Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is common to women around the world; around 80% of women experience some PMS symptoms. PMS is a natural result of the changes the body undergoes during the menstrual cycle. At times, PMS can be difficult to deal with and can vary in severity and duration for every woman. It can make life difficult and add extra stress to an already stressful day.
What Is PMS?
PMS has always existed, but it wasn't given its medical term until 1931. PMS is a combination of mental and physical symptoms. Mood swings are one of the more common symptoms that affect women during this time before menstruation.
As a woman approaches menstruation, her body undergoes a series of hormonal changes to prepare itself. Hormonal fluctuations can affect one's emotional state, behavior, and overall sense of well-being. While 80% of women experience symptoms from PMS, about 20 - 30% experience severe PMS, and nearly 5% of women are believed to suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD can lead to significant loss of bodily functions and can be very hazardous to a woman's health.
What Are the Signs of PMS?
Heavy mood swings, anxiety, and uneasiness can all result from PMS. It can trigger more stress and provoke mood swings. Quick mood swings and feelings of sadness are often telltale signs of PMS.
The following are some of the common symptoms:
- Mood swings
There can be physical signs as well, such as:
- Breast tenderness
- Change in appetite
Both mentally and physically, PMS can produce uncomfortable symptoms and significantly affect daily activities.
Treatments for PMS and Mood Swings
There are a few techniques for treating PMS. Writing a journal and keeping track of your mood swings will help you identify what type of mood swings you have and what may be triggering them.
While keeping track of your moods:
- Try using a scale of 1 to 10 to describe how severe your symptoms are.
- Try to reflect on what may have triggered your emotional change. Write down any situation, as well as food and drink consumed.
Besides paying attention to your moods, there are some natural remedies that can help alleviate PMS symptoms. Alternative medicines work for some women and are a great way to relieve stress naturally. If your symptoms are severe and nothing seems to improve them, you should talk to your doctor about other ways to treat PMS.
- Amin, Z. , Canli, T. & Epperson, C.N. (2005). Effects of Estrogen-Serotonin Interactions on Mood and Cognition. Behavorial and Cognitive Neuroscience Reviews, 4(1), 43-58. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15886402
- Love, S. & Lindsey, K. (2003). Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press.