways, directly or indirectly, of the most diverse symptoms, not only of the genitals – including gonadal dysfunction – but also other areas: psychiatric, digestive, neurological, rheumatological, dermatological, immuno-allergic, etc. But why would a theory with reasonable empirical basis, a structured protocol and with outstanding results in seriously ill patients, had not found its place in the field of medicine? Why had this theory not come to arouse the curiosity of other colleagues? I do not have all the answers to these and other questions, but in the light of current developments in the field of inflammation, subclinical infection and immunity, perhaps Dr. Lolas was ahead of his time, with theories that have been difficult to substantiate so far.

When many of our patients, and even other colleagues, wonder how a finding of this size has gone unnoticed by all other gynecologists, history reminds us that paradigm shifts can take decades. I must relate one of the most recent examples: the causal relationship between Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and gastroduodenal ulcer.  In 1875 German scientists detected a bacteria within gastroduodenal ulcers, but it was not until 1994 that the idea was recognized as valid. The Nobel Prize did not come until 2005. How many deaths due to gastrointestinal bleeding or perforation could have been avoided? How many lives were disrupted by chronic digestive ulcers?  Yet it is estimated that 25% of H. pylori is resistant to antibiotic therapy. We encounter the same problems in the treatment of PMDD: difficulty isolating the causal agent, antibiotic resistance and recurrence. We are now directing our efforts to solve them.

I remember that at the beginning of this “long” story, I attempted, with little success, to share this new viewpoint with other colleagues and how, at times “aggravated,” they told me that what I believed would have to be demonstrated. Of course, that’s how it should be, and it is, but as Kant would say, “In the temporal order, no knowledge precedes experience and all knowledge begins with it.” Maybe our professors at University didn’t explain well enough how to generate knowledge, as many times it’s a simple observation, often at just the right moment. It’s always been that way! All of the knowledge is there. We just have to work to find it.

There may be various reasons why this very organic theory has not been sufficiently analyzed by the medical community:

  1.       First, the medical profession as a whole is not familiar with the complex mechanisms of inflammation, nor how the immune system operates. New concepts such as “low-grade chronic inflammation” or “silent inflammation” are still poorly developed in everyday medical practices.

Autoinflammatory diseases also appear in this complex scenario where inflammation, genetic inheritance, environmental factors (including infectious agents) and the immune response are interconnected, but poorly explained. It is not uncommon for these patients to suffer concomitant diseases such as celiac disease, atrophic gastritis, thyroiditis and other autoimmune processes.

While today it is technically possible to measure levels of inflammatory cytokines in clinical laboratories, availability is scarce and there is inadequate medical training regarding the usefulness of these expensive tests. Still, the advancement of personalized preventive medicine is unstoppable, and that includes knowing the degree of inflammation, oxidation, poisoning, and possible nutritional deficiencies of our patients in order to reduce the development of chronic diseases such as PMS or PMDD, diabetes, Alzheimer’s (and other neurodegenerative diseases), coronary artery disease, rheumatism, etc.

In July 2014, a study by Dr. Bertone-Johnson of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, USA, found a correlation between PMS symptom severity and high levels of certain cytokines. Although the study failed to clarify the origin of this proinflammatory state, it is encouraging that studies are beginning to slowly look in this direction.

  1.       The inflammatory pathology of the cervix is often considered “normal” given its prevalence and apparent harmlessness, implying that this cervical condition is expected or even desirable. In Dr. Lolas’ opinion, cervicitis is only said to be “normal” due to its frequency (according to this theory, cavities would also be normal), but when treated accordingly, clinical improvement of the associated symptoms are frequently observed. Chronic cervicitis may cause localized symptoms such as chronic vaginal discharge, lumbo-pelvic pain or dyspareunia, as Dr. J Ma (2015) showed in the study Female Sexual Dysfunction in Women with Non-Malignant Cervical Diseases: A Study from an Urban Chinese Sample. But as Dr. Lolas suggests, and daily clinical experiences show me, other undesirable symptoms like headache/migraine or psychiatric disorders are common.

Cervicitis is probably the one chronic inflammatory process to which we pay the least attention, likely due to the large number of inflammatory smears that we find in gynecological checkups. However, although the Pap Smear does not seem to be a good screening method for PMS or PMDD, we cannot overlook such findings, particularly in symptomatic patients with recurrent inflammatory smears. How often have we refused to recognize the relationship between an inflammatory smear and the discomforts that led our patients to us, saying that since the inflammation developed at the microscopic level, it could not be behind those various symptoms? If dentists were to overlook gingivitis, cavities, or abscesses (as we gynecologists usually do on the cervices we examine), what would happen to our oral health? The clinical diagnosis of cervicitis should be given with just one cervical examination, without even a smear, which, although essential for early detection of cancer, is not necessary to comprehend when a cervix is healthy or, in contrast, suffers from inflammation, which leads to bleeding, tenderness, pain or abnormal secretions.

The development and implementation of the program of early detection of cervical cancer has been successful in reducing cervical cancer, but on the other hand has ignored benign infectious/inflammatory disease of the cervix. We have been so focused on identifying precancerous lesions that frankly, we have been blind to everything else.

  1.       Moreover, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) remains a misunderstood, misdiagnosed and poorly treated condition, as some studies have exposed. Most of the genital tract infections that pass the cervix, particularly those that do not usually cause a high fever, either remain untreated or are barely treated with vaginal suppositories (treatments that only reach the cervical surface and have no ability to act on the reservoir of bacteria in the cervical crypts), or are tentatively treated with a too-short course of antibiotics. The consequences: infertility/sterility, pelvic algias, sexual dysfunction, menometrorrhagia, polymenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, leukorrhea, and, as we are trying to explain, the development of PMS or PMDD in susceptible cases.
  2.       The massive use of gynecological ultrasound has resulted in a progressive abandonment of genital examination. We again learned that if we did not suspect cancer, a polyp or a myoma, the rest of the ultrasound findings were irrelevant. And that’s not true.

Certainly there are ultrasonographic signs that indicate genital inflammation, but they are subtle and you must adapt to identify them. This we have learned from observation, since after timely medical treatment, the ultrasound scan changes are objectively measurable: the dimensions of the uterus and cervix, hypervascularization decreases or disappears, tissue refractivity is attenuated, Nabothian cysts (a recognized ultrasonographic sign of chronic cervicitis) have been drained, the uterine axis is realigned, etc.

  1.       The fragmentation of knowledge in the medical field has undoubtedly been a necessary step in solving concrete and complex problems. However, we have failed to pool the knowledge generated in other specialties. We study only subjects in our field: advances in dentistry have not helped gynecologists understand how mucosae behave (as gateways to infection); The role of H. pylori infection in the development of ulcers and in the associated gastroenterology field has not “turned the light on” for gynecologists; The PANDAS syndrome, an autoimmune neuropsychiatric pediatric disorder associated with group A β-hemolytic streptococcal tonsillar infection, is completely unknown to many specialists and seems to me to be tremendously representative of the ability of “banal” infections to produce psychiatric symptoms in susceptible patients.

Studies that link some schizophrenias with Toxoplasma or Chlamydia infections, among other microorganisms, continue to be published. A study was recently published (Pisa et al., 2015) alerting us to the possible relation between fungal infections in the brain and Alzheimer’s disease.

Does this mean that in the coming decades we will identify the etiological agents, often of infectious origin, of many chronic diseases, whose victims were unnecessarily lacking treatment or had only received palliative or symptomatic treatments? Possibly yes.

  1.       The cyclical nature of this syndrome has always put female hormones in the spotlight as the direct cause of symptoms. How to connect infection and inflammation of the genital tract with hormonal dysfunction, which certainly is an underlying issue in these women, is no simple task. Authors such as Dr. Attila Toth, gynecologist and American pathologist, suggest genital infections with possible ovarian involvement as the primary cause of hormonal alteration.

A woman’s immune system behaves differently depending on the timing of her cycle: it becomes tolerant after ovulation to facilitate the nesting of the embryo, which is still a “foreign tissue.” This physiological change in the immune response also leaves the door open to infections.

  1.       The fact that there is little or no response to standard antibiotic therapy protocols has led to the underestimation of the infectious-inflammatory theory in PMS or PMDD. What we are observing and learning in practice with these very chronic patients (many of them affected for decades) is that these standard protocols are clearly insufficient. Longer and more intense antibiotic therapy markedly increases the success rate. Early termination of treatment leads to symptomatic relapse. The use of cryotherapy also stabilizes the achievements of antibiotics, although the mechanisms are not fully explained as we will see.
  2.       Special mention should be made of cervical cryosurgery: the use of deep cervical cryotherapy, including the cervical canal, may be a key piece in solving the puzzle. Although many patients may be successfully treated by administering antibiotics and anti-inflammatories exclusively, there is always a subgroup that does not feel relief until the cervix is treated with physical measures, with cryocautery being the main method. What role does the woman’s cervix play in the immune system? Will the cervix be a new “amygdala” to which we have not yet paid any attention? Far from being a mere “channel of passage,” the cervix seems, in the light of its behavior when manipulated, a true nerve center. It is not uncommon to observe in the course of cryosurgery that, at some point, the freezing “disconnects” the patient from the unpleasant symptoms for which she has consulted, such as sadness and languor, migraine, “the black cloud hanging over their head” (terminology used by many patients to describe the feeling that does not allow them to think or concentrate), joint pain, muscle aches, etc.
  3.       Finally, without wanting to start a debate, we can say that the appearance of hormonal contraceptives has contributed to the masking of the true etiopathogenesis of PMS or PMDD. We have managed to alleviate some symptoms, but at the same time have worsened others, and we end up normalizing them.

The so-called “women’s liberation” has brought with it the chronic use of hormones and drugs. Soon we will have to tell patients that the daily use of contraceptives decreases the activity of the immune system at the cervical level, leaving the genital system devoid of defense mechanisms and exposing it to infection. With genital infection we put ourselves at risk of developing PMS or PMDD.

I would like to be able to say that we have found the way to plan our pregnancies without any side effects, effects that most women have already assumed are normal. In this sense and for this particular pathology, I encourage the use of condoms, even at the risk of some “accusing” me of defending an overly hygienic sexuality. We are free to choose, but a doctor has an obligation to inform.

Trivializing the problem for which patients with Dysphoric Disorder consult their doctor, labeling it “normal for women, normal for their age…” has become the standard response of many doctors, and at the same time converts women into a tailor’s box of illnesses and chronic symptoms, silently forcing them to accept their condition and settle for a low or very poor quality of life.

In any case, by going directly to symptomatic relief instead of repairing the damage of the genital system, we lose the opportunity to treat the disease in its early stage.

It’s for these reasons and certainly due to other causes outside my ability to analyze, that the theory of Dr. Jorge Lolas has not yet finished coming into the spotlight.

Personally I believe that our greatest efforts should focus on the early diagnosis and the establishment of groups at risk of developing this syndrome. If we are able to advance the diagnosis and treat it early, much harm can be prevented.

I wholeheartedly believe that this theory will find its full development in the next decade. We already have a solid base to treat this serious disease and I am sure that we will go far and provide effective coverage to the female population if we combine our efforts, deepen our knowledge of how the immune system affects daily life, improve microbiological studies, change our lukewarmness in the face of the benign inflammatory pathology of the cervix and simple infections of the genital system, and involve ourselves in formative and preventive campaigns about this inflammatory-infectious pathology.

On the other hand, it should be remembered that the “official” postulates, based on the hormonal paradigm, do not clarify the definitive etiology of this syndrome and, therefore, do not provide any etiological treatment, only symptomatic relief, of which these women become dependent nearly for life.

Patients who come to our clinic usually do so when they are not relieved by classic measures, falling into a kind of “limbo”: they are neither healthy nor sick, they are “invisible.” In my opinion, may patients continue coming to us like this, it is sufficient motivation to not to overlook any clue, any theory, any body of work, simply because we do not know how to fit it into the predominating paradigm.

I encourage new scientific studies that will provide improvements to this protocol, that will complement it and help remove any doubts of skeptics who, with reason, need quantified evidence of what to us is already palpable every day. As Jorge Lolas has always said, he made the road, but it is our job to build the highways.

I would like to draw the attention of specialists in microbiology. We need to make available to the community simple and effective methods for the identification of pathogens, such as selective endometrial culture, which is scarcely used in humans. Clinical immunologists should also help us to improve the immune response capacity against microorganisms, since weakened immunity also seems to be a major factor predisposing some to the disease.

Another chapter that I cannot resist talking about, because of its great importance as I understand it, is that of the axis between the digestive and immune systems. And it is very simple to understand: if we have an infection of the urogenital system (and I purposely introduce the term “uro” because a genital infection is almost always accompanied by the urological and vice versa), we should start by asking where it came from. Well, by over simplifying it, there are two large groups of pathogens: those that are sexually transmitted and bacterias that are simply part of our flora. A leaky intestine with intestinal dysbiosis can easily contaminate the genitals. Without effectively restoring the digestive flora (through special diets, probiotics, etc.), we greatly increase the risk of reinfection. Likewise, if we do not avoid the reinfection of sexually transmitted pathogens with the use of condoms or by extending the treatment to both partners, we will also suffer new relapses.

Finally, I want to especially mention the true protagonists of this work that was first published by my teacher in 1995: women, our patients. How can I explain, from the deepest recesses of my heart, that the pain you have felt since your first period was not normal, and it was for nothing? Two days ago one of you, one of us, told me that it felt strange to have “an anesthetized pelvis” because she had always sensed a “heaviness” in her pelvic region. No one had explained to her that viscerae are not felt if they are in perfect condition. How much pain has been felt in the viscera par excellence, the only one that perpetuates life… From this standpoint, we assure you of our firm commitment to continue studying and learning to reach real solutions to this problem. We do not yet have all the answers but every day we ask questions in our eagerness to help your life stop being impossible to live.

Thank you teacher. Your greatest achievement has been your perseverance in paving the way to this knowledge. Thank you for sharing and thank you for continuing to fight. I know that someday you will be thanked as you deserve. Your patients have already done so. I do too.

18 December 2016. Elche (Spain)

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.

To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

Richard Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983). Designer, architect, visionary and inventor.

 

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The Deadly PMS

PMS is hysterical. Or so they say. Google “PMS jokes” and click on “images.” Here are just a few of the memes I found: But, although we can joke about PMS, there is a darker side. It may sound like…

Source: The Deadly PMS

The Deadly PMS

PMS is hysterical. Or so they say. Google “PMS jokes” and click on “images.” Here are just a few of the memes I found:

201503_2054_dgfdg_sm

But, although we can joke about PMS, there is a darker side. It may sound like a joke, but it isn’t… PMS can kill.

Now, I’m not talking about your run of the mill, feeling bloated, emotional/angry for a day or two before your period begins. I’m talking about EXTREME PMS, which has been given it’s own name: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, aka PMDD.

There are doubters to whether regular PMS even exists. There was a speaker on TedTalks that refers to PMS as a “myth” claiming that the emotional fluctuations that women experience every month are “normal” and “natural.” And while she makes some valid points about not sweeping a woman’s emotions under the rug, she does the rest of us a disservice by claiming that woman are using PMS as a crutch to not deal with their actual issues.

PMS is not a crutch. PMS IS the issue.

For women who’s PMS has become so severe that they are diagnosed with PMDD, every day is a struggle. Instead of a few days of unpleasantness, they live 1-3 weeks out of the month with debilitating anxiety and/or depression, along with scores of other symptoms ranging from pelvic pain to migraines and everything in between. At least 15% of women with PMDD will attempt suicide. That is a remarkably high number, and far too many of these women succeed.

In 2013, the beautiful model and actress Gia Allemand took her own life after struggling with PMDD.  Her family started a foundation in her name to raise awareness of this disorder and to prevent any more loss of life. They are currently fundraising in an effort to win a $1million grant from Revlon, and fund research into the root cause(s) of this disorder.

There is a doctor in Chile that claims the root cause of PMDD is due to cervical trauma, and a fertility doctor in New York that claims that the root cause is due to malicious bacteria (either sexually transmitted or genetically inherited.) Both of them have successfully used antibiotics to heal women’s reproductive organs and have noted a dramatic reduction in their emotional and physical symptoms. It’s alternative treatments like these that need more ground-breaking research to back up their theories and prevent the destruction that extreme PMS/PMDD can cause.

Please donate to this fundraiser and save lives.

What is PMDD?

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (also known as Premenstrual Dysphoria, Late Luteal Phase Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD) is a cyclical, hormone-based mood disorder with symptoms arising during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and lasting until the onset of menstrual flow. It affects an estimated 2-10% of women of reproductive age. While PMDD is directly connected to a woman’s menstrual cycle, it is not a hormone disorder. It is a suspected genetic disorder with symptoms often worsening over time and following reproductive events including menarche, ovulation, pregnancy, birth, miscarriage, and menopause. Women with PMDD are at an increased risk for postpartum depression and suicidal behavior. Many, but not all, women with PMDD have a history of sexual trauma or depression. 1,2,3 (source napmdd.org)

Symptoms of PMDD

  • Feelings of sadness or despair or even thoughts of suicide
  • Feelings of tension or anxiety
  • Panic attacks, mood swings, or frequent crying
  • Lasting irritability or anger that affects other people
  • Lack of interest in daily activities and relationships
  • Trouble thinking or focusing
  • Tiredness or low-energy
  • Food cravings or binge eating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling out of control
  • Physical symptoms, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain

These symptoms occur during a week or two before menstruation and go away within a few days after bleeding begins. A diagnosis of PMDD requires the presence of at least five of these symptoms.4,5

Open Letter to the Medical Community: A Personal Perspective on the Efficacy of Antibiotic Treatment of Severe Premenstrual Syndrome

After suffering with extreme anxiety and depression for over a year, I was diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), which has also been referred to as “Severe Premenstrual Syndrome.” PMDD is diagnosed when a woman suffers from severe premenstrual symptoms at least a week or two (up to 3 weeks) before menstruation, and feels relief within a few days after bleeding begins.[1] From personal experience, in addition to depression and anxiety, I had trouble concentrating on my work as an accountant, ate constantly – gaining 10 pounds, I could not stay awake during the day, but could not sleep at night, and constantly thought about suicide. As a mother of two young boys, this was no way to live.

The internet abounds with articles stating “Studies show inflammation causes x, y and z” so the idea that a mental/hormonal disorder is also based in inflammation piqued my interest.

With the belief that hormones were the issue, my doctor prescribed me Citalopram for the depression/anxiety, and a low-dose birth control to manage my menstrual cycles. This method was effective initially, but within 3 months of this treatment plan, I was feeling extreme symptoms throughout the month. The only other treatment option I could find at the time was a complete hysterectomy with oophorectomy.[2] Although studies have shown this to be effective in treating PMDD, it is considered an absolute last resort only in the most extreme cases, and comes with its own major side effects, including an increased risk of osteoporosis and Parkinson’s disease.[3]   It was around this time period that I learned about the work of Dr. Jorge Lolas of Santiago, Chile, and his theory that severe PMS is caused by uterine inflammation.[4] The internet abounds with articles stating “Studies show inflammation causes x, y and z” so the idea that a mental/hormonal disorder is also based in inflammation piqued my interest. Unfortunately, the only information I could locate on Dr. Lolas’ work was in Spanish, and although I speak and read that language, my mother tongue is English, and I wanted to read as much as I could about his theory in my native language. So I contacted Dr. Lolas through his office, to see if I could translate some of his work into English, so that not only I, but the English-speaking world could benefit from his findings.

Dr. Lolas called me on the telephone and explained how he’s been treating women with severe premenstrual syndrome for 40 years, and the very high success rate that he experiences.[5] One of his former patients runs a blog that shares many testimonies of women that have experienced complete relief from their extreme symptoms after undergoing treatment from Dr. Lolas. For example, the first testimony on the page is of a young woman, Karen, who experienced severe depression and was suicidal. Her mother had been successfully treated by Dr. Lolas years earlier and wanted her daughter to find relief as well. She says “The Doctor found … inflammation on my cervix. The therapy has been based on cervi[cal] injections with anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic drugs. I have not been [with Dr. Lolas] for a very long time, but I have had a great improvement. Now I have got much more vitality, and I can say I am fine after being inside a dark hole.”[6]

My symptoms are now considered “mild” and I no longer qualify for the diagnosis of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

On a personal level, I felt similar symptoms to many of the women giving testimonies, but travel to Chile from my home in Florida, USA, was personally impossible. Fortunately, Dr. Lolas had a colleague in Florida who was willing to give me the anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic injections, in the hopes of reducing my symptoms. This particular colleague, an obstetrician/gynecologist, had never treated a woman for PMDD in this manner before, so this was also a new experience for him. When he checked my cervix for the first time, he told me that it looked completely normal for a woman who has gone through child-birth. He took a photo of my cervix to show me, and although it was very red and inflamed, he told me that that is considered typical and usually not a cause for concern. He had agreed to the treatment plan though, and less than a month after the weekly injections, my cervix was no longer as red and inflamed. I started feeling less anxious, more alive. After 3 months of weekly injections, we began monthly injections for 3 more months and by the time of my last injection my entire cervix was pink with smooth borders.[7] As of this writing I have not had an injection in 4 months time. My symptoms are now considered “mild” and I no longer qualify for the diagnosis of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

Although Dr. Lolas has had much success at treating women with this disorder, he has not had as much success in gaining acknowledgement of his findings from the medical community. In the documentary “SPM: El Descubrimiento Del Doctor Lolas (PMS:The Discovery of Dr. Lolas)” the director, Patricio Quintana, explores the work of Dr. Lolas, and makes numerous attempts to interview other gynecologists in the area, but they all turned down the opportunity. Dr. Lolas himself explained in his interview that he had other doctors interested in his theory, and one that even wanted to conduct a research study, but as time passed, they simply decided to overlook these findings with the excuse that they had “too many commitments” to conduct the necessary research.[8] There was one doctor in Spain, however, who recognized the truth of Dr. Lolas’ work, and has since opened her own clinic and is paving the way for more research to be conducted on the effects of inflammation in the female body.[9] Dr. Juani Lafaja was instrumental in publishing the study “Is Premenstrual Syndrome a Uterine Inflammatory Disease? Retrospective Evaluation of an Etiologic Approach” published in the Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in June 2015.[10]

The work with Dr. Lafaja is not the only work that supports the theory of inflammation causing mental disorders. In July of 2014, a study titled “Association of inflammation markers with menstrual symptom severity and premenstrual syndrome in young women” was published by Oxford University Press, noting that “this is among the first studies to suggest that inflammatory factors may be elevated in women experiencing menstrual symptoms and PMS.”[11] The journal Molecular Psychiatry published a report in 2006 showing the effectiveness of an anti-inflammatory drug on major depression.[12] And in 1989 a study was published out of Cornell Medical Center in New York City, proving the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy on Premenstrual Syndrome patients.[13] The studies linking depression and inflammation continue to increase,[14] and as a patient myself, I believe it is now time for the medical community as a whole to embrace the evidence and the treatment plan that not only resolves the mental disorder that inflammation contributes to, but also preserves the patients’ reproductive organs intact.

The benefits of antibiotic therapy for the treatment of severe Premenstrual Syndrome are many. First of all, this treatment plan saves lives. One of the most extreme symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is suicidal thoughts.[15] In reading through the testimonies on the blog mentioned earlier, suicidal tendencies are a reoccurring theme. On a personal level, before I received antibiotic therapy, I too had constant thoughts of how I could end my life, and after treatment those thoughts are completely gone. The treatment can also preserve a woman’s reproductive organs, avoiding going into premature menopause due to hysterectomy or the ingestion of certain drugs that cause chemically induced menopause. Menopause has its own, sometimes major, side effects, including an increased risk of osteoporosis, and of course, infertility.[16] For women that have already been diagnosed as infertile, but have not yet had a hysterectomy, antibiotic treatment can actually heal their uterus to the degree that fertility can be restored.[17]

On a personal note, I hope to see all gynecologists around the world offer antibiotic therapy to their patients. I would love to see inflammation of the cervix to be shown the same seriousness as the inflammation of other major organs in the body. I would love for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder to become a disease of the past, something that women will no longer have to endure. I know it will take time, but science can make this possible, as long as the medical community is open to learning how inflammation affects the mind, and is open to treating the cause, instead of just trying to cover the symptoms. The fact that I am able to write this is evidence that we are getting there, but I exhort the members of the medical community to research this avenue, pay attention to Dr. Lolas’ findings, and bring this treatment to your own patients.

Amanda Parodi

[1] http://napmdd.org/about-pmdd-all/about-pmdd/about-pmdd.html

[2] http://napmdd.org/about-pmdd-all/treatment/treatments.html

[3] http://contemporaryobgyn.modernmedicine.com/contemporary-obgyn/news/modernmedicine/modern-medicine-now/bilateral-oophorectomy-solving-riskbenefi?page=full

[4] http://sindromepremenstrual.com/nuevo/index.htm

[5] http://sindromepremenstrual.com/nuevo/tratamiento.htm

[6] http://histerotoxemia.blogspot.com.es/p/opiniones.html

[7] https://thepremenstrualproblem.wordpress.com/what-is-chronic-cervicitis-why-should-you-care/

[8] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2Ef4YMvU-w

[9] http://ng-clinicas.com/

[10] http://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=56867#.VW7t7svD_qC

[11] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25035435

[12] http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/v11/n7/full/4001805a.html

[13] http://imr.sagepub.com/content/16/4/270.refs

[14] http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/10/25/451169292/could-depression-be-caused-by-an-infection

[15] http://www.psychguides.com/guides/living-with-premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder/

[16] http://www.hormonesmatter.com/lupron-endometriosis/

[17] http://www.fertilitysolution.com/Latest-Research/Use-of-Antibiotic-Therapy-in-Previously-Failed-IVF-Cycles.pdf

The Beast

I can feel The Beast banging on my door, banging on my windows. I can’t let it in, but it’s right there, about to break in on its own. Not long ago, this very beast would break down the door and smash in all the windows without much effort every single month. I couldn’t control it, it would completely take over and did it’s very best to ruin my life. Not this time, I’m not going to let it. It’s there, but it can’t get in any more. At times it puts cracks in the wall and I fear that it’s about to break in again, but no longer. The walls have been reinforced, the windows are shatter-proof. The Beast has weakened, and no longer has the strength to fight the reinforcements. This beast, called PMDD, no longer takes over my life 2-3 weeks out of the month.

How have I been able to keep The Beast at bay? I’m being treated for cervical and uterine inflammation, with injections of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories directly into my cervix. The second phase of this treatment is cryo-surgery, but not the typical palliative cryo-surgery, this surgery is quite complicated, requiring the doctor to acquire special tools in order to perform the surgery, not only on the cervix, but also through the inside of the uterus. This surgery removes any residual damaged tissue, and any remaining PMDD symptoms go away. Unfortunately, my doctor has not yet learned how to perform the cryo-surgery, which means that I (and his other PMDD patients) must return to his office for a monthly treatment, once the initial weekly treatment phase has been completed (typically 7-10 weeks). It’s just before these monthly treatments that The Beast tries to make its way back into my life.

I try not to talk about my lingering symptoms, mainly because I don’t want to complain, really, they are nothing in comparison to the symptoms that I used to experience. I feel pretty good 90% of the time, but when I ovulate–and I can always tell when I’m about to ovulate–I get shaky again, nervous, jittery. My immune system seems to shut down and I feel like I’m about to catch a cold. I get angry easily, I want to eat everything in sight, I just want to lie down and sleep all day long. Only, I don’t. I admit, I do eat more than I should, but I’m able to stop. I don’t lie down all day, I’m able to resist the urge. I will pop 10mg of Celexa if I’m feeling particularly anxious, but I don’t have to rely on it. I take deep breaths, I get out of the house and exercise, I focus on showing love to those around me. I can control The Beast now. It can’t get in the house. It can’t get past the barriers I’ve set in place, and it’s weaker now, I can see that. I’m not afraid of it anymore. What was once a huge hairy monster with long claws and fangs is now a much smaller version of itself, it’s fangs are just teeth now, the claws have been trimmed. It’s no longer going to devour me and spit me out when it’s done with me. It bangs on the wall, makes a feeble attempt to break in, but goes away after I receive my monthly treatment.

I look forward to my doctor learning to perform the cryo-surgery phase of this treatment. I told him that I would be his “guinea pig.” I would be happy to be the first patient that he performs this phase of the treatment on, just as I was the first patient of his to try the Lolas Treatment. I look forward to this, because I want to see The Beast out of my life, once and for all.

No Beast. You can’t consume me or my life anymore.

Update on Lolas Treatment

How many times have I written out in my mind what my next blog post would be, and then when I get home and sit down at the computer, I put on my “working cap” (I work from home) and the blog just never gets updated! Since my last blog post, I wrote an article that has generated a bit of interest, called “What is Chronic Cervicitis? Why Should You Care?” and at the end of the article, I posted actual photos of my own cervix, before treatment, during treatment, and after (the main) treatment.  I have also been trying to stay up to date in the PMDD Facebook forums, namely “PMDD Get Healthy!” where I’ve been updating my latest treatments and staying in touch with other women living with PMDD.

Screenshot_2015-07-20-15-54-13

With that said, I keep promising to update my blog with this information, so I’m going to copy and paste the main points from this conversation below.

April 7, 2015

Me: Update with my Lolas treatment. I had the fourth injection to my cervix last Thursday. The difference in my cervix is nothing short of amazing. It was very red and inflamed before, and now the lower half is now completely pink, and the upper half, although it’s still red, is no longer completely inflamed.
So, my cervix is being healed, how about my moods? I told my doctor that the true test would be after I ovulate, which happened over the weekend. So far, I have NOT had any major mood swings, I have not been dealing with major anxiety or depression as before. Is this too good to be true? I’ll keep you all updated.

Comment: I have an appointment with my regular doctor tomorrow, with whom I trust and love more than my OBGYN. She is more receptive and understanding about all issues. I’m going to mention this to her.

Me: My doctor is going to write an article about this experience, but we wanted to make sure that I didn’t have the major mood swings before my period.
Any chance your doctor can read Spanish? If so, there is a TON of info already available, if not, on histerotoxemia.blogspot.com.es there is a ‘translate’ link on the left hand side of the page, the translation isn’t great, but it’s good enough to get the main point. She can also contact my doctor, Enrique Vazquez-Vera, who is bilingual and is directly in contact with Dr. Lolas. As a matter of fact, Dr. Lolas speaks some English and would be more than happy to talk to anyone who wants more information directly from him. I have his direct phone number, if you want it I can PM it to you.

Comment: Did you have to pay for this treatment?

Me: Yes. We’re not yet at the clinical research study stage, so my doctor diagnosed me with cervicitis so that insurance would cover the treatment. Really, if you google that disease, the pictures are very similar to what my cervix looked like, so it’s not really a stretch.
When he did a biopsy, they didn’t find any known bacterias, but there were white blood cells present, which is a sign of infection. So, just because your pap smear comes back “normal” it doesn’t mean that everything is healthy.

Comment: Anyone else have a problem with the new guidelines that only require a pap every 3-5 years? It just worries me. My doctor tried not to do one last year even though she said “your insurance will cover it.” I made her do one. She then proceeded to say that I wouldn’t need one this year. I plan to have one again.

Me: Have you asked for the results? I wouldn’t settle for them to just tell you they are “normal”. I’ve made that mistake too many times. If I had asked for the actual results instead of relying on my doctor’s to tell me they were “normal” I might have had some answers earlier.

Comment: How many more treatments do you have? How long does it last?

Me: The length of the treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms. My treatment is supposed to go 8 weeks (one treatment per week), so I’m half-way through. I have been going through acupuncture and have dramatically changed my diet as well, so I think that’s why my body has responded so quickly.
I recently had my blood drawn for an food allergy test, so I’ll get the results of that this Thursday, and with that will hopefully continue to improve my health. (PMDD isn’t my only issue…)

April 17, 2015

Comment: I was very interested about Lolas treatment I was considering even going to Chile but my desire to have a normal life soon made me set up and apptm with my gyn to request a hysterectomy, I got in contact with one Dr. Lolas patient and she told me her treatment lasted about a year in Chile and that the injections didn’t make her feel better rather than the ice?surgery? I don’t know how how he calls the surgery. She said her symptoms were cure 99% ,but for me it’s really a long time for waiting / staying in Chile….is Dr. Vargas getting instructed still by Dr. Lolas is he learning the treatment including the ice surgery? My appt. it’s today I am very decided to request a hysterectomy but I would like to know there is other hope out there here in USA ,I have 4.5 triplets at home that makes more difficult /impossible to be away from home for so long

Me: Each case is different, and the average treatment by Dr. Lolas is about 3 months. If someone has a particularly difficult case, it can take much longer. Did you talk to Maria Teresa? She is in the documentary about Dr Lolas’ treatment, and her case took a little longer, and the cryo-surgery is what really helped her.
If you are able to get a hysterectomy and that’s what’s best for you, go for it! It is a “cure” for this disorder, and has helped many women (my sister’s included).
I had my 6th treatment on Wednesday, and my cervix is healing up SO well! I have still been a little anxious this past week, as my period is coming soon, but the level of my PMDD is dramatically improved. I hope that next month it will be even better, if not gone completely.
I hope the best for you! We each need to make the decisions that will work best for ourselves and our families. A full hysterectomy is not something I want to do, so I’m grateful that I found an alternative treatment. I just hope that we can get this treatment more available as soon as possible.

Comment: I don’t remember the name of the patient because everything was gone when FB disabled my account, but it was not Maria Teresa….that’s fine I understand every case it different you are fortunate to live in Florida close to Dr. Vargas .
Would you mind sharing dr. Vargas and Dr. Lolas phone number please. Today I want to try to convince my doctor to contact them .thanks in advance and I am happy you are seeing improvements already.

Me:  It might be best to email them first, I know at least Dr. Vazquez-Vera has a very busy practice and it’s difficult to get him on the phone.
His email address is drvazquez@miami-obgyn.com, and Dr. Lolas’ address is jlolast@yahoo.com. If you include your phone number with Dr. Lolas, he may give you a call, he likes talking on the phone!

April 20, 2015

Comment: how are you feeling and how is the treatment going?

Me: I’m feeling pretty good! I had some issues last week, my period came on Saturday, but it was nothing like before. I only had one bad week, as opposed to 3, and it wasn’t even as bad as it used to be! I have treatment #7 tomorrow. I hope that this month my PMDD is virtually non-existent. I really hope we can get this treatment available as an option for more women as soon as possible. Hysterectomy is a great option for some women, but I think this treatment should be available before going that route. If major surgery can be avoided, then it should.

April 24, 2015

Comment: What antibiotic is he using?

Me: I’m not sure which one of these medications is the antibiotic and which is the anti-inflammatory:
Ceftriaxone 250mg inj (this is probably the antibiotic…)
Ketorolac 30mg/ml vial
My doctor calls these meds into the pharmacy, I pick them up and then go to my appointment. I’ll post more about the method in a moment.

I also pick up Metronidazole Vaginal Gel (metrogel for short) and bring it to the doctor’s office. I also apply it every single night right before laying down. As I’m in the last 2 weeks of the treatment, I just started oral medications also.
Of note: Dr. Lolas uses “cryo-surgery” in the treatment, but my doctor does not have access to the machine needed, so he uses something else to exfoliate the cervix. I believe it’s Silver Nitrate, but I just texted him to find out for sure.

(I then shared pictures of my cervix, which you can see at the end of the article here.)

Cut to April 30, 2015

Me:  I believe my last treatment is today. I love that I can experience regular emotions that aren’t hampered by an SSRI, but I don’t have the extreme mood swings that came with PMDD. I’m going into the luteal phase right now, so I should be raging, but I’m not! Hopefully the week right before my period comes I’m just as calm.

Comment: What is this process called?

Me: In English, we refer to it as the Lolas Treatment. I’m updating my blog as much as I can, but there is a lot of information available in Spanish, which you can translate through Google Translate. More information: http://histerotoxemia.blogspot.com.es/
http://www.sindromepremenstrual.com/
http://ng-clinicas.com/

July 13, 2015

Comment: Can you give us an update on how you’re doing now that your treatments have concluded?

Me: Yes! So, when the main course of my treatments concluded, I barely had any PMDD symptoms, and my period lasted only 2.5 days. Two and a half days!! Crazy. So, I was really excited about the month to come, but about a week before my period was to start, I started feeling anxious, irritable, angry, but not nearly to the degree as before. It was still uncomfortable though. My period came and it lasted 5 days, but it was fairly light and NO clots. So, this past cycle, I went back to Dr. Vazquez for a follow up treatment, he got me in 2 weeks in a row before leaving on vacation on July 1st. Last week, I found myself getting slightly irritable again, I had some anxiety on Saturday, and sure enough, my period started yesterday morning. It’s light, I don’t have any cramps, I could feel my cervix dilating yesterday, but other than that, no pain.
I still consider myself PMDD-free, as my current symptoms do not lay me out like they used to. I do still have PMS, but it’s manageable. I would like to be 100% cured though, so I’m hoping that the 2nd part of the treatment – cryo-surgery – becomes possible for me soon. Dr. Vazquez will need to go to Chile to be trained personally by Dr. Lolas on the surgery part of the treatment. So, for me to get that part of the treatment might still be a year away. In the meantime, I feel great!

Yours,

Manda Sue

Reducing Inflammation

No sugar, no grains, no coffee, no peanuts… the list goes on and on. I was on an elimination diet, with the main goal of reducing inflammation in my body, and in turn, reducing my PMDD symptoms. I had already decided to tackle a vegan diet, and eliminated meat and dairy, so reducing my consumption of other products was just another step in my hopes of recovery from this disorder.

There are a lot of elimination diets. They stretch from the extreme of only eating one or two of certain foods (like rice or potatoes) to all juice diets (like the one demonstrated in the documentary “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead“), to a more comprehensive diet, like the one I was put on. As far as elimination diets go, mine wasn’t that bad. I focused on what I COULD eat. For breakfast I would have green tea and a garbanzo bean flour savory pancake. A typical lunch would be a Southwestern Kale Salad, with avocado, black beans and salsa. Dinner often consisted of a variety of vegetable soups. I was allowed one small fruit every day, and I would indulge in a banana, apple or grapes for dessert.

The results? I noticed that whenever I cheated (because of course I cheated!) I would get a headache, especially if I ate something with sugar. Bananas, my favorite fruit, would make me light-headed and dizzy if I ate them in the morning. On a positive note, I lost 10 pounds in the 6-week time period that I was on the diet. However, my PMDD symptoms did not go away.

I returned to see Dr. Vazquez, and this time he suggested that we try Dr. Lolas’ method of reducing cervical inflammation with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. This is what I was waiting for! I had seen so many testimonials of women that had significant reductions in their symptoms with this treatment, and I wanted it for myself!

Dr. Vazquez first did a biopsy of my cervix, to check for bacteria or anything else that could cause the inflammation. The lab results only showed an increase in white blood cell count, which proved that the cervix was inflamed. Using the diagnosis of cervicitis, we began treatment the next week.

For what it’s worth, here is a list of my main PMDD symptoms:

  • Anxiety. I would literally shake for days on end, even when I wasn’t particularly afraid of anything.
  • Tremors. Horrible anxiety induced tremors, particularly in my right arm. My arm would shake so violently that my shoulder would hurt for days.
  • Depression. When I wasn’t shaking from anxiety, I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t stop crying, I wouldn’t take care of myself.
  • Irritability. Everything made me mad. And then I would throw and break things. Like the light switch.
  • Easily overwhelmed. Just the thought of tackling a project would cause me overwhelming anxiety.
  • Brain fog. When I wasn’t overwhelmed, I couldn’t think well enough to do anything. So I watched a lot of Netflix, and ate. A lot.
  • Fatigue. I was so tired all of the time that I could barely work.
  • Headaches. I felt like a vice was constantly gripping my head.
  • Nausea. I never could understand why I would get so nauseous.
  • Vaginal smell. Sorry, this one is gross. I sit cross-legged a lot, and the smell was awful.
  • Running away. I’m not sure how to classify this symptom, but I just wanted to run away from my problems. When I would have an argument with my husband, I would literally run away. One time in high heels, in a dangerous part of the city. I ran like my life depended upon it. Really, I put myself in danger, and it took me awhile to realize that. Thankfully my husband found me and picked me up.

All of that is behind me now, at least 95% of it. My next post, I’m going to show you my cervix, and tell you all about the Lolas Treatment!

A Cure for Premenstrual Syndrome?

In 1988, the Cornell Medical Center in New York conducted a study entitled “Effect of Doxycycline on Pre-Menstrual Syndrome: A Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial.”

What did they find out? The abstract says:

Thirty patients with well-defined symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome were randomly treated with the antibiotic doxycycline or placebo. The antibiotic-treated group showed a highly significant reduction of symptoms. Subsequent antibiotic treatment of the original placebo group similarly diminished the symptoms in this group. A 6-month follow-up demonstrated that the improvement in symptom scores was permanent and independent from the presence of the antibiotic. Luteal phase endometrial biopsies showed a high incidence of out-of-phase endometrium. An unexpectedly high percentage of endometrial biopsy cultures yielded positive findings for mycoplasma, Chlamydia trachomatis and anaerobic bacteria. There were no characteristic hormonal changes in this study group. An infectious aetiology, possibly a sub-clinical endometrial or ovarian infection, behind certain cases of pre-menstrual syndrome is postulated.

In 1988 there was clinical proof that antibiotic treatment to the cervix showed a “significant reduction of symptoms” and the 6-month follow up showed that this improvement was not dependent on the antibiotics, that it was a permanent improvement. 1988. 27 years ago.

SPM aficheI learned of this study recently while working on the translation of the documentary, “SPM: El Descubrimiento del Dr. Lolas.” I am completely hung up on WHY wasn’t more research done 27 years ago? Why does it take a doctor in Chile to shed the light on this discovery, when the researchers here in the United States already KNEW that it worked?
But I digress…

After finding about this treatment, I (of course) wanted it for myself. It is currently being offered in Chile, with Dr. Lolas, or in Spain, with Dr. Juani Lafaja, who was trained by Dr. Lolas. Neither of those options was feasible nor would they be in the future. According to Dr. Lolas, the average treatment takes about 3 months from start to finish, and it’s just not possible for me or my family to go to either country for that amount of time. So, my husband said, “what about the doctor in Miami?” “What doctor in Miami?” I asked him. “The one in the video with Dr. Lolas.” Ah, yes! Dr. Enrique Vazquez-Vera. He didn’t appear to contradict Dr. Lolas in any way, so I figured I’d give it a shot. So, I made an appointment and went to see him the next week.

To make a long story short, he was great, listened to my story, agreed that inflammation may be the root cause of the problem and suggested that before anything else, to try an elimination diet. This consisted of eliminating all sugar, soy, coffee, and grains from my diet (there’s more to it than that, but to simplify…). In a future post, I’ll go into the elimination diet more in detail. What struck me most about Dr. Vazquez was that he listened to me. He asked me about my past, and I almost felt like I was in a therapy session at one point, when he pointed out how I’ve always been drawn to structure my entire life. I was also very impressed with the fact that he is drawn to integrative medicine, meaning that it’s not all Western medicine, nor is it all Eastern.hidden food allergies It’s a blend of the best of both worlds, one that I have always believed in myself. I walked away from the appointment with a bag full of supplements, a new book entitled “Your Hidden Food Allergies Are Making You Fat” and promise to return in 6 weeks.

I like to keep my posts short, so next time I’ll continue with my experience with the elimination diet and my follow up appointment with Dr. Vazquez.

The YouTube Video That Changed My Life.

I am very blessed to say that I speak two languages. My mother tongue is English, and as an adult I learned to speak Spanish. My husband is from South America and we only speak Spanish in the house. After being diagnosed with PMDD, I joined a number of Facebook groups to connect with others and to learn as much as I could about this disorder. To my surprise, I learned that the SSRI medications were not a long-term answer to this problem. I was feeling great, but I learned from others that this feeling wasn’t going to last. However, in the moment I felt fine, and once again I was able to get out of bed and take care of myself. I didn’t know how long this would last, so while at the moment I felt okay, I wanted to find a long-term solution.

A couple of months after my diagnosis, and after noticing that my symptoms were getting worse again, a woman from Venezuela posted some information in Spanish in one of the groups. I told her that I would be happy to help with the translation into English, and she gladly accepted. Immediately she posted a video from CNN en Español and asked me to translate the main idea.

I prepared myself with a pen and paper to take notes. There were three men all talking about PMS. How ironic I said to myself. The interviewer, Ismael Calas from Miami, introduced the experts, an older man, Dr. Jorge Lolas from Chile, who was the main interviewee, and a younger gynecologist, Dr. Enrique Vazquez-Vera, also from Miami. Calas introduced Lolas’ book, “PMS: From a New Perspective” and asked him the opening question about the variety of doubts within this syndrome. Dr. Lolas talks about “curing” this syndrome, and Dr. Vazquez mentions bringing a “balance” to the lives of women with this syndrome. The doctors continue talking about how severe PMS is diagnosed, and at what point in life they typically exhibit symptoms. Calas asks Dr. Lolas “What causes this?” And here is where the light bulb turned on over my head. Dr. Lolas says (and this is at about the 7:00 mark) “They’ve always said that this is a hormonal problem, but we’ve become convinced that this is more than a hormonal problem, it’s a chronic inflammation of the uterus, specifically the cervix.” Chronic inflammation? Now I already knew that chronic inflammation was the source of many ailments. LEF.org states that “Of the ten leading causes of mortality in the United States, chronic, low-level inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of at least seven. These include heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and nephritis.” (I highly recommend reading the quoted article.) So the fact that PMDD was also caused by chronic inflammation made complete sense. Now what? I began to look for information on Dr. Lolas in English, and I couldn’t find anything. I looked for his book, which was published in 1994, I could only find it in Spanish. There was literally ZERO information about Dr. Lolas’ theory available in English.
What I did find was very interesting, however. His website, www.sindromepremenstrual.com was very detailed on the history of premenstrual disorders, the 150+ symptoms, the confusing diagnoses, and much more. All in Spanish. I was grateful that I could read this information, but what about all of the other English speaking women in the world? They needed to hear it too! So, I emailed Dr. Lolas himself and offered myself as a translator for this work. Now, to be clear, I’m an extremely busy woman. I work from home, full-time 2 weeks out of the month, and part-time the other 2 weeks. I have 2 small children, a husband, a house to take care of, grocery shopping to be done, etc, etc. This information was too important NOT to take the time out of my busy schedule to share. On Facebook, I also found out about a documentary called: SPM, El Descubrimiento del Dr. Lolas (PMS, Dr. Lolas’ Discovery). So, I contacted the director about also translating it into English. Amazingly enough, he replied to me and accepted!

On Thursday I will continue with how the translating work is going, the progression (or regression) of my PMDD, and a really cool doctor in Miami.

Links to check out:

This is a blog/website ran by one of Dr. Lolas’ former patients. There is a “translate” button on the left side of the page, as most of the website is in Spanish. There is so much information on this page, eventually I want to make a good translation of all of the information that is already here.

Dr. Lolas’ official website. There is currently not a translate button on this website. Eventually I want to translate all of this information into English.

The trailer for the documentary. Here is the transcript with the English translation.

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