Premenstrual Syndrome is a set of physical and emotional symptoms that many women experience during the second half of their menstrual cycle. It is important that you learn how to manage your PMS symptoms.
Common symptoms include fluid retention, breast soreness, moodiness, irritability, insomnia, cravings for food and drink, headaches, and migraine attacks. In some cases, these apparently psychological problems are also called premenstrual tension or premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Premenstrual Syndrome is caused by changes in hormone levels in the body during the menstrual cycle. Although the symptoms are generally unwanted, they may occasionally be associated with an increased libido (sex drive). In most cases, symptoms usually resolve after the period has arrived and menstruation has begun.
Premenstrual Syndrome is a pathology that affects women, estimated to affect from 1% to 10% of the population worldwide.
It occurs at approximately 14-15 days into the cycle and appears to be caused by hormonal changes in the body. During this period there are changes in the hormone levels circulating in the body which causes physical symptoms along with psychological symptoms. The majority of women experience the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, however, some women do not.
According to the research, it can be more severe in early menopause, in post-menopausal women and is more severe in girls with premature menses. Women who are pregnant, have a history of PMS or have children or young children are more likely to experience premenstrual syndrome than those who do not.
This is due to the fact that stress is a major factor in this occurrence and has been found to play an important role when it comes to menstruation. Women who are experiencing severe premenstrual syndrome are more likely to have depression because they have a higher chance of experiencing life events that affect them mentally.
Premenstrual Syndrome symptoms are most obvious in the first two weeks after ovulation but may appear earlier or later than this.
Some women have severe or prolonged premenstrual syndrome with very severe symptoms, which can interfere with daily life and relationships. A few women also experience premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) which is characterized by a combination of major depressive and anxiety symptoms.
The Premenstrual Syndrome was first recognized by the ancient Egyptians who described symptoms during menstruation: anemia, depression, irritability, fluid retention, and breast enlargement. The term premenstrual tension (PMT) was coined in 1949 by Robert T. Frank, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cornell University Medical College in New York City. He described the physical and psychological symptoms that sometimes occur in the two weeks before menstruation.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Symptoms Can Be Classified Into Four, They Include:
1) Mood swings- women have been known to become irritable, sad, or argumentative during their menstrual cycle. Typically women are most susceptible to these mood swings during the first two weeks of their menstrual cycle.
2) Physical symptoms– such as cramping, weight gain, etc… Although these symptoms are described as unsightly, they are therapeutic in nature. Once these symptoms subside, they are replaced with the next type of PMS.
3) Anxiety- many women have this issue during their menstrual cycle, and if they’re lucky, they might get some relief from it. Anxiety can make a woman appear uncomfortable and nervous. Even though it may be hard for the woman experiencing it, this type of anxiety is beneficial for her as it makes her more attentive to her body and surroundings.
4) Depression- this is the result of PMS due to the changes in hormones that occur at the onset of a woman’s menstrual cycle. The symptoms start off mild but can become severe in a short period of time. The cycle for depression in a woman is approximately four weeks and the last day of her cycle when she becomes depressed is known as the “crying day”.
List Of PMS Symptoms Without Classification:
- Tension or anxiety.
- Breast soreness.
- Depressed mood.
- Mood swings.
- Food Retention.
- Irritability or anger.
- Migraine attacks
- Short concentration Span.
- Fluid retention.
- Outbreak of Acne.
- Social withdrawal.
- Increased Libido. (sometimes).
- Crying spree.
- Breast Enlargement.
- Food cravings.
How To Manage Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms
The symptoms of PMS may make life hard to deal with for many women, especially those who are struggling with their mental health. Many women may want to go on medication or use pain killers or alternative therapies but none of these are helpful in the long term, in fact, they can be detrimental.
However, there are things you can do that will help manage your PMS symptoms and improve your quality of life. These ideas work for some women and not for others so you might need to play around with a few things before you find what works best.
- The first thing to try is exercise– Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happier and releases tension. Research has also shown that exercise can reduce the level of stress hormones in the body, which is particular good news for women with PMS. It has also been found that going for a walk with someone else can help you feel better, as you will have more energy and it will help you focus on something other than your symptoms.
- Sleep- PMS symptoms can often cause women to feel exhausted and this can make it hard to sleep properly. To help with this, try turning the heating down in your bedroom or covering up a little bit. It may also help if you go to bed earlier than usual.
- Cut Back On Sugar– Sugar and refined carbohydrates release sugar into the bloodstream very quickly and this can make you feel worse. However, there are some women who find that eating sugary foods makes them feel better. If this is the case for you, then it is important to avoid cutting back on sugar completely as you may become depressed or have a low mood if you do.
- Try Listening To Some Music- If you are feeling anxious, listen to Music, Music releases serotonin into the brain and this improves mood and helps improve your ability to relax.
- Caffeine- For many women, avoiding caffeine increases their anxiety levels and causes them to feel worse. However if you drink caffeinated coffee at least try and limit it to having one or two cups a day or whenever the caffeine boosts your energy, rather than having it every day.
- Ask For Help- If your symptoms are making it hard to cook or wash the dishes you should ask someone to help you. This will help you avoid feeling like a burden on them and will also give you a break from the housework that can sometimes be impossible when suffering with PMS.
- Books And Movies-If you feel like crying, try watching a happy film or reading a good book. Reading is known to release the chemical dopamine into the brain which makes people feel better. It is also a good idea not to listen to sad songs.
- Hot Bath- Many women find that having a hot bath reduces their tension and helps them relax.
- Endorphin- Some women find that drinking a glass of wine, which releases endorphins, helps to make it easier to get through the day. However if you can safely drink alcohol then do so as this will make you feel bette
- Progesterone Cream- The proper use of progesterone cream can be helpful as a PMS treatment. Because estrogen and progesterone are the two main female hormones, many doctors prescribe birth control pills to balance out the hormone levels in women with PMS. The combination of estrogen and progesterone not only helps reduce such symptoms as bloating, breast tenderness, depression and irritability, but also improves moods and energy levels. Studies show that birth control pills help reduce the frequency of PMS.
- Birth Control Pills- If you are struggling with depression and PMS a combination of birth control pills containing the hormones estrogen and progesterone can help.
- Natural Remedies- There are also natural remedies that can help to increase progesterone in the body, such as wild yam and Vitex Agnus Castus. These natural remedies can help relieve PMS symptoms and reduce such symptoms as bloating, mood swings and breast tenderness. It is best to check with your healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Supplements- Some women find that taking vitamin B6 and magnesium supplements can help to reduce the severity of PMS symptoms. However you should still talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before taking any supplements.
- Positive Self Soothing Techique- Use positive self soothing techniques, such as meditation. When a woman is under pressure, such as during PMS, the body’s natural response is anger and frustration, which are not productive emotions. It is important to center oneself and calm down in order to get a grip on her emotions.
- Yoga- Practicing yoga and other forms of meditation can help to relieve symptoms of PMS.
- Anger Management- It is also important to learn proper non-violent conflict resolution. When a woman learns how to properly handle her anger during PMS, she will no longer feel the need to beat up on herself or others around her.