The onset of menstruation can be an extremely challenging experience for some women. On top of that, lack of enough knowledge about what is premenstrual syndrome, rapid changes in the hormonal levels, and an increased anxiety can further lead to depression and other health troubles in women.
In this blog we are going to discuss everything you need to know about premenstrual syndrome (PMS), what can you do to reduce the symptoms, and how to deal with it effectively.
What is Premenstrual Syndrome?
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common condition hitting females just before their menses. PMS can affect women at several levels including changes in physical, emotional, and behavioral health especially during the days of menstruation cycle.
Similar to menopause symptoms, Premenstrual syndrome hit the women with specific signs and symptoms. The condition can affect as high as 80 percent of menstruating women creating disruption in regular life.
What happens in Premenstrual syndrome?
Typically, the symptoms of PMS begins showing anywhere from 4-10 days before the beginning of the menstrual cycle. Although there is no specific cause of PMS known, it is believed to happen due to altered levels of serotonin and sex hormones (estrogen & progesterone) in the body.
Due to a sudden increase in the level of these hormones in the body before menstruation, the body starts showing various premenstrual syndrome symptoms including-
- Sudden mood swings
- Enhanced level of anxiety
- Loss of appetite
- Constant irritability
Risk factors for Premenstrual Syndrome
A better understanding of what is premenstrual syndrome gives more insights on the associated risk factor of the condition as well. Some of these include-
- Previous history of PMS in the family
- History of mood disorders/ anxious behavior/ depression/ postpartum depression in the family
- Any kind of physical or emotional trauma
- Substance abuse etc
Similar to menstruation symptoms, signs of PMS can vary from mild to moderate and severe in certain cases. In general, the symptoms of PMS include-
- The feeling of fatigue, unexplained sadness, and irritability
- Sudden changes in regular sleep patterns
- The frequent occurrence of anxiety and emotional outbursts
- Sudden sensitivity to light or sound
- Physical changes such as bloating, sore breasts, acne, headaches, diarrhea, abdominal pain etc
How to ease Premenstrual Symptoms
Some of the treatment options in case of mild to moderate symptoms of PMS are-
- Making sure to have a nutritious and balanced diet for better energy levels
- Limiting the intake of salt, caffeine, alcohol etc before the menstrual cycle
- Taking enough rest to reduce fatigue
- Proper exercise to reduce stress and improve mental and physical health
- Taking vitamin supplements such as Folic acid, calcium, and vitamin B-6
In case of severe PMS symptoms such as suicidal thoughts, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) etc, it is recommended to immediately seek professional help or medical counseling.