Feeling extremely euphoric at one moment and bursting into anger the next moment, along with frequent mood swings are common symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Experiencing tiredness, hunger pangs and body ache are also considered to be normal during this period. These symptoms when clustered together, is medically termed as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and the symptoms become evident just before onset of periods. Sometimes PMS symptoms are mistaken as early signs of pregnancy.
PMS symptoms are experienced by 80% of women undergoing menstruation. They show up in the midway of the cycle and continue till periods begin. They might also persist even after periods are over. Though complications are not associated with PMS, it causes irritation in behavior.
Causes Behind PMS
Change in hormones is one of the most common reasons behind PMS. The two hormones, viz, estrogen and progesterone play a key role in controlling the menstrual cycle. Just before onset of menstruation, there is a fall in the level of these two hormones. This further affects the secretion of the hormone aldosterone, a corticosteroid hormone that controls emotional state of a woman. Thus you can see that fluctuation in hormones is responsible for PMS.
PMS symptoms are associated with a series of physical and psychological changes in a woman. The symptoms might last even after periods are over.
- Breast tenderness just three to four days before menstruation
- Back pain while performing any activity
- Muscle ache while walking
- Frequent headache after working
- Bloating even if the stomach is empty
- Weight gain and a feeling of heaviness
- Nausea during the early hours of the day
- Constipation even after drinking plenty of water
- Sudden hunger cravings
- Frequent depression
- Irritation and annoyance
- Lack of concentration
- Sudden anger
- Outburst of emotions (crying)
- Indecisiveness and restlessness
- Decreased/increased sex drive
- Feeling tensed
- Wanting to be alone
- Mood swings
PMS is a sign of a healthy menstrual cycle. Mild discomfort like abdominal pain, backache and nausea are experienced by two out of every four women. PMS and mood swings can make you feel depressed and emotionally drained, while it can bring forth happiness as well. Sometimes fluctuations in the hormones start taking a toll on the health which further gives rise to severe form of depression and anxiety. Intense form of PMS is known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), during which a woman shows uncanny behavior and emotional slumps. A treatment becomes much essential to get her out of the depression.
PMS symptoms before or between periods might lead to loss of appetite. It can cause weakness and lethargy in the body. You can visit a doctor if the symptoms are bothering your health too much. Apart from this, your diet plays a vital role before and during periods. Avoid excessive intake of caffeine and alcoholic beverages. Consume plenty of dairy products like eggs and milk to avoid fluctuation of mood. Fresh juices, fruits and vegetables act as natural antidepressants. Last but not the least, mild exercises and yoga help a lot in keeping you energetic and in a happy mood.