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PMS – Premenstrual Syndrome

What is premenstrual syndrome?

Premenstrual SyndromePremenstrual syndrome is the name given to a group of physical and emotional symptoms that some women experience on a regular basis in relation to menstruation. The symptoms occur monthly, generally within 7 to 14 days prior to menstruation. Symptom may seem to worsen as menstruation approaches and subside at the onset or after several days of menstruation. A symptom-free phase usually occurs following menses.

What are the symptoms of PMS?

PMS symptoms range from mild to incapacitating. Symptoms can occur for only one or two days or may begin at ovulation and continue until the onset of menstruation. Symptoms may include:

1- Nervous tension and mood swings

2- Depression

3- Feeling out of control

4- Water retention

5- Breast tenderness

6- Headache

7- Food cravings

Menstrual cramps are not considered a symptom of PMS. However, a woman can experience both PMS and dysmenorrheal and may decide to seek treatment for both difficulties.

Who experiences PMS?

Some estimates say that about 10 percent of menstruating women experience severe premenstrual symptoms. While PMS can occur at any time in a menstruating women’s life, if generally appears in her twenties and thirties.

How is PMS diagnosed?

There are no blood or diagnostic tests that tell whether or not someone has PMS. Evaluating 2 to 3 months of daily charting of symptoms can make the diagnosis possible.

How can you tell if you experience PMS?

You know when symptoms interfere with your usual functioning. At present, there is no medical or laboratory test that definitely shows the presence of PMS. It is essential to keep a daily calendar to record the symptoms you experience. If you find that symptoms recur about 7 to 14 days before your period and you have a symptom free phase after menstruation, then you may be experiencing PMS. Seek medical help for further evaluation and treatment if these symptoms are severe or debilitating.

Treatment for PMS

The first line of treatment suggested for women with PMS involve diet and exercise. A well balanced diet, small frequent and avoidance of salt, caffeine, sugar, and alcohol is suggested. Vigorous exercise for 20minutes 3 to 4 times a week can also be very helpful for many women. If diet and exercise suggestions do not succeed in making the symptoms manageable, drug therapy may be an option, some times different medications need to be tired before one is found that works effectively. What works for one woman may not work for another. This multidimensional approach provides the most effective means of dealing with PMS.

To find out what treatment would suit you for relieving the symptoms of PMS, it’s best to consult your gynecologist.