Encyclopedia

Premenstrual syndrome

Description

Premenstrual syndrome /PMS/ is a condition characterized by a wide variety of symptoms, such as mood changes, breast tightness, feeling hungry, fatigue, irritability and depression.

It is estimated that approximately 3 out of 4 women who experience PMS suffer from some form of PMS.

Symptoms are most pronounced in the end of the third and beginning of the fourth decade of a woman’s life.

The manifestations of the syndrome develop in a predictable way.

But the physiological and emotional changes that a woman experiences during PMS may be particularly intense in some months and only slightly noticeable in others.

However, you don’t have to let these changes control your life. Treatment and lifestyle changes may be helpful in reducing or managing the symptoms of the syndrome.

What are the symptoms?

Emotional and behavioral manifestations:

• Tension and anxiety;
• Depressed mood;
• Sometimes it happens that women suffering from the syndrome cry cursing or cursing someone;
• Frequent mood swings and irritability or anger;
• Difficulty falling asleep /insomnia/;
• Social self-isolation;
• Impaired ability to concentrate;

Physiological signs and symptoms:

• Joint or muscle pain;
• Headache;
• Fatigue;
• Weight gain due to fluid retention;

Although the list of possible symptoms of PMS is long, most women experience only a few of them.

Some women perceive physical pain and emotional stress as strong enough to allow them to negatively affect their daily life and usual activities.

Regardless of the severity of the symptoms, they subside completely when the menstrual cycle begins.

But in some women, PMS occurs in a very severe form, which has its own name.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which causes the appearance of very intense symptoms such as severe depression, sometimes even reaching the point where the woman may begin to think about suicide.

Other possible manifestations are: feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, strong anger and very strong anxiety.

When should you seek medical help?

If you feel that you are unable to cope with the changes that occur due to PMS, and when the signs and symptoms are seriously affecting your health and your daily activities, seek medical care.

What are the causes?

Exactly what causes the syndrome is currently unknown to medical science. But several contributing factors have been identified:

Changes in hormonal levels associated with the onset of the monthly cycle – the manifestations of the syndrome are the result of changes in the levels of female sex hormones before menstruation, as they disappear during pregnancy and menopause.

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Chemical changes in the brain – Fluctuations in serotonin levels in the brain are thought to control mood and possibly trigger PMS symptoms.

Insufficient serotonin may be a contributing factor to premenstrual depression, as well as fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems;

Stress – stress has been found to exacerbate some PMS symptoms;

Bad eating habits – some of the symptoms are related to the low levels of vitamins and salts in the body.

And other possible contributing factors areeating too many salty foods, which cause fluid retention.

Frequent use of alcohol and caffeinated beverages can cause mood swings and subsequent lack of energy.

Treatment of premenstrual syndrome

Write down for several months the factors that provoke your symptoms, for example certain stressful situations or the consumption of certain foods.

This will give you some security, since for example when you get into a certain stressful situation you will know in advance how to react and accordingly avoid it.

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