says that there were many women who inspired her throughout her career. None, however, made such an impact as a British physician named Katharina Dalton.
Katharina Dalton, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, is the mother of modern women’s medicine. Dalton, who was one of the first women to obtain a medical degree from the Royal Free Hospital in London, “discovered” PMS at the most unlikely time in her life: when she was pregnant. At the time, Dalton was 32-years-old and had been suffering with migraine headaches for more than a decade. Halfway through her pregnancy, she realized the headaches had disappeared.
Marla Ahlgrimm explains that Dalton, in cooperation with an endocrinologist named Dr. Greene, concluded that progesterone deficiency was the cause of her recurrent pain. Progesterone levels are elevated during pregnancy. Together, the two physicians were published numerous times in British medical journals. They coined the phrase “premenstrual syndrome” in 1953.
Dr. Dalton dedicated her entire career to treating women with hormone issues surrounding their menstrual cycle. In conflict with popular opinion – and her mostly male coworkers and colleagues – Dr. Dalton asserted that women’s cyclic symptoms were not simply psychological. At the time, explains Marla Ahlgrimm, male physicians tended to diagnose women with “hysteria” when presenting with these recurrent symptoms, which include epilepsy, asthma, migraines, depression, fatigue, and irritability.