PREMENSTRUAL TENSION by

PREMENSTRUAL TENSION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From England, a shallow, chatty look at premenstrual tension as a physiologically-based problem: practical help centers on the usual comfort measures (like hot water bottles); the coverage of treatment nearly ignores new medical approaches. If ""you wake up one morning and it is as if the sun has gone in suddenly,"" then you may have PMT, and it is probably due to an identifiable hormonal imbalance. Brief anecdotes illustrate the problem and, without any specifics, suggest its cure. The medical model is undermined, however, by other observations: the documented clumsiness and lack of coordination during this period may be caused, we're told, by lack of concentration due to tension. And certain serious, recognized problems--most notably, violence by women against their mates and their children--are very superficially discussed. The book's second section, on treatment, is equally if differently flawed: too little is said of antiprostoglandins, the focus of treatment in the US; too much attention is paid to well-known (and minimally effective) physical comfort measures; and some of the advice is erroneous (""if you feel lethargic with PMT, then a high protein diet should give you more energy""), and even dangerous (""you may also need a potassium boost. . . you can buy potassium tablets at a health food store""). Much more accurate, probing, and attuned to American women is Penny Budoff's No More Menstrual Cramps, and Other Good News (1980).

Pub Date: May 1st, 1981
Publisher: McGraw-Hill