Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – Symptoms & Treatment

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – Symptoms & Treatment
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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – Symptoms & Treatment


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a condition that affects a woman’s emotions, physical health, and behavior during certain days of the menstrual cycle, generally just before her menses.

PMS is a very common condition. Its symptoms affect more than 90% of menstruating women. Diagnosis requires a consistent pattern of emotional and physical symptoms occurring after ovulation and before menstruation to a degree that interferes with normal life. Emotional symptoms must not be present during the initial part of the menstrual. A daily list of symptoms over a few months may help in diagnosis. Other disorders that cause similar symptoms need to be excluded before a diagnosis is made.


What is the cause of PMS?


PMS symptoms start five to 11 days before menstruation and typically go away once menstruation begins.

Although, the cause of PMS is unknown. Many researchers believe that it is related to a change in both sex hormone and serotonin levels at the beginning of the menstrual cycle.

Levels of estrogen and progesterone increase during certain times of the month. An increase in these hormones can cause mood swings, anxiety and irritability. Ovarian steroids also modulate activity in parts of your brain associated with premenstrual symptoms.

Serotonin levels affect mood. Serotonin is a chemical in your brain and gut that affects your moods, emotions, and thoughts.


Different signs and symptoms of PMS

Premenstrual syndrome
Image source – Holistic Kenko

A woman’s menstrual cycle lasts an average of 28 days.

Ovulation, the period when an egg is released from the ovaries, occurs on day 14 of the cycle. Menstruation, or bleeding, occurs on day 28 of the cycle. PMS symptoms can begin around day 14 and last until seven days after the start of menstruation.

The severity of symptoms can vary by individual and by month.

The list of potential signs and symptoms for premenstrual syndrome is long, but most women only experience a few of these problems.


Physical signs

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Cramps
  • Tender breasts
  • Excessive hunger
  • Specific food cravings
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Rise in body temperature
  • Acne
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation or diarrhea

Emotional signs

  • Tense or anxious
  • Depressed
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Unreasonable crying
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Need to be alone
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Angry outbursts

Behavioral signs

  • Forgetting things
  • Loss of concentration
  • Unproductivity
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue

Keeping a diary of your symptoms is another way to determine if you have PMS. Use a calendar to keep track of your symptoms and menstruation every month.


How to keep PMS at bay?


However, there are no sure ways away PMS, there are ways you can keep your body and mind in control and in a calm state. It will help you deal with the PMS symptoms in a better way.

  1. Although the exact reasons behind this finding are not clear, avoiding smoking or quitting smoking could improve or even prevent PMS.
  2. Exercises like aerobics, jogging, dancing, swimming gets your heart pumping. This helps ease sadness and anxiety, which are both common symptoms of PMS.
  3. Up your intake of fruits, veggies, and whole grains and cut back on sugar, artificial sweeteners, fat, and salt. The complex carbohydrates in whole grains may contribute to a chemical chain reaction that supports mood-enhancing emotions.
  4. Alcohol and caffeine can both contribute to a PMS rollercoaster. Consider limiting alcoholic drinks, as well as food and beverages containing caffeine.
  5. PMS may leave you anxious and tense, so it’s a good idea to learn some relaxation techniques as part of your PMS treatment. You can try yoga, deep breathing, or meditation.


How long will PMS mood swing last?

Premenstrual syndrome
Image source – Mamamia

Premenstrual syndrome mood swings can last for an average of eighteen to twenty days. Since it usually sets in around the fourteenth day of the cycle and extends till around the seventh day after menstruation. The mood swings last for about fourteen days and reduce drastically after the completion of the menstrual cycle.


When to seek professional help?


In most cases, home treatment will help to reduce PMS symptoms. However, if your PMS symptoms have lasted for more than two weeks, it is advisable to visit your doctor to avoid any complications.

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