Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a group of symptoms that women commonly experience before their monthly menstrual period, usually going away after the period starts. About 85 percent of women suffer from at least one symptom of PMS during each menstrual cycle, although most cases are fairly mild and may not interfere with a woman's normal activities. Severe cases of PMS may be diagnosed as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
The specific cause of PMS is not known, but it is linked to the hormone changes involved in the menstrual cycle, and can also be affected by stress and emotional problems. While symptoms can vary for each woman, some of the common symptoms of PMS include:
- Breast swelling and tenderness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Joint or muscle pain
- Appetite changes
Women who suspect that they have a severe case of PMS and are seeking medical attention for their condition should monitor symptoms and their severity for a few months to help their doctor accurately diagnose the condition.
Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
There are many treatments currently available for PMS, many of which involve simple lifestyle changes. Some of these changes may include calcium supplements, exercising regularly, avoiding salty or sugary foods, managing stress and avoiding smoking. Over-the-count medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin are often effective in relieving the symptoms of PMS as well. Prescription medication may be prescribed for severe cases of PMS.