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PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)

Those four- five days are the most difficult in the life of a woman. Pain, irritability and what not; these things make the time even more difficult. But, the biggest problem is that the difficult time not just limit to four or five days, and the credit goes to PMS, i.e., Premenstrual Syndrome. The women get cranky, irritated, feel uneasy and face mood swings. Not only women, it gets difficult for the men who live with women to handle them at their emotional worst. So, why these things happen and how to tackle them? Let’s find out.

Premenstrual Syndrome

PMS, i.e., Premenstrual Syndrome is the symptoms that begin before the periods. The physical and emotional symptoms begin 1 to 2 weeks before the onset of periods. The symptoms stay for about 6 days, until the period begins and resolve as the bleeding begins. The physical symptoms include acne, bloating, fatigue and tender breasts, while the emotional symptoms include mood swings and irritability. Symptoms may vary from woman to woman. Symptoms do not appear during the pregnancy and menopause.

Causes Of Premenstrual Syndrome

The causes of Premenstrual Syndrome are still a matter of question. Some theories state that it is due to the hormonal changes that take place during menstruation. Stress, emotional issues, low levels of essential vitamins and minerals, excessive alcohol consumption, excessive caffeine intake and high sodium levels further exacerbate the symptoms. Women who have a family history of emotional issues like depression and history of postpartum depression or mood disorder are more susceptible to PMS. It occurs in the women between late 20s to early 40s.

Signs And Symptoms Of Premenstrual Syndrome

Signs and symptoms may vary from women to women and from cycle to cycle. A woman may experience one or more symptoms. The intensity of the symptoms may also vary each time.

Emotional Symptoms

  • Stress
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Increase in emotional sensitivity
  • Changes in libido

Physical Symptoms

  • Pain in the lower back
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bloating
  • Tenderness and swelling in breasts
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Acne
  • Food cravings

Diagnosis Of Premenstrual Syndrome

There are no specific tests that diagnose the Premenstrual syndrome. The diagnosis is purely on the basis of the physical and emotional symptoms. PMS comes into picture when the intensity of the symptoms increases and interferes with the normal routine of the women. Mild symptoms often go unnoticed.

Management Of Premenstrual Syndrome

Treatment may be required only when the symptoms are severe and cause trouble to the woman. For mild symptoms, the management can be done by:

  • Reducing caffeine and salt
  • Regular light exercising
  • Vitamin D and calcium supplements
  • Naproxen to treat physical symptoms
  • Birth control pills also help a lot
  • Diuretics are given to manage water retention
  • Fluoxetine and Sertraline are prescribed to handle depression
  • Alternative medication like Vitamin B6 is helpful. Evidences support the use of chaste berry and evening primrose oil.
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