Premenstrual Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

on Mar 13, 2013

by Dr. Renee Hanton, MD

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Often referred to as PMS, premenstrual syndrome is extremely common among women. Find out the causes, symptoms and treatments for this.

Often referred to as PMS, premenstrual syndrome is extremely common among women. In this condition, women go through emotional as well as physical distress a few days before the onset of their period and this may continue even while they have their period. A few days, in the sense, a week or two weeks before menstrual cycle. This time period may also be referred to as the postovulatory phase. Many women suffer from this problem but what actually causes PMS is still unknown. The frequency of PMS will increase, as you grow older. During your teenage years, you won’t even notice any signs or distress symptoms. In your thirties and forties, these symptoms will get more prominent and can affect you significantly. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

Progesterone and estrogen

PMS has been found to be related to the ovarian hormones. However, a direct relationship is yet to be established. According to studies so far, the continuous increase and decrease in the levels of the two female sex hormones: progesterone and estrogen, is one of the main causes of PMS. Other reasons may be overproduction of the hormone called prolactin, which is responsible for lactation; low levels of the brain chemical named serotonin; deficiency of vitamin B6; deficiency of progesterone; and too much production of estrogen. However, none of these have been proven. There was in fact a time when people used to think that PMS was a psychological problem. The reason behind this is the fact that many women ended up being mentally ill because of PMS. However, recent advancement in studies and research has made it clear that PMS is much more than just psychological. It is a physical problem and may be related to hormones in the body, which usually work together and are balanced but are disrupted and become imbalanced during the post-ovulatory phase.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms vary greatly from one woman to the other and their severity increases as you near the date of your period. After that, all the symptoms will disappear all of a sudden. Tenderness of the breast, swelling of the breasts, weight gain, backache, water retention, abdominal distention, acne, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, body aches, tickling and prickling sensation on the skin, cold sores, nausea, headache, mood swings, depression, anxiety, crying spells, indecisiveness, joint pain, easy bruising, excess fatigue and tiredness, and unusual craving for salty foods and sweet foods are a few of the many symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or PMS.

Is there a treatment?

Yes, PMS can be treated but again, the treatment will depend on what type of symptoms you are suffering from and how severe these symptoms actually are. You could use drugs such as Advil or Aleve or any other drug that your doctor provides, you could change your diet and see if that helps. Awareness is another excellent remedy to treat PMS. Your family should be aware of the problem you face and should have no misconceptions about it. Social support will help you overcome PMS significantly.

How can I prevent PMS?

You should become aware of your symptoms and their frequency in order to prevent them. Only when you know what to expect will you be able to cope with them effectively. When you understand yourself and how your body works, things will become easier for you. If the symptoms are unbearable and keep getting worse month after month, you should talk to your doctor.

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Premenstrual Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments, 5.0 out of 5 based on 4 ratings

Dr. Renee Hanton is ConceiveEasy's Senior Physician with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. Dr. Hanton specializes in the endocrine causes of infertility, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

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