Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
2 Case Studies

What is premenstrual syndrome or PMS?

What is PMS?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) includes an assortment of symptoms, mainly comprising bloating, breast tenderness, fatigue, and mood changes happening the second half of a woman's menstrual cycle. Premenstrual syndrome or PMS can be used to describe any physical or emotional symptoms that some women experience in a week or so before their menstrual period. Although not all women suffer from PMS, between 70% and 90% of women, do suffer at least one of the indicators. For many women, these symptoms may be very mild. However, for others, the symptoms can be quite intense. The onset of menses can help resolve many of these symptoms. 

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) includes a huge selection of signs and symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, depression, and irritability. These symptoms may be uncomfortable enough for some women to interfere with daily tasks and interfere with work and personal relationships. This disabling, extreme form of PMS is known as PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).

Frequent symptoms of premenstrual syndrome include mood changes, such as anxiety, depression, and difficulty concentrating. Food cravings may also become evident during that time of the month. Pain in the kind of a headache, muscle pain, and stomach cramps (or period pains) can also be an issue. Other physical effects include abdominal discomfort, bloating, tenderness of the breasts, and sleeplessness. Symptoms often recur in a predictable pattern. The physical and mental changes women encounter with the premenstrual syndrome can range from mild to extreme. Nevertheless, natural remedies and lifestyle adjustments can help you reduce or manage the signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.


See: TCM holistic treatment for premenstrual syndrome PMS

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms

PMS Symptoms

The list of possible signs and symptoms for premenstrual syndrome is long, but most women only experience some of these issues.

Behavioral signs and symptoms

Tension or stress

Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)

Social withdrawal

Poor concentration

Depressed mood

Crying spells

Mood swings and irritability or anger

Appetite changes and food cravings

Headache

Fatigue

Change in libido

Physical signs and symptoms

Joint or muscle pain

Weight gain associated with fluid retention

Abdominal bloating

Breast tenderness

Acne flare-ups

Constipation or diarrhea

Alcohol intolerance

For many, the physical pain and psychological stress are severe enough to affect their daily lives. No matter symptom severity, the symptoms, and signs normally disappear within four days after the beginning of the menstrual period for most women. But a few women with premenstrual syndrome have disabling symptoms each month. This kind of PMS is known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD symptoms and signs include depression, mood swings, anger, nervousness, feeling overwhelmed, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and stress.

See: Naturopathic Treatment for pain in pelvic region, bloated abdominal area and cramping

PMA causes

The cause of PMS is poorly understood. However, it's associated with hormonal changes and changes in the menstrual cycle. Fluctuations in serotonin, and inadequate levels of serotonin, may also play a role in PMS. Insufficient levels may result in depression, fatigue, and sleep difficulties. Some women with PMS may have depression that is yet undiagnosed.

The main hormones in a woman's menstrual cycle are estrogen and progesterone. However, other hormones, such as adrenal hormones and insulin, might also be important and play a PMS role. Poorly managed stress may result in increased cortisol that can then result in altered insulin and progesterone production, which may then lead to mood swings and food cravings.

Root causes of PMS have been suggested to be:

High estrogen to testosterone ratio

Abnormal neurotransmitter reaction in the brain

Anxiety, causing increased cortisol)

Carbohydrate metabolism alternations

Disrupted sodium metabolism, causing bloating, and fluid retention, caused by stress

Nutritional deficiencies

What causes premenstrual syndrome is unknown, but many factors may contribute to the illness:

Cyclic changes in hormones. Signs and symptoms of PMS vary with hormonal alterations and disappear with menopause and pregnancy.

Chemical changes in the brain: Fluctuations of a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) called serotonin are considered to play an essential role in mood states, could trigger PMS symptoms. Insufficient serotonin quantities may lead to premenstrual depression, fatigue, food cravings, and sleep difficulties.

Depression. Some women with severe premenstrual syndrome many have undiagnosed depression.

See: The effect of dietary soy supplementation compared to estrogen and placebo on menopausal symptoms: a randomized controlled trial.

PMS natural treatments

Natural therapies for PMS

Hormone imbalances, and the subsequent symptoms, may also be addressed through nutrition, exercise, stress management, and natural remedies. There's much in our contemporary lifestyle that promotes hormone imbalances, including high-sugar diets, refined carbohydrate diet, caffeine, stress, milk, hormones in dairy products and meat, and estrogen-like substances from pollution pesticides. Alcohol may also lead to a problem since it affects the liver's operation and prevents proper estrogen metabolism. Alterations in gut bacteria may also result in PMS problems, as it may also potentially lead to altered nitric oxide.

- Minimize chemical exposures. Eliminate pesticides, plastics, fire retardants, cosmetic additives.

- Consider eliminating gluten grains (these can alter intestinal permeability).

- Cut sugar from your diet as it triggers the release of inflammatory cytokines.

- Eat organic food as far as possible, particularly animal products, to prevent environmental estrogen-like chemicals from pesticides (so-called endocrine disrupters.

- Learn to process stress. Stress releases endorphins, which influences sugar metabolism and the immune system.

- Sleep.

Natural therapies to relieve PMS symptoms

Even though it's tempting to look for medical treatment, especially if your symptoms are severe, it's worth considering a more natural approach. This approach may include introducing some diet and lifestyle changes.

- Change your diet: The food in your diet can have an impact on the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Eating smaller portions and lowering your salt intake is a good idea to decrease abdominal bloating. Artichoke can be a natural way to beat the bloat and helps to keep healthy digestion.  Eat healthy with a lot of fruit and vegetables while avoiding alcohol and caffeine. These can interfere with your energy levels and mood.

- Get Plenty of sleep: Among PMS symptoms are fatigue and exhaustion, so it is sensible to attempt and raise your rest and comfort level. This step includes getting more sleep by going to bed earlier. Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages before bed or eating foods too late for a full eight hours of sleep.

- Physical activity & exercise: Doing physical activity or moderate exercise at least two to three times a week is a wonderful lifestyle choice regardless. But doing this during the time prior to your period starts will help alleviate a few of those premenstrual syndrome symptoms. Specifically, you should try and perform aerobic exercises such as walking, swimming, and running.

- Natural remedies: There are numerous organic remedies and treatments for PMS that some women find beneficial.

Taking calcium is well worth considering as the symptoms of PMS and calcium deficiency are extremely similar. Some consider that Vitamin E helps alleviate PMS. Taking magnesium can be helpful if you retain water throughout your period. Vitamin B6 can help boost the effects of your calcium supplements in addition to being beneficial with mood changes.

- Evening Primrose Oil has also been proven to help alleviate breast tenderness for several women.

Research indicates that Agnus castus might help to relieve the symptoms of stress, irritability, and mood swings which many women experience with PMS. It is a traditional herbal product used for the relief of these symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome.

Herbal remedies:

- St. John's Wort may help with depression. St. John's Wort interacts with a number of other drugs, including birth control pills, and may cause rashes with direct exposure to sunlight.

- Dandelion Leaf may help with bloating. The dandelion leaf may result in an allergic reaction in people with a ragweed allergy. It may interfere with the medication lithium and some antibiotics.

- Chasteberry Extract: May assist with breast pain. It can also help with swelling, cramps, and food cravings. When coupled with St. Johns' wort, it may help with depression, anxiety, and cravings. It might interfere with birth control pills, contraceptive medications, and estrogen supplements.

- Evening Primrose Oil: An antidote to breast pain. It may increase the chance of bleeding, particularly in people who take blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin).

- Ginkgo biloba: May assist with breast tenderness and mental symptoms, such as mood changes.

- Black Cohosh may help with irritability and sleep disturbances.

- Burdock root may help with fatigue. It is supposed to be effective in using black cohosh. may help with depression associated with PMS.

- Lemon balm has a calming effect that can help with PMS-related stress and sleeplessness.

- Wild yam may be helpful for women who have high estrogen levels and may improve symptoms related to hormonal imbalance.

- Ashwagandha might help to fight stress.

If you would like to use herbal remedies, always consult your doctor, as they may have side effects and interact with drugs.

Supplements:

Calcium, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6: May help with mood, pain, and overall PMS symptoms

Chromium: Can help stabilize insulin and blood glucose

B12: Might help with energy levels

Vitamin D, Tryptophan, Zinc, Vitamin E

Natural menstrual options

It might help decrease cramping in some women as some respond well to the compounds in tampons and.pads, and these natural alternatives provide a chemical-free alternative.

See: Acne, eczema, anxiety, and PMS with Bisoma and Tetrasoma acupuncture, and Sasang herbs.

Summary

What causes premenstrual syndrome is unknown, but many factors may contribute to the illness: Cyclic changes in hormones. Signs and symptoms of PMS vary with hormonal alterations and disappear with menopause and pregnancy. If you haven't managed to handle your premenstrual syndrome with lifestyle changes and the symptoms of PMS are impacting your health and daily activities, visit your physician.


See: Ayurvedic herbs for constipation relief

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