For many women, PMS is a nightmare come true. For the uninitiated, Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a disorder that adversely affects women around one to two weeks before periods. While such mood changes have been described at the time of the ancient. Greeks, it was Katharina Dalton, a physician and women’s health pioneer, who first identified this cyclic phenomenon. Her book,’ Once A month,’ set standard for many books and PMS studies. Dr. Arti Luthra, a private practitioner, and Gynecologist says, PMS is a very common disorder among women of 30-40. But there is little awareness about this.
Acne, anxiety, backache, breast swelling, Cramps, tenderness, swelling, Cramps, tenderness, depression, food cravings, fainting spells, headaches, joint pain, insomnia, skin eruption, nervousness.
The physical responses to PMS can also be caused by a problem known as endometriosis, a condition most likely caused by a hormone imbalance in which tissue that looks and acts like the lining of the uterus is found outside of the uterus in the pelvis. At menstruation, this tissue bleeds lightly. The blood irritates nearby tissue and causes pain. Most experts agree, that PMS has something to do with the imbalance of estrogen, progesterone in the latter part of the menstrual cycle, the adrenal hormones that control water retention, and mood influencing chemical substances in the brain.
Women with PMS tend to have low levels of serotonin-a condition that can cause early or delayed ovulation and trigger an imbalance of estrogen-progesterone. The bottom line is that low serotonin affects ovulation, and less than perfect ovulation lowers levels of serotonin in the brain, leading to a vicious cycle known as PMS. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine found that women who suffered from PMS were also often found to have a subtle low thyroid condition.
Taking Control of PMS
Keeping a menstrual diary, recording symptoms and when they occur by ranking them on a scale of 01 to 10, keeping a record continuously for 3 months wound help.
Eating right- instead of traditional three square meals a day, women prone to PMS should try eating 3 small meals, 3 snacks daily. Eat fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains cereals, nuts, breads, beans, peas, seeds, chicken fish, etc.
Exercise – increases oxygen levels in the blood, which helps in nutrient absorption and efficient elimination of toxins from the body and to keep hormone levels more stable.
See a physician – To rule out an underlying medical condition that may be causing symptoms, such as abnormal thyroid function, endometriosis, or genuine psychological problem like depression.
Avoid – Smoking and caffeine. Don’t consume alcohol or sugar in any form, like bread, chocolates, jams and dairy products.
While Dr Luthra has found Pyridoxine and Evening Primrose oil helpful while treating her patients, many treating her patients, many Vitamins and supplements are effective in alleviating symptoms.
Vitamin E – Has been shown to be helpful for the breast problems, mood swings, irritability. Magnesium is classified as nature’s tranquilizer’, It is vital in treating those aspects of the PMS that relate to anxiety. When taken with Vitamin B6 it becomes more effective. GLA Omega 6 essential fatty acids (linoleic acid) are converted to gammalinolenic acid (GLA) that is found in plants such as evening primrose, borage and star flower. Spironolactone, a medication that blocks hormones responsible for bloating, swelling, can relieve PMS responses. In certain cases, birth control therapy in for of oral contraceptives is used to suppress and regulate ovulation and lessen PMS responses overall. Since synthetic progesterone used in certain birth control pills has actually been shown to cause PMS, great care and experience are necessary for managing this therapy.
Other management involves antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil, Sarafem, Zoloft, which raise levels of serotonin. These medications have proven to be effective in PMS symptoms because they block the break down of serotonin in the brain, and an increase in the amount of serotonin will have to live with.
There will always be good, better, the best days, but by taking control of PMS, learning how to live life out from under the black cloud of PMS, it is possible to learn how to feel better all month long.