What is symptometric?

What is the meaning of “symptometric data”?

The word symptometric does not seem to appear in any dictionary (as yet – in 2009). Searching on the word comes up with half a dozen search results (or hits), evenly divided between the bioZhena weblog and others. We did not make up the word, though yours truly only surmises from the context that it presumably came from the PMS/PMDD research arena. It is a scientific and medical word referring to the measurement (quantitation) of symptoms.

The following extract from the results of searching on the word illustrates that “symptometric” is used in physics as well as in obstetrics and gynecology, and the context of the obgyn search result is exactly like our usage: comparison between two techniques. It’s a safe guess that the search engine-truncated word “strual” does refer to “menstrual”. The obgyns are apparently ready to receive our technology, which is a logical expectation that does not depend on the googling result! (Some might say, it’s a no-brainer!)


ANZJOG Oct 2002
strual symptometric chart both prospectively and retrospectively. RESULTS.
The comparisons were made between the two techniques. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com

In current medical practice, a patient may be asked to monitor her symptoms by filling up a questionnaire of daily set of questions, in the manner of the following example.

Please print and use as many sheets as you need for at least two months of ratings.

Each evening note the degree to which you experienced each of the problems listed below.

Put an “x” in the box which corresponds to the severity:

1 – not at all, 2 – minimal, 3 – mild, 4 – moderate, 5 – severe, 6 – extreme.







Felt depressed, sad, “down,”, or “blue” or felt hopeless; or felt worthless or guilty
Felt anxious, tense, “keyed up” or “on edge”
Had mood swings (i.e., suddenly feeling sad or tearful) or was sensitive to rejection or feelings were easily hurt
Felt angry, or irritable
Had less interest in usual activities (work, school, friends, hobbies)
Had difficulty concentrating
Felt lethargic, tired, or fatigued; or had lack of energy
Had increased appetite or overate; or had cravings for specific foods
Slept more, took naps, found it hard to get up when intended; or had trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep
Felt overwhelmed or unable to cope; or felt out of control
Had breast tenderness, breast swelling, bloated sensation, weight gain, headache, joint or muscle pain, or other physical symptoms
At work, school, home, or in daily routine, at least one of the problems noted above caused reduction of productivity or inefficiency
At least one of the problems noted above caused avoidance of or less participation in hobbies or social activities
At least one of the problems noted above interfered with relationships with others

© pending, Jean Endicott, Ph.D. and Wilma Harrison, M.D. From: http://www.pmdd.factsforhealth.org/drsp/drsp_month.pdf

Effective medical help for female patients requires differential diagnosis, for which the recorded symptoms must be correlated with the progress of the menstrual cycle (folliculogenesis). This correlation has not been available up to now, as is evident in Figure 1, which shows an example graph of a patient’s total daily scores of about 20 symptoms. In this graph, the folliculogenesis data is absent, and the diagnostician can only guess at how the scores of symptoms might relate to the course of the menstrual cycle (folliculogenesis).

Figure 1

Example graph of daily symptom recording results

Total daily scores from a PMS questionnaire

Calendar of Premenstrual Experiences (COPE)

Data from:

http://www.medscape.com/content/1997/00/40/88/408871/art-wh3074.mortola.jpg via http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/719261_2, “Differential Diagnosis of Premenstrual Syndrome”. From: Mortola JF, GnRH to SSRIs and Beyond: Weighing the Options for Drug Therapy in Premenstrual Syndrome, MedGenMed 1(2), 1999. [Formerly published in Medscape Women’s Health eJournal 2(5), 1997].

To cite from the referenced Dr. Mortola’s paper:

The condition most easily confused with PMS is premenstrual exacerbation of affective disorder. If this condition is not excluded, as many as 50% of patients diagnosed with PMS will be found to have an underlying mood disorder (Table I). In addition to mood disorders, PMS should be differentiated from premenstrual exacerbations of anxiety disorder, thyroid disorder, and chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, all of which which may present with the profound fatigue often seen in PMS. In addition, PMS must be distinguished from perimenopausal symptoms (particularly in patients older than 40 years of age) and from mood alterations induced by ovarian-steroid-containing preparations such as oral contraceptive pills.

The physician user of the OvulographTM technology will have the benefit of working with accurate and comprehensive data on each patient’s menstrual cycle history, whereby symptoms in the form of quantified symptometric scores will be correlated with the folliculogenesis data concurrently measured by the patient and provided to the physician, who will thus be in a better position to provide effective help.

This is illustrated in our post of December 17, 2007 on Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and PMDD, at https://biozhena.wordpress.com/2007/12/17/premenstrual-syndrome-pms-and-pmdd/ .

Here is the concluding part of the post for you.

Differential diagnosis is essential because a clinical study found that more than 75% of patients presenting with the complaints of PMS had another condition that either could account for the symptoms or that required correction before an accurate diagnosis of PMS could be made [Mortola, JF: “Issues in the diagnosis and research of premenstrual syndrome”, Clin. Obstet. Gynecol. 35:587-598, 1992].

The physician user of our OvulographTM technology will have the benefit of working with accurate and comprehensive data on each patient’s menstrual cycle history, and will be in a better position to provide effective help.

Two examples of ovulographic correlation of symptoms (symptometric data, here the COPE scores) and folliculogenesis (Ovulona probe readings):

Figure 2

Ovulographic Correlation of Folliculogenesis and Symptometric Data

In the first example, the cumulative COPE score rises on day 13, which is 3 days before ovulation (day 16), and we note that this is a case of an irregular cycle with a delayed ovulation. In the second example, the COPE score rises on day 17, which is 2 days after the day of ovulation (day 15).

We observe that, in the first example, in the absence of the Ovulona probe data, the “traditional” method of counting back 14 days from the first day of menstrual bleeding (namely, to day 12) would lead to the wrong conclusion that the score rise on day 13 was post-ovulatory. Only the second example (documented post-ovulation rise of the COPE score) appears to be a case of PMS.

COPE score refers to the “psychiatric instrument”, the Calendar of Premenstrual Experiences (COPE), described in a paper by Beck LE, Gevirtz R, Mortola JF: “The predictive value of psychosocial stress on symptom severity in premenstrual syndrome”, Psychosom. Med. 52:536, 1990.

The bioZhena technology should have a positive effect in the PMS/PMDD arena. Two key words are pertinent in this context, namely psychoneuroendocrinology (or even psycho-neuro-immuno-endocrinology) and the much shorter psychosomatic, as in psychosomatic medicine.

See also “On the importance of symptometric monitoring” https://biozhena.wordpress.com/about/about-biozhena-tech-pitch/importance-of-symptometry/ .

2 Responses to “What is symptometric?”

  1. Far more than a tool for reproductive management « bioZhena’s Weblog Says:

    […] discussion here better if you peruse the bioZhena weblog article, listed under Pages and titled, What is symptometric? What is the meaning of “symptometric data”? The answer in a nutshell: Symptometry means symptoms quantified and […]

  2. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and PMDD « bioZhena’s Weblog Says:

    […] Two examples of ovulographic correlation of symptoms (symptometric data, here the COPE scores) and folliculogenesis (Ovulona data) can be seen below and – along with the answer to What is the meaning of symptometric data – in the document on the accompanying Page ” What is symptometric?” at https://biozhena.wordpress.com/what-is-symptometric/. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: