What is Premenstrual Syndrome?
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) (historically called PMT or Premenstrual Tension) is a collection of physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms related to a woman’s menstrual cycle. While most women of child-bearing age (about 80 percent) have some premenstrual symptoms, women with PMS have symptoms of “sufficient severity to interfere with some aspects of life”. Further, such symptoms are usually predictable and occur regularly during the two weeks prior to menses. The symptoms may vanish after the menstrual flow starts, but may continue even after the flow has begun. About 14 percent of women between the ages of 20 to 35 become so affected that they must stay home from school or work.
What are the Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome?
One or more of these symptoms may appear about a week before your period:
- Food cravings.
- Bloating and fluid retention.
- Breast swelling.
- Weight gain.
- Headaches, backaches.
- Urinary disorders.
- Moodiness, anxiety, crying.
- Drowsiness and fatigue.
- Nausea and clumsiness
What are the Causes of Premenstrual Syndrome?
There is no conclusive research as yet, however, there is speculation that PMS is the result of a hormonal imbalance. It has also been suggested that a deficiency in a particular hormone may be responsible for PMS. Some say it may be biochemical. Dietary deficiencies, including a lack of vitamin B6 and essential fatty acids, could be a possible cause. One type of PMS, characterised by headache, dizziness, heart pounding, increased appetite, and a craving for chocolate, is thought to be the result of a magnesium deficiency brought on by stress.
Traditional Medical Treatments for Premenstrual Syndrome
A lot of women do not treat their PMS and live through it. There are treatments which are able to relieve the symptoms and give you some comfort. Some doctors prescribe various hormones to relieve symptoms. This treatment is controversial and may not work with all women. Because there are risks associated with hormonal treatments, many doctors prefer approaches that emphasise a good diet, regular exercise, and other lifestyle changes such as those described below.
Complementary/Alternative Treatments for Premenstrual Syndrome
A wide variety of alternative treatments may help relieve PMS symptoms. Try them and see which one works for your particular symptoms. Aromatherapy – To relieve anxiety and irritability, try lavender or chamomile oil; parsley or juniper oil may also be helpful. Add several drops to a warm bath. To relieve anxiety and irritability, try lavender or chamomile oil; parsley or juniper oil may also be helpful. Add several drops to a warm bath. To relieve breast tenderness, try adding 6 to 8 drops of geranium oil to a warm bath. Chinese Herbs – For relief from PMS symptoms, Chinese herbalists sometimes recommend dong quai, which is believed to help balance the body’s hormones and have a tonic effect on the uterus and other female organs. For relief from PMS symptoms, Chinese herbalists sometimes recommend dong quai, which is believed to help balance the body’s hormones and have a tonic effect on the uterus and other female organs.