Why do I feel irritated around my period dates? It may be Premenstrual Syndrome!

Are you feeling depressed and having stomach cramp and your menses dates are near? If yes, then you are facing Premenstrual Syndrome.

In the end, you will know:

  • What is premenstrual syndrome (PMS)?
  • How will you identify that you are facing PMS?
  • Why does it affect physical and psychological features?
  • When to see the doctor?
  • How you will treat it?
  • What is premenstrual dysphoric syndrome?

Premenstrual Syydrome (PMS)

Premenstrual syndrome is the combination of mental, physical and behavioral disturbance that occurs in 90% of the women, before menses.

Its typical duration is 11-14 days before menses and ends once the menstrual cycle begins.  

According to research, it starts after the women’s ovulation phase when a mature egg is released from the ovary. In the ovulation phase, the levels of estrogen and progesterone are high that interfere with the serotonin level, which results in mood swings, depression, and also affects behavior.

How will you identify that you are facing PMS?

Every 2/3 of the women experience PMS, in which 20-30 % of women reported moderate to severe symptoms that affect everyday life.

As our body works through neurotransmitters (hormones), changes in conduction, production, and interference can cause physical and psychological symptoms.

You may expect the following physical symptoms within your body:

  • Tiredness
  • Back pain
  • Bloating because of fluid retention
  • Weight gain
  • Pimples and acne
  • Breast tenderness
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Change in appetite and food cravings
  • Sore breast,
  • Headache
  • Alternative diarrhea and constipation

Some psychological symptoms you may experience this time include:

  • Anger
  • Tension
  • Depression
  • Crying
  • Over-sensitivity
  • Sadness
  • Emotional outbursts on a little issue
  • Irritability

Why does it affect physically and psychologically?

The cause of PMS is still unknown but according to researches and theories, fluctuation and interference of sex hormone levels and neurotransmitters can result in physical and psychological symptoms. In the menstrual cycle, the level of sex hormones rises and falls according to the body and also varies from woman to woman. 

Like estrogen causes breast duct enlargement and progesterone responsible for the lactating glands swell and fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone can cause breast soreness and tenderness. Abdominal bloating and cramping occur when air or gas fills in the abdomen that makes your abdomen discomfort, tight and appears large.

As elevation and fall of hormones cause interference in serotonin and amino acid level which results in anxiety, sadness, concussions, irritability, and depression. It can also cause imbalance conduction and regulation of hormones and ions in organs which results in fluid retention in the kidney and intestines that cause back pain, abdominal pain, and muscle ache.    

When to see the doctor?

If your abdominal pain, back pain, mood swings, and other symptoms start elevating and disturbing your everyday life and symptoms don’t go away and more than one symptom occurs at the same time, then you should see a doctor.

Your doctor takes a history of the menstrual cycle, depression, other mood disorders, and everyday life and recommends you to make menstrual dairy up to 2-3 months that will help health care providers in the diagnosis and better treatment.

The PMS identification is hard and the doctor may do TSH lab test, pelvic exam, pregnancy test, etc because many medical and mental illnesses mimic the same symptoms of PMS, which are:

How to treat PMS?

PMS can not be cured but can ease, while you are experiencing the symptoms by:

  • Engaging yourself in work
  • Eat banana and apple which is mood-boosting fruits
  • Do yoga to calm yourself
  • Aerobic considered an effective exercise.  
  • Drinking water and healthy fluids that help to reduce abdominal bloating

Some daily applied methods are:

  • Eating balanced and healthy food helps to improve health and energy levels
  • Stop or minimize salt, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol consumption
  • Take 8 hours sleep daily which helps to reduce fatigue and muscle ache
  • Busy yourself in reading,
  • Take supplements like calcium, magnesium, folic acid, and vitamin B-6 or 12.

What medicines can be prescribed in PMS?

Medications like ibuprofen or aspirin, diuretics, paracetamol, and acetaminophen, antidepressant are some drugs that help you to overcome headaches, abdominal cramping, and back pain.

Non-pharmacological management of PMS symptoms can be overcome by cognitive behavioral therapy. It is psychotherapy, which helps to modify and alter the negative thoughts and behavior. it is best to recommend for anxiety, depression and other behavioral issues.

Warning: Don’t take any medicine without consulting your doctor.   

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

The premenstrual dysphoric disorder is the same as PMS but has severe and disabling symptoms. 3-8% of women face this. It occurs because of imbalanced progesterone and estrogen levels and decreases serotonin neurotransmitters in the body. 

PMDD symptoms include:

  • Extremely depressed mood
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Panic attacks
  • Severe anxiety and anger
  • Emotional and crying spells
  • Lack of interest in work
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion and altered attention
  • Abdominal cramping and bloating

For PMDD diagnosis, your doctor may do lab tests like CBC, LFT, and physical and gynecological examination. The doctor also may offer a psychiatric evaluation.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) and cognitive behavioral therapy are the best treatments for PMDD.

General Queries

Q. What causes body pain in PMS?

Hormonal imbalance before the menses cause the symptoms including body ache, abdominal cramping, fatigue, low-grade fever, flu and back pain. A serious decrease in estrogen levels may be the cause.

Q. What are the natural home remedies to reduce the pain in PMS and during menses?

For PMS exercise, healthy food, and emotional support are the best home remedy. Some others that help before and during menses are:

  • Keep yourself hydrated.
  • Eat healthy fruits which are anti-inflammatory in nature like cherries, squash, tomatoes, blueberries.
  • Try fennel, as studies show eat fennel for 3 days before periods experienced less pain in menses.
  • Cinnamon 3 times a day for 3 days prior to menses reduces pain, nausea, and vomiting.   
  • Ginger is the best for dysmenorrhoea.
  • Turmeric powder with 1 glass of water, helps to relieve PMS symptoms and dysmenorrhea.
  • Supplements like Vitamin B-12, vitamin B1, vitamin D, and magnesium help to relieve joint ache.
  • Putting a hot water bottle, heat bag or pad on the abdomen helps to relieve pain.
  • Yoga, massage, and stretching exercises help to maintain mood-fresh.
  • Warm water and coffee may also help.

Before you leave!

Premenstrual syndrome is a mood disorder, which is caused by an imbalance production and interference of sex hormone and serotonin level in the body. The symptoms may disappear after menstruation. Exercise, a healthy lifestyle, and social and psychological support from family and friends can overcome these symptoms. 

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