Premenstrual Syndrome

Hormonal changes a few days before the start of menstruation affect most women emotionally along with some physical and behavioural changes.  This is known as premenstrual syndrome.  Low mood, softening of the breasts and irritation are some of the signs of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Almost every menstruating woman go through PMS a few days before the start of menses.  Signs of PMS appear a week before onset of menstruation and resolve on their own once menstruation starts.  The exact cause of PMS is not known, however, studies point towards changes in hormone and serotonin levels during onset of menstruation.

What are the causes?

Exact cause why only some women develop PMS is not known. It could be linked to hormonal change and sensitivity of your body.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms and severity can vary from person to person. Most common symptoms are

  • Easily irritable
  • Feeling under tension / aggression / anxious
  • Angry always
  • Low mood, mood swings & loss of interest
  • Sleeplessness at night
  • Depressed all the time
  • Loss of libido
  • Bloating sensation of the body
  • Breast soreness / pain
  • Feel like fluid retentions in the body (swelling of whole body)
  • Headaches
  • Feel teary
What tests will be required for diagnosis?

You don’t need an special test to diagnose PMS. You may be advised to maintain calendar of your symptoms for few months

Easing the symptoms of PMS

PMS is not a disease but a passing phase and there is no treatment for it, although steps can be taken to ease the symptoms.  If the symptoms are mild or moderate, following steps can be taken to ease them.

  • Eating a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables and reducing intake of caffeine and alcohol
  • Supplements like folic acid, vitamin D and calcium can reduce cramps and help with low mood and depression
  • Making sure you are not sleep deprived.
  • Exercising to reduce stress
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy