One major condition that affects woman’s emotions- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)


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One of the common conditions that significantly influence the emotions, physical health and behavior of a woman in some days leading to her menstrual periods is premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It affects almost three quarter of women in childbearing age.PMS problems usually begin 5 to 11 days before menstruation and end once menstruation starts.


The cause of PMS is unknown. However, many researchers believe that it’s related to a change in both sex hormone and serotonin levels at the beginning of the menstrual cycle.
Levels of estrogen and progesterone increase during certain times of the month. An increase in these hormones can cause mood swings, anxiety, and irritability. Ovarian steroids also modulate activity in parts of your brain associated with premenstrual symptoms. Serotonin levels affect mood. Serotonin is a chemical in your brain and gut that affects your moods, emotions, and thoughts.


Risk factors for premenstrual syndrome

Some of the predisposing factors for having premenstrual syndrome include but not limited to family history of depression such as bipolar disorder or postpartum depression, mood disorders, emotional and physical traumas, drug abuse and domestic violence. Dysmenorrhea is one of the common associated conditions with premenstrual syndrome.


Symptoms of PMS
The menstrual cycle lasts for 28 days on an average with ovulation commencing on the 14th day following the release of egg from the ovaries. Menstruation usually occurs on day 28 of the cycle while PMS symptoms may be evident from day 14 and remains until seven days after the commencement of menstruation.

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The symptoms of PMS are usually mild or moderate; include constipation, headaches, abdominal pain and bloating, sore breasts, enlarged breasts, diarrhea, fatigue, problems paying attention and concentrating, joint or muscular pain, sleeping difficulty.
To help diagnose PMDD, your family doctor may ask you to chart your symptoms (see sample chart below).

Diagnosis and Seeking Medical Help
Prompt medical attention is needed when there is disruption in your daily activity and work following experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms. The diagnosis will be determined in when you experience more than one recurrent symptom in the appropriate time frame that is severe enough to cause impairment and is unavailable between menses and ovulation. It is important for the doctor to ensure that the condition you are experiencing is not as a result of other causes like endometriosis, anemia, irritable bowel syndrome, thyroid disease, chronic fatigue syndrome and rheumatologic diseases.

The diagnosis will also be aided with adequate information on history of depression or mood disorders in the patient family to determine whether the symptoms are caused PMS or another condition. It must be noted that pregnancy, hypothyroidism and irritable bowel syndrome have similar symptoms with premenstrual syndrome.

Thyroid hormone test may be requested to know if your thyroid gland is working properly, pregnancy test, and possibly a pelvic examination to look for any gynecological problems.

Having a detailed record of the several symptoms experience in every menstruating cycle can also be useful in diagnosing PMS.


Management Options
Ensure you have adequate sleep- about 8 hours on daily basis
Consumption of plenty fluids to relieve abdominal bloating
Take Vitamin D as a measure to reduce the symptoms
Eat a balanced diet to improve the overall health and energy level
Reduce the intake of sugar, salt, caffeine, and alcohol
Taking supplements, such as folic acid, vitamin B-6, calcium, and magnesium to minimize cramps and mood swings
Engage in regular exercise to reduce bloating and enhance the mental health
Avoid engaging in activities that can increases stress
Use pain medication to eliminate muscular aches, headaches and stomach cramping can Use diuretic to remove bloating and excess fluid which lead to weight gain.

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