Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS, is a set of disruptive symptoms triggered by hormonal imbalance that directly precedes menstruation. These symptoms may occur from two to 14 days before the start of a woman’s menstrual period. They usually taper off when menstruation begins, and most women remain symptom-free until the two weeks prior to the next menstrual period.
The exact cause of PMS has not yet been determined. Suggested causes include: vitamin-mineral deficiency, nutritional factors, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), fluid retention, stress, an excess of the hormone prolactin, and a deficiency in the hormone progesterone.
While each of these factors may effect PMS, hormone imbalance is thought to play a key role. About seven days before the menstrual period, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease dramatically, causing menstruation to occur. Symptoms may occur as a result of low levels of progesterone, excessive levels of estrogen and/or fluctuations in both levels. Many women find that symptoms often worsen with age. This also suggests a correlation with hormone levels being out of balance.
PMS can be both emotional and physical, affecting almost every system of the body. The most common complaints are feeling ”out-of-control,” anxious, depressed, having uncontrollable crying spells, headache and fatigue. Symptoms vary from woman to woman. They may also vary for an individual from month to month. There can even be symptom-free months.
While more than 150 symptoms have been associated with PMS, here are some of the most common. You’ll be relieved to know that there is treatment available for women who suffer from PMS, no matter how minimal or severe the symptoms can be!
- Emotional Symptoms
- Fluid Retention Irritability
- Backache Anxiety
- Abdominal Bloating Tension
- Breast tenderness/Swelling Mood Swings
- Headache/Migraine Depression
- Weight Gain Crying for No Reason
- Cravings Mental Confusion
- Increased appetite Panic attacks
- Insomnia Instability
Symptoms of other medical conditions can resemble PMS. These conditions include allergies, depression, diabetes, dysmenorrhea, endometriosis, fibrocystic breast disease, and thyroid problems.
PMS Symptom Charting
Symptoms are often individual and variable. One of the best ways to determine if your symptoms are related to your menstrual cycle is to chart your symptoms. It’s important to keep this record on a daily basis in order for it to be most accurate. It may help to set aside a specific time each day – you’ll need only a minute or two.
After you’ve carefully charted your symptoms for two to three cycles, it’s time to discuss your findings with your healthcare professional. Together, you’ll be able to see just how closely your symptoms relate to your menstrual cycle. This Symptom Charting will also help your doctor decide on the most appropriate form of treatment.
Diet Modifications and Exercise: Learn how simple changes in your diet and a good exercise program can relieve symptoms.
Nutritional Supplementation: OptimalHRT PMS is a PMS vitamin developed specifically for women for the nutritional management of symptoms. HRTPMS is a complete, balanced, natural vitamin-mineral supplement with an exact ratio of magnesium to calcium and complete B-complex vitamins.
Over-the-Counter Progesterone Cream: Our Natural Progesterone Cream is an advanced, on-demand transdermal cream designed for women of all ages who experience symptoms relating to PMS, menopause and osteoporosis. Click here for complete information or to order a tube online.
Compounded Progesterone Prescription Therapy: Women considering progesterone therapy can choose among various forms of administration of the medication. Click here for a description of the role of progesterone in the body.
Today, clinical studies continually verify that healthy lifestyle choices, proper nutritional supplementation, and hormone replacement all play important roles in the management of premenstrual syndrome.