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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Disorder

Premenstrual Syndrome, more commonly referred to as PMS, can be described as a disorder that affects women, a few days or weeks before they are due to begin their menstrual cycle. When a woman goes through PMS, she is likely to experience a combination of physical, emotional and psychological disturbances. PMS disorder includes a wide variety of symptoms, most of which can be quite unpleasant, such as depression, increased irritability, food cravings, tenderness in the breasts, fatigue and sever mood swings. PMS usually begins in a woman, when she is going through the ovulation process. These unpleasant symptoms generally come to an end when her menstrual cycle begins.

The severity of the symptoms, such as PMS depression, fatigue, mood swings, and so on, may vary from one woman to the other. Therefore, for some women PMS is no more than a minor inconvenience, but for others, it can be severe enough to disrupt day to day activities. In most women PMS symptoms follow a predictable pattern, even though the intensity could vary, from one month to the other. A woman could go through severe PMS symptoms for a few months and then, may feel hardly for the others. A small amount of women have also been known to suffer from a more severe form of PMS, which is known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder or PMD. The symptoms of this disorder are usually a lot more severe, as compared to PMS and they could lead to a considerable loss of function. Fortunately, PMS is hardly ever a life-threatening problem. Moreover, women who do experience the syndrome on a monthly basis do not have to live with it. There are many treatment options that they can opt for, for relief from this affliction. The treatment for PMS could include medication, lifestyles adjustments, dietary changes and natural remedies.

Can PMS Cause Nausea, Dizziness?

While this condition is a lot more common in younger women, who are in their child-bearing years, there is no specific premenstrual syndrome age limit; this disorder can affect just about any woman who goes through hormonal fluctuations just before the onset of her menstrual cycle. However, there is a direct correlation between PMS and ovulation, as those women who are not ovulating do not experience PMS. This means that women do not have PMS symptoms, when they are pregnant or once they reach menopause. Studies also show that at the beginning and ending stages of a woman’s reproductive cycle, i.e. during puberty, menopause or after having a baby, the symptoms of PMS are the most troublesome. It is a well-known fact that PMS is triggered off by a surge in progesterone and estrogen, both of which can lead to digestive problems, as well as nausea. There are many women who also experience vertigo during PMS, which means that they feel lightheaded or dizzy, because of which they find it difficult to stand, without the fear of falling. Some of the symptoms of PMS can be mistaken for other conditions, especially pregnancy. This usually happens on case of PMS and nausea, or PMS and dizziness, where those women who are sexually active wonder if they could have conceived. It is also possible that women who experience nausea and mild dizziness as a part of PMS may not realize that they are pregnant in the initial stages.

PMS Symptoms

PMS symptoms for each month usually follow a set pattern. This means that women are more likely to experience similar symptoms every month, even though their intensity can vary. Some of the most common premenstrual syndrome symptoms during ovulation include:
  • Digestive problems like diarrhea or constipation
  • Poor concentration
  • Tenderness in the breasts
  • Social withdrawal
  • Increase in weight and bloating all over the body, because of fluid retention
  • Insomnia or other sleeping disorders
  • Headaches
  • Changes in appetite and an increase in food cravings
  • Flare ups of acne
  • Anger, irritability or mood swings
  • Bloating in the abdominal area
  • Crankiness
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Pain in the joints and muscles
  • Tension and anxiety
It has been seen that early premenstrual syndrome symptoms are usually the most severe. This means that young girls, who are going through puberty, as well as those women who have just started menstruating again, after having a baby are most likely to go through the severest symptoms. These PMS symptoms end as a woman’s menstrual flow begins. It is not necessary for women to go through PMS symptoms every month. Some women may not go through PMS at all for a few months, but during the other months, their symptoms could be severe. It is not likely to see PMS symptoms in pregnant women, as they do not go through the ovulation procedure every month. However, many of the early symptoms of pregnancy are quite similar to PMS symptoms, such as back pain, headaches, abdominal cramps, depression, nausea, dizziness, and so on. However, while pregnancy symptoms are caused by hormonal changes, PMS symptoms are a result of ovulation and the menstrual cycle.

PMS Treatment

There are several PMS treatment options that women can choose from, in order to alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms of this disorder. Health experts may advise women to go in for various medicines, which include Medroxyprogesterone acetate, oral contraceptives, diuretics, NSAIDs and antidepressants. However, the success of each medication may vary from one woman to the other. There are some women who choose premenstrual syndrome treatment with vitamins. It is believed that taking certain vitamins can help alleviating some of the symptoms, which include:
  • Vitamin B complex for reducing stress, managing water retention and preventing anemia
  • Vitamin C for boosting the immune system and for relief from swelling in the breasts
  • Vitamin E for relieving depression, tension and irritability  

The deficiency of Vitamin A in the body is also said to aggravate PMS symptoms. However, there is no clinical evidence to support the effectiveness of premenstrual syndrome treatment using vitamins. There are several simple remedies that can also be used to alleviate some of the common symptoms. For example, one of the most effective forms of PMS cramps treatment is placing a hot water bag or a heating pad on the abdominal area. This remedy has been known to bring about relief from the cramps. Similarly, there are several such remedies that can specifically help alleviate PMS symptoms.

How to Cure PMS Naturally:

Instead of taking any medication, you can also choose to go in for PMS natural treatment, which mainly includes methods to reduce your stress. This means that you need to:

  • Add a multivitamin supplement to your diet
  • Consume small but regular meals during the day, so that bloating can be avoided
  • Drink a lot of water during the day
  • Eat foods that are healthy in keep the levels of energy in the body high
  • Eliminate unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking alcohol
  • Follow a healthy exercise routine
  • Get an adequate amount of sleep and rest during the day
  • Keep yourself busy as often as possible
  • Limit the intake of salt, so that fluid retention can be avoided
  • Try meditation, yoga, deep breathing or massage therapy to relax your body
Since a PMS headache can be very severe, most women find it difficult to bear and use over the counter medication to alleviate it. However, it is possible to minimize the risks of this affliction by going in for a premenstrual syndrome headache remedy or making a few lifestyle changes.

PMS Causes

For years, there was a misconception about the hormone causing PMS. It was believed that high levels of progesterone were responsible for the uncomfortable symptoms of PMS. However, in the recent past, studies have indicated that the deficiency of progesterone hormones too, could trigger off the symptoms of PMS. Therefore, one of the ways in which PMS symptoms can be alleviated is by going through progesterone therapy. Women who suffer from a lot of discomfort every month are therefore advised to consult their doctors for progesterone and PMS relief treatment. There is a lot of information on PMS causes and symptoms easily available through various resources. However, it is best to consult a doctor in case any of the symptoms are too severe.
Submitted on January 16, 2014