Understanding Your Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS)

PMS. If you’re a girl, this is very familiar to you. But how much do you know about it? In this article we’ll be talking about what PMS is, its symptoms, what causes PMS, and how you can manage it.


What is PMS?

Pre-menstrual Syndrome or PMS is a clinically proven group of symptoms linked to the menstrual cycle. These symptoms are prevalent in menstruating women, and is different to each and every woman in terms of duration, intensity, and consistency of the symptom.

 

Are There Any Symptoms to PMS?

Yes, there can be both physical, and behavioural & emotional symptoms.

Physical Symptoms Behavioural & Emotional Symptoms
  • Abdominal Bloating
  • Acne
  • Backaches
  • Breast tenderness
  • Constipation
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Joint Pain
  • Muscle Pain
  • Nausea
  • Weight Gain
  • Anxiety
  • Appetite Changes
  • Binge Eating
  • Crying Spells
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Mood Swings
  • Panic Attacks
  • Poor Concentration
  • Social Withdrawal
  • Trouble with concentration
  • Trouble with memory

What Causes PMS?

There are various factors that play a role in bringing about these significant PMS symptoms.

1) Change in Hormonal System

menstrual cycle, testosterone, oestrogen, progesterone
Photo credits: Women In Balance

PMS is primarily caused by the change (usually an increase) in our estrogen to progesterone ratio. These hormones change throughout the menstrual cycle, including testosterone levels!

2) Change in Neurotransmitter Response

The hypothalamus and pituitary glands (in the endocrine system), send signals throughout the body regarding the release of progesterone and estrogen (and the change in their ratio). When estrogen level surpasses the progesterone level, there is in an increase in cortisol – which affects the level of progesterone; leading to increased mood swings, food cravings and anxiety.

3) Change in Sodium Metabolism Rate

During various phases in the menstrual cycle, women tend to retain water in their bodies (even if we reduce salt intake). This constant retention of water causes abdominal bloating; causing nausea, constipation and diarrhoea.

4) Change in Nutritional Requirement

Due to the constant blood loss from the body, women tend to lose nutrients faster, resulting in nutritional deficiencies – Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C & Vitamin E are few of the significant nutritions.

 

When Does PMS Stop?

In the short run, PMS will usually stop when your monthly periods stops.

In the long term, PMS will eradicate in most women when they go through menopause. However, just before you hit menopause, you may experience this phase called perimenopause, whose symptoms are quite similar to that of PMS. So, there really is no point on focusing when it ends, but learning how to manage it instead.

How Can I Manage My PMS?

There are several ways in which you can manage your PMS. From natural remedies to medication, it really depends from person to person, and the severity of the PMS symptoms. You can check out our 7 common symptoms of PMS and how to manage them article for some ideas!

However, since PMS is something that girls experience most of their lives, we’d recommend sticking to natural ways to manage your symptoms if you can help it.

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Apekshya is an eternal panda. She loves to eat, sleep and then eat some more. In her spare time, she writes, then sleeps again. She also constantly dreams about being a superstar, and then eats (because she is not). If you understand her pain, she is open to receiving chocolates on a daily basis.

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