Women's Health

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

​​​What is PMS? 

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of physical and emotional symptoms that occur to many women before the start of their menstrual period. They disappear a few days after the period starts.
Cyclical changes in hormones are the cause of PMS. Symptoms occur as a result of fluctuations in levels of hormones in the body. This affects chemicals in the brain; including a hormone called serotonin, which affects mood. However, these symptoms may occur to only some women, while others may not experience them even though levels of estrogen and progesterone are similar in women. The most likely explanation, based on several studies, is that women who experience symptoms are very sensitive to any changes in their normal hormone levels.
Emotional symptoms: 
  • Depression
  • Angry outbursts
  • Crying 
  • Anxiety and confusion
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of mental focus
  • Drowsiness or insomnia
  • Sex drive changes
Physical side effects: 
  • Appetite changes (craving certain foods)
  • Breast tenderness 
  • Weight gain and bloating
  • Headache
  • Swelling in the hands or feet
  • Body aches:
  • Feeling exhausted or fatigued
  • Skin problems
  • Stomachache 
There are no laboratory tests for PMS; however, your doctor will discuss the symptoms with you, including when they occur and how much they affect your life. You probably have PMS if the following occurs: 
  • The symptoms happen in the five days before your period for at least 3 menstrual cycles in a row.
  • The symptoms go away within 3 days of the start of your period. 
  • The symptoms keep you from enjoying or doing some normal daily activities.
  • Keep track of which PMS symptoms you have and how severe they are for a few months. Write down your symptoms each day on a calendar or with an app on your phone. Take this information with you when you see your doctor.
  • What you can do at home to relieve PMS symptoms: You can do regular exercise, relaxation exercises, and take vitamin and mineral supplements. These treatments alleviate symptoms in some women and have no side effects. However, if these treatments do not relieve your symptoms, consider medication as a second option.
  • Exercise:  Regular exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week can help relieve and possibly prevent symptoms. Walking for 20 to 30 minutes three times a week can improve mood in general.
  • Relaxation exercise:  Relaxation therapy can help relieve stress and anxiety in daily life. It includes techniques like meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation, among others.
  • Vitamins and mineral supplements: Vitamin B6 (up to 100 mg/day) helps relieve symptoms. Do not take more than 100 mg of vitamin (B6) per day. 
  • Avoid all kinds of caffeine during this time.
  • Your doctor may prescribe some medications, such as antidepressants and others, depending on the severity of symptoms and your response to previous treatment methods. 

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Last Update : 23 November 2020 12:59 PM
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