Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a common condition among women of reproductive age during their menstrual cycle. Although for many women it is a relatively mild condition, it often has particularly intense and annoying symptoms that adversely affect a woman’s daily life.
According to reports, about 85% of women of reproductive age will experience at least one symptom of PMS during their menstrual cycle. It usually starts 1-2 weeks before the woman’s period and lasts up to the first 4 days of the onset of bleeding.
Causes of premenstrual syndrome
The exact causes of the PMS are not fully understood. However, it is believed to be due to chemical and hormonal changes that occur naturally in a woman’s body. However, although hormonal changes are the main guilty, other conditions can make the symptoms worse, such as depression, emotional disturbances, low levels of certain trace elements, smoking, high consumption of caffeine and alcohol, etc.
Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome
Symptoms may vary in both intensity and number, among women who experience PMS, as some women may experience only one symptom in some of their menstrual cycles or multiple symptoms on a chronic basis. Symptoms may include:
- tension, anxiety or depression
- mood fluctuations and irritability
- desire to eat and changes of appetite
- pain in joints and muscles
- headache, fatigue, insomnia, abdominal bloating
- weight gain
- sensitivity of the breasts
- gastrointestinal disorders, such as constipation or diarrhea
Treatment and prevention of premenstrual syndrome
Because the PMS is not fully understood, the treatment revolves around relieving symptoms. Although not all of the ways are equally effective for every woman, there are some things that could relieve the symptoms of the PMS, such as:
- Regular exercise
- Increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
- Consumption of smaller and more frequent meals
- Increased intake of magnesium and calcium
- Decreased intake of salt, sugar, caffeine and alcohol during the PMS
- Sufficient sleep for at least 8 hours
- Avoid or even quit smoking
- Anxiety management
Taking certain vitamins, minerals and herbs in supplements can help relieve the symptoms:
- Magnesium. It is required for estrogen metabolism and can help relieve cramps.
- Vitamin B-6. It is involved in the metabolism of estrogen.
- Calcium with vitamin D. They relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and help in proper neuromuscular function.
- Omega 6 (Evening Primrose or Starflower Oil). They are used to treat inflammation. They relieve pain and increased the sensitivity of the breasts.
- Herbs (Agnus Castus or Chasteberry, Dong Quai, Black Cohosh). They help to regulate and treat the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (tension, acne, chest pain).