Premenstrual syndrome or PMS has become so common these days that many women feel that it is okay to go through it each month. “Just because something is common doesn’t mean it is normal”
WHAT IS PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME?
Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a group of symptoms that start one to two weeks before the monthly period in women including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability & depression.
PMS is experienced with every cycle, which is generally on a monthly basis.
It is no longer than up to one week every month.
The physical & emotional changes you experience with PMS may vary from mild only noticeable to all the way to intense or debilitating, interfering with personal, social, and professional life.
3 of every 4 menstruating females have experienced some form of PMS.
Anxiety, crying spells, Mood swings, irritability, food cravings, lack of sleep, social withdrawal & poor concentration.
2.PHYSICAL SIGNS & SYMPTOMS:
Joint pain, headache, general fatigue, weight gain due to fluid retention, bloating sensation, breast tenderness, acne, constipation or diarrhea.
SEVERE FORM OF PMS IS CALLED PREMENSTRUAL DYSPHORIC DISORDER (PMDD):
A smaller number of women have disabling symptoms every month, called PMDD such as depression, violent mood swings, marked anger, suicidal tendencies, persistent anxiety, insomnia.
WHAT CAUSES PMS?
- The exact cause is not known but the hormonal changes may trigger the symptoms, it disappears with pregnancy & menopause.
- Chemical changes in the brain: Fluctuation of a brain chemical, serotonin (a neurotransmitter) plays a crucial role in mood swings. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression.
HOW TO MANAGE PMS:
Women can reduce the severity of PMS by making healthy changes in the diet and increasing daily physical activity, especially around that time of the month.
1. DIET MODIFICATION:
Eat smaller, more frequent meals, and have an early dinner to reduce bloating and feeling of fullness. Include fiber-rich food like fruits, vegetables & whole grains in your diet. Avoid coffee and alcohol.
Include a regular exercise routine in your daily life. At least 30 minutes of moderate cardio exercise, such as brisk walking, cycling & aerobics. Regular exercise improves the overall health and wellness, as well as reduces the symptoms of fatigue and depression.
3.DON’T TAKE STRESS:
Stress plays a vital role in managing the steroid hormones, (hormones responsible for the monthly cycle in females), hence stress can cause hormonal imbalances in women which in turn can trigger the symptoms of PMS. Get enough sleep, try deep breathing exercises, it reduces the level of anxiety. You can incorporate yoga into your daily routine to relax.
In few cases, due to the severe form of PMS, especially in PMDD, when it starts interfering with your daily routine to an extent where you cannot function at all, doctors may prescribe certain medicines to reduce the symptoms.
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