Overview Of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of symptoms that many women get about a week or two before their period. Most women have tender breasts, bloating, and muscle aches a few days before they start their menstrual periods. These are normal premenstrual symptoms. But when they disrupt daily life, they are called premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMS can affect the body, mood, and how you act in the days leading up to the menstrual period.
Some women first get PMS in their teens or 20s. Others don’t get it until their 30s. The symptoms may get worse in the late 30s and 40s, as you approach.
Causes Of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
The exact cause of PMS is not known. Changes in brain hormone levels may play a role. However, this has not been proven. Women with PMS may also respond differently to these hormones.
PMS may be related to social, cultural, biological, and psychological factors.
Most women experience PMS symptoms during their childbearing years. PMS occurs more often in women:
• Between their late 20s and 40s
• Who have had at least one child
• With a personal or family history of major depression
• With a history of postpartum depression or an affective mood disorder
The symptoms often get worse in late 30s and 40s as menopause approaches.
Most women feel some mild discomfort before their periods. But if you have PMS, you may feel so anxious, depressed, or uncomfortable that you can’t cope at home or work. Some of the symptoms of PMS are listed below. Symptoms may be worse for some months and better for others. It is also common for you to have some of these symptoms but not others.
● Back pain
● Bloated abdomen
● Changes in appetite, including cravings for certain foods
● Crying spells
● Fast heartbeat
● Feeling irritable, tense, or anxious
● Feeling tired
● Hot flashes
● Joint pain
● Mood swings
● Not feeling as interested in sex
● Tender and swollen breasts
● Trouble concentrating
● Trouble sleeping
● Swollen hands or feet
● Wanting to be alone
● Weight gain
If PMS symptoms are severe, you may have a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). This is especially true if anxiety and depression are extreme.
How long do PMS symptoms and signs last?
The duration of PMS varies among women. Most women experience the symptoms for a few to several days in the week before the onset of their menstrual period. Some women may have symptoms for a shorter or longer period, but symptoms of PMS typically start after ovulation (the mid-point in the monthly menstrual cycle).
Treatment Of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
There is no cure for PMS, but taking medicine may help. No single PMS treatment works for everyone, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Consider taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen, to help ease cramps, headaches, backaches, and breast tenderness. Depending on the PMS symptoms and how severe they are, The doctor may prescribe medicine for you.
You may need to try more than one medicine to find the treatment that works best for you. Medicines that doctors can prescribe include diuretics, antidepressants, and birth control pills.
What are diuretics?
Diuretics (water pills) help the body get rid of extra sodium and fluid. They can ease bloating, weight gain, breast pain, and abdominal pain. Diuretics usually are taken just before you would normally experience these symptoms in the menstrual cycle.
There is no cure for PMS, but symptoms may be managed successfully with:
● lifestyle changes
● dietary modifications
● hormone treatments
● other therapies.
You may have to experiment to find the balance of treatments that works best for you.
It’s a good idea to continue PMS diary and record any symptoms while you try out these therapies and treatments. Consult with the doctor or healthcare professional during this trial period.
Exams and Tests
There are no specific signs or lab tests that can detect PMS. To rule out other possible causes of symptoms, it is important to have a:
• Complete medical history
• Physical exam (including pelvic exam)
A symptom calendar can help women identify the most troublesome symptoms. This also helps in confirming the diagnosis of PMS.