Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), refers to the physical and psychological symptoms that females experience in the week or two leading up to their menstrual period. Womanhood is to be celebrated at all stages of life.Unfortunately,some of us are unable to enjoy the real essence of womanhood just because of the physical, mental and emotional turmoil we will have to undergo throughout our reproductive life. An important contributing factor of this being, menstrual irregularities.
Most females experience some degree of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) .In fact, over 90% report experiencing PMS symptoms in the week or two before their period.Severe or debilitating PMS symptoms are not common and they may indicate the presence of an underlying health condition.
PMS symptoms range from mild to severe. Some females get their periods without experiencing any PMS symptoms at all.
For other females, however, PMS symptoms can significantly affect their ability to perform regular activities and may even reduce their quality of life.
Physical symptoms of PMS can include-
• tender or swollen breasts
• pain in the lower abdomen or menstrual cramps
• changes in appetite, such as food cravings
• weight gain
• abdominal bloating
• acne, pimple breakouts and other skin symptoms
• constipation or diarrhoea
• oily skin
Psychological symptoms of PMS can include-
• increased anxiety
• mood swings
• social withdrawl
• feeling tearful or crying
• low mood
• irritability or anger
• problems sleeping, such as insomnia
• difficulty concentrating
• decreased libido
Age can affect the severity of PMS. During perimenopause, which is the transitional period leading up to menopause, people may experience worsening PMS symptoms.
Exactly what causes premenstrual syndrome is unknown, but several factors may contribute to the condition-
• Cyclic changes in hormones-
Sign and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome change with levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones fluctuations and disappear with pregnancy and menopause.Ovarian steroids also modulate activity in parts of your brain associated with premenstrual symptoms.
• Chemical changes in the brain –
Fluctuations of serotonin, a brain chemical thought to play a crucial role in mood states, could trigger PMS symptoms. Insufficient amounts of serotonin may contribute to premenstrual depression, as well as to fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems.
Some women with severe premenstrual syndrome have undiagnosed depression, though depression alone does not cause all of the symptoms.
• History of depression or mood disorders, such as postpartum depression or bipolar disorder
• Family history of PMS
• Family history of depression
• Domestic violence
• Substance abuse
• Physical trauma
• Emotional trauma
Associated conditions include-
• major depressive disorder
• seasonal affective disorder
• generalized anxiety disorder
There are no unique physical findings or lab tests to positively diagnose PMS.Your doctor can assess PMS simply by asking questions and taking history from you.
PMS symptoms can be managed by taking medications, making dietary changes, exercising, trying self-care methods and making other lifestyle changes.
Examples of medication that people take to treat PMS include-
• pain relievers such as acetaminophen,which can help relieve muscle pain, cramps and headaches
• nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which can reduce cramp pain, headaches, and muscle aches
• diuretics , which can help relieve bloating and breast soreness
For severe TPMs symptoms, hormonal birth control pills are recommended to reduce PMS symptoms.
Managing stress and using relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, can help regulate emotional imbalances due to PMS.
In Ayurveda PMS can be correlated with Pittavritta Vyana Vata, which is an Avaranajanya Vyadhi. With excess intake of Pitta ahara-vihara before menses starts, sanchita Vata specifically Vyana Vayu gets Avritta (overshadowed) with aggravated Pitta and manifested in the form of PMS sign and symptoms.
Beneficial Herbs –
• Shatavari –
• Lodhra –
• Ajwain –
• Rajpravartini Vati
• Pradarantak churna
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