Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a condition that affects a woman’s emotions, physical health, and behavior during certain days of the menstrual cycle, generally just before menstruation starts.
PMS is a very common condition. Its symptoms affect more than 90 percent of menstruating women. PMS symptoms starts five to eleven days before menstruation and typically goes away once menstruation begins. The cause of PMS is however, unknown. Although, many researchers believe that it’s related to a change in both sex hormone and serotonin levels at the beginning of the menstrual cycle.
The symptoms of PMS include:
Abdominal bloating, Abdominal pain, sore breasts, acne, food cravings, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, sensitivity to light or sound, fatigue, irritability, changes in sleep patterns, anxiety, depression, sadness, emotional outbursts, among others.
Managing the symptoms of PMS
You can’t cure PMS, but you can take steps to ease your symptoms. If you have a mild or moderate form of premenstrual syndrome, the treatment options include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids to ease abdominal bloating.
- Eating a balanced diet to improve your overall health and energy level, which means eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and reducing your intake of sugar, salt, caffeine, and alcohol.
- Taking supplements, such as folic acid, vitamin B-6, calcium, and magnesium to reduce cramps and mood swings.
- Taking vitamin D to reduce symptoms.
- Sleeping at least eight hours at night to reduce fatigue.
- Exercising to decrease bloating and to improve your mental health.
- Reducing stress.
- Going through cognitive behavioral therapy, which has been shown to be effective.
- You can also take pain medication to alleviate muscle aches, headaches, and stomach cramping. However, medications and supplements should be taken only as directed by and after speaking with your doctor.
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