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Premenstrual Stress Syndrome Tips
Premenstrual Stress Syndrome (PMS, also called Premenstrual Stress, Premenstrual Tension, PMT, Premenstrual Syndrome,Perodic Mood Swing) is stress which is a physical symptom prior to the onset of menstruation.
PMS is not dysmenorrhea (increasingly painful periods), in spite of the two conditions being commonly confused in usage. PMS occurs prior to the onset of menstrual bleeding, while dysmenorrha occurs during the period of bleeding.
PMS is exceedingly common, occurring in 75% of women of reproductive age during their lifetime. A more severe form of PMS is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). This occurs in about 5% of women. Both are characterized by symptoms of mood swings, depression, anxiety and irritability that occur prior to menses, usually in the two week period between ovulation and menses. It is often accompanied by physical symptoms of abdominal bloating and cramping.
Last Updated - 6th January 2006
Many women have mild symptoms related to menstruation, such as cramps and mild breast tenderness. These are considered normal. A diagnosis of premenstrual syndrom (PMS) are symptoms that occur during the two weeks before a woman's period begins that are severe enough to disrupt her life. PMS occurs most often in women in their 20s and 30s and about 40 percent of women are affected at some time in their lives.
Symptoms (vary greatly from woman to woman)
- Breast swelling and/or tenderness
- Water retention
- Weight gain
- Difficulty concentrating
- Decreased sex drive
- Muscle aches
- Food cravings
- Lack of energy
- Sleep disturbances
If you suspect that you have PMS, it is wise to keep a menstrual diary of your symptoms, the severity of symptoms, dates when symptoms occur and days you have your period. If symptoms consistently occur before your period end shorthly thereafter, you may want to follow home treatment recommendations. Making small changes significantly improves PMS symptoms.
- Eat small meals every 3 to 4 hours.
- Include plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables to your diet.
- Limit fats and sweets.
- Reduce salt intake to help limit bloating.
- Eliminate or reduce tobacco.
- Eliminate or reduce alcohol.
- Eliminate or reduce caffeine.
- Exercise regularly.
- Try a non-prescription PMS medication such as Midol or Pamprin to help relieve syjptoms of cramps, bloating and headache.
- Reduce your stress level as much as possible.
- Try relaxation techniques such as yoga and deep breathing.
- Take a calcium spplement (600 mg., twice a day).
- Take 400-500 mg. of magnesium per day can help reduce symptoms.
When To Call A Physician
- If PMS symptoms regularly disrupt your life.
- If symptoms keep you from doing your regular activities.
- If you feel out of control.
- If symptoms do not end within a few days after your menstrual bleeding begins.
- Join a PMS self-help group.
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