WHAT IS PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME?
As the name suggests PMS is a group of symptoms that
begin 7 to 10 days prior to a menstrual period and usually stop when menstrual bleeding
AGE MOST AFFECTED
About half of all women experience PMS at some time in
their life; some get more frequently and severely. The peak incidence occurs between ages
25 and 40. Older women and those with more children are more likely to have PMS.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
- Nervousness and irritability.
- Dizziness or fainting.
- Emotional instability.
- Increased or decreased sex drive.
- Tender, swollen breasts.
- Bloating, constipation, diarrhea or other digestive
- Fluid retention that causes puffiness in the ankles, hands
- Higher incidence of minor infections such as colds.
- Acne (pimples) outbreaks.
- Decreased urination.
- Fluctuations in the circulating level of hormones
(especially estrogen and progesterone). These fluctuations cause retention of sodium and
water in body tissues - including the brain.
- Increased levels of prostaglandin in the bloodstream.
HOW TO PREVENT
No specific preventive measures, but try to avoid
stressful situations at expected time of PMS. Also share your feelings and needs with a
close friend or spouse. Emotional stress caused by symptoms severe enough to disrupt a
woman's life. Then again, present treatments may or may not be effective. Medication can
relieve some symptoms. However, many new treatments are in the experimental stage,
offering hope for the future.
- Suggestive symptoms.
- History and physical examination by a doctor.
Reduce stress whenever possible. Have a healthy diet and
Your doctor may prescribe:
- Tranquilizers or sedatives to relieve tension.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to decrease
- Diuretics to reduce fluid retention.
- Lot of herbal preparations claim excellent results;
confirm with your Gynecologist or Family Physician
No restrictions. Regular, vigorous exercise may decrease
- Decrease salt intake during the premenstrual phase.
- Your doctor may prescribe vitamin B-6 (high dose) and
extra calcium (either as tablets or in milk or milk products). These supplements decrease
symptoms in some women.
CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY, IF
- You have symptoms of PMS that interfere with normal
activities or relationships, and self-care is not sufficient.
- Symptoms don't improve, despite treatment.
- New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment
may produce side effects.