What are PMS Symptoms?
Womens Health > What are PMS Symptoms?
PMS or Premenstrual syndrome is a group of symptoms, which occur frequently in relation to the menstrual cycle. The onset of symptoms is about a week or two before the beginning of menses and they go away shortly after the period starts.
PMS has numerous symptoms. The major ones include irritability, mood swings, depression, headache, body ache, food cravings, fluid retention, changes in sex drive and fatigue. Every woman has a different set of symptoms. These symptoms can emerge any time during reproductive years of a woman. However, the most probable age to get them is during the age of 35 to 42 years and they usually get worse with age.
If you suspect to have PMS, you need to keep a track of symptoms you get in the last week or two of menstrual cycle for at least three months. Your doctor should rule out the presence of any other medical condition that has similar symptoms. This is the only way to diagnose PMS since there are no diagnostic tests for this condition.
The exact cause of PMS is not clear yet. It maybe related to increased sensitivity to alterations in hormonal levels before a period, deficiency of vitamin B6, changes in the metabolism of glucose etc. Stress can worsen PMS, but it is not the causative factor of this problem.
You can alleviate your PMS largely by making certain alterations in your diet and life style. Here is how-
- Exercise regularly, quit smoking, get enough sleep and practice stress management exercises.
- Take healthy and nutritious diet with a lot of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Cut back the intake of salt, sugar and caffeine and alcohol.
- Take dietary supplements including multivitamins that should contain 400 micrograms of folic acid. Intake of 1,200 milligrams of elemental calcium daily can also ease most of PMS symptoms.
In case the above-mentioned recommendations fail to relieve PMS, you may consider taking antidepressant drugs, birth control pills, diuretics, ibuprofen etc. Seek your doctor’s advice on that.