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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a cluster of mood, cognitive and physical disturbances with the hallmark symptom of irritability, which is distinct from depression or anxiety.
PMS has been characterized by more than 100 physical and psychological signs and symptoms, making it difficult to define scientifically.
Duration: It can start anytime 7-10 days before the next expected menstruation date and may last up to a few days after the stoppage of menstruation.
The cases of PMS are increasing day by day because of altered food habits and stress and irregular sleep patterns especially in young girls and working women. Thus they need to be given special attention to avoid more disturbances
There are cyclic changes in hormonal levels (drop in female hormones- estrogen and progesterone) during the menstrual cycle and low levels of the brain chemical (serotonin) contribute to premenstrual syndrome.
The hormonal change causes mood swings, fatigue, and cyclic pain.
Deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals may cause a worsening of the symptoms.
|Emotional and Behavioural||Physical|
|Depression||Painful Menstruation (Dysmenorrhea)|
|Anxiety||Cyclic pain in breast (cyclical mastalgia)|
|Mood swings||Swelling of breast|
|Change in appetite||Slight weight gain due to fluid retention|
|Problem in getting sleep||Digestion difficulties (Irritable bowel syndrome; Diarrhoea or constipation)|
|Anger spells||Body pain|
|Food cravings||Migraine and variable headache|
|Change in libido||Some experience more oily skin with an increase in breakouts|
|Lack of interest in the work or surrounding||Occasional symptoms of hypothyroidism|
PMS can affect your pre-existing conditions like depression, anxiety issues, or migraine. If your symptoms increase in the premenstrual period it is advisable to seek professional help.
Diagnosis of PMS is quite a difficult task, as no laboratory values or physical examination or ultrasound can diagnose the condition, not even hormones evaluation varies in normal individual and person with PMS. The mainstay in diagnosis to date is a detailed history evaluation.
No specific treatment for PMS has been validated by empirical studies. Some lifestyle changes may help a bit in reducing the severity and episodes, like;
• Avoiding caffeine from the diet
• Cessation of smoking
M.S. Obstetrics & Gynecology
Diploma Endoscopy, CICE (France)
Infertility Specialist, NUH (Singapore)
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