Premenstrual Syndrome consists of variety of symptoms that occur during a particular phase of menstrual cycle, usually 7-10 days before the periods begin.
These symptoms mostly begin in 20s.
10 to 50 % of women suffer from PMS regularly.
5-10 % suffers from symptoms severe enough to seek medical help.
Women most often affected by PMS are those:
Who have experienced major hormonal changes as during child birth, tubal ligation, miscarriage, abortion.
Women who have discontinued birth control pills may experience PMS until their hormonal level returns to normal.
PMS is rarely debilitating.
Symptoms Of PMS occur 7-10 days before periods are due.
More intense symptoms in a small number of women
Bloating and fluid retention.
Breast swelling and pain.
Acne, cold sores.
Weight gain of up to five pounds (from retention of fluids).
Headaches, backaches, and joint or muscle aches.
Moodiness, anxiety, depression or irritability.
Food cravings, especially for sugary or salty foods.
Drowsiness and fatigue, or Rarely extra energy.
Hot flashes or nausea.
Constipation, diarrhea or urinary disorders.
Outbreak of Herpes.
Fits of crying.
Aggressive or violent behavior.
Numerous theories are proposed to explain the symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome.
Many believe Hormonal Imbalance is the main cause. But the exact nature of imbalance has yet not been proved.
Some say it is due to over production of hormone Oestrogen.
Some find deficiency of particular hormone as the cause – oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, prolactin.
Monthly fluctuations in brain chemicals such as neurotransmitters, endorphins and monoamines may be the cause.
Lack of B6 and essential fatty acids.
Genetic – identical twins are more likely to share PMS symptoms than are fraternal twins.
Dietary changes help in reducing some of the symptoms of PMS. Reducing intake of Sugar, Caffeine, Salt, White floor, dairy products can be of some help. Small frequent meals are also helpful.
Eat Low Fat diet.
Avoit Salt, Sugar and Dairy products.
Abstain from Alcohol.
Take warm baths as your periods approach and try to relax mind and body.
Various relaxation techniques, such as yoga and meditation, can be helpful in reducing the anxiety, irritability and other emotional symptoms that sometimes occur premenstrually. The Cobra and Bow yoga positions are particularly recommended for PMS.
Hormonal agents, anti-anxiety and antidepressants may be needed in some.
Calcium most helpful in Premenstrual syndromeOf all the dietary supplements that claim to help women reduce the physical and emotional symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), there is only one that is really helpful – calcium.
Researchers say there is convincing evidence that 1,000-1,200 milligrams/day of calcium can substantially reduce PMS symptoms such as fatigue, irritability and abdominal bloating.
Magnesium supplements of 200-400 mg/day may be helpful, but their efficacy hasn’t been proven and higher dosages can trigger a mild laxative effect. Other supplements, including vitamin B6, have conflicting results in past studies, according to a report in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Other remedies supposed to benefit PMS are chaste tree oil and dong quai. These herbs may be unsafe for women who become pregnant. No scientific evidence has proved their effectiveness.
So, if one is looking for something to help with PMS, calcium tablets are the best bet. Cutting down on fat in your diet also helps.