The majority of BMS sufferers have experienced stressful life-events / long-term social problems. After iron deficiency, depression is thought to be the next most frequent causative factor (depression followed by generalised anxiety & cancerophobia).
Various attempts to classify BMS based on cause and symptoms have been made.
In a classification by cause, Idiopathic BMS is considered Primary BMS or True BMS, whereas Secondary BMS has an identifiable cause.
Another classification of BMS is based on symptoms, stratifying cases into 3 types, as follows:
Type 1 BMS: Patients have no symptoms upon waking, with progression throughout the day. Night-time symptoms are variable. Nutritional deficiency and diabetes may produce a similar pattern.
Type 2 BMS: Patients have continuous symptoms throughout the day and are frequently asymptomatic at night. This type is associated with chronic anxiety.
Type 3 BMS: Patients have intermittent symptoms throughout the day and symptom-free days. Food allergy is suggested as a potential mechanism.
BMS is likely more than one disease process and the cause may be multi-factorial. The ambiguous definition of BMS makes evaluation of prognosis and treatment difficult.
Who does it affect?
Middle-aged or older women are mainly affected.
Do I need any special tests?
Yes. As BMS can be due to anæmia, this has to be checked for first however, in a lot of cases, there is no indication of anæmia.
How is it treated?
There is no treatment. Sometimes treatments for thrush can ease the discomfort. If the BMS is due to anæmia, then treatment of the anæmia will help; likewise, if the BMS is related to diabetes.