Pre menstrual syndrome popularly known as PMS is a condition which occurs in some women of reproductive age. As the name indicates, it occurs before the start of monthly menstrual cycle. In this duration, multiple hormonal and physical changes are occurring in a female body. This may lead to some emotional and physical disturbances in their day to day activities. Almost 10 million women in India are affected by pre menstrual syndrome.
The symptoms are normally present in the period between ovulation and the bleeding of menstrual cycle. This period is usually from 2 weeks prior to the start of the bleeding. Surprisingly, the symptoms normally lessen or completely disappear once the bleeding occurs.
A female might have higher chances of suffering from PMS if she has a history of depression or mood disorders; there is family history of the condition or depression i.e. her mother or mother’s sisters have had the condition in their lifetimes. The exact cause of PMS is not known. But according to researchers, it’s mostly because of the fluctuations in the hormones levels like oestrogen and progesterone that occur in this time zone.
You might be suffering from PMS, if you have these symptoms in the mentioned time zone:
- Irritable and aggressive
- Emotional and tearful
- Food cravings/ binging
- Extreme mood swings
- Anxiety and depression
- Feeling Bloated and weight gain
- Breast tenderness
- Feeling tired and fatigue
- Headaches and back aches
- Diarrhoea, severe flatus passing
- Abdominal cramping
Almost 90% of females from reproductive age will experience some of these symptoms but only almost 2% of them will experience them severely. These 2% of the population is said to be suffering from PMS.
The gynaecologist will take your complete medical, gynaecological and family history. Mostly the diagnosis is based on the complaints and their severity in the patient. If these symptoms are severe enough to disrupt the daily routine life and causing much distress to the patient then a diagnosis of PMS is made.
Although PMS is not preventable, some measures can be taken to decrease its intensity. With proper knowledge about the condition and appropriate treatment of the symptoms, it can be managed. Having a balanced diet, avoiding junk food, exercising and adequate rest helps in managing the symptoms of PMS satisfactorily.
There is no cure for PMS. But PMS can definitely be managed by treating the symptoms. The gynaecologist will assess your symptoms and advice you the treatment based on that information. Following are some of the modalities that are useful in treating PMS:
Having enough fluids, Reducing salt and sugar intake, reducing caffeine intake, also avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol is found to be beneficial in managing PMS symptoms. Nutritional supplements like Vitamin B & E and micronutrients like calcium and magnesium are also found to be useful in many cases. Folic acid supplements also help to manage PMS. Having higher intake of complex carbohydrates also help in curbing PMS symptoms.
Exercise is necessary to maintain a good health. But, aerobic exercises like walking, swimming and having a balanced diet can improve your PMS symptoms effectively. Exercises increase the blood flow through your blood vessels, and the rate of the circulation increases. It also increases the oxygen levels of your blood which is healthy for the brain.
Painkillers will be given for the symptoms like head ache, back ache, cramps and tenderness in the breasts. For the psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety, irritability, certain anti depressants are found to be useful. These medications can be prescribed by the gynaecologist to manage these symptoms
Keeping a positive attitude and getting treatment when it is necessary, are the two most important keys while managing the PMS. If your are suffering from any of the above symptoms are having tangible distress because of them, consult a gynaecologist.