PMS stands for Premenstrual Syndrome, which is defined as a group of syndromes linked to the menstrual cycle.
When Does PMS Occur?
PMS can start as early as two weeks before the first day of your monthly period. But to be diagnosed as having PMS, the following factors must concur: PMS symptoms that start within five days of your period for three cycles consecutively, PMS symptoms that end within four days after your period commences, and lastly that such symptoms interfere with your day to day tasks. Ensuring that you indeed have a PMS pattern eliminates that possibility that you have another condition that mimics PMS.
PMS manifests itself in physical and emotional symptoms.
The physical symptoms of PMS include any of or a combination of the following: acne breakouts, enlargement of the breasts, breast tenderness, bloating of the abdomen, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, swollen feet, swollen hands, weight gain, clumsiness, nausea and muscle aches.
Meanwhile, the emotional symptoms of PMS include depression, anxiety attacks, panic attacks, insomnia, change in sexual desire, irritability, hostility, anger outbursts, increased appetite, mood swings, fatigue, lethargy and inability to concentrate.
Causes of PMS
Although the specific causes of PMS have not yet been established clearly, it is widely held that PMS results from the hormonal as well as chemical changes that take place during your monthly period. What you eat and drink may also contribute to the gravity of your PMS. It has been found that eating salty food and drinking alcohol or coffee aggravate PMS symptoms.
How to Treat or Manage PMS Symptoms
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, PMS can be avoided by simply making lifestyle and dietary changes-if the PMS symptoms are mild to moderate. More severe cases of PMS will require the intervention of your physician, who may prescribe medicines to treat the various symptoms of your PMS.
“Premenstrual Syndrome.” Womenshealth.gov | 800-994-9662. Sponsored by the H H S Office on Women’s Health. Web. 19 Nov. 2010. http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/premenstrual-syndrome.cfm.
“ACOG Education Pamphlet AP057 — Premenstrual Syndrome.” American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Web. 19 Nov. 2010. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp057.cfm.
“Premenstrual Syndrome – Highlights.” University of Maryland Medical Center. Web. 19 Nov. 2010. http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/premenstrual_syndrome_000079.htm.