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There premenstrual syndrome it is a condition that affects a woman's emotions, physical health and behavior during a few days of the menstrual cycle, usually just before menstruation.
Premenstrual syndrome is a very common situation in women, so much so that according to some studies, their symptoms would end up involving more than 90% of fertile women, although in most cases the symptoms are still not so severe as to lead to a consultation doctor.
Generally, i symptoms of PMS they begin 5-10 days before menstruation and typically disappear once menstruation begins. The cause is unknown, but some studies believe it is linked to a change in the levels of sex hormones and serotonin at the beginning of the menstrual cycle.
Risk factors for PMS
Although the cause of PMS is unknown, this certainly cannot be said with regard to i risk factors, which include a history of depression or mood disorders, family history of premenstrual syndrome or depression, domestic violence, substance abuse, physical trauma, emotional trauma.
Symptoms of PMS
As is known, a woman's menstrual cycle lasts an average of 28 days. Ovulation, or the period in which an egg is released from the ovaries, occurs on the 14th day of the cycle. Menstruation, or bleeding, occurs on the 28th day of your period. Symptoms of PMS can begin around the 14th day and last up to seven days after the start of menstruation.
Symptoms are usually mild or moderate, so much so that almost 80% of women report one or more symptoms that do not substantially affect daily functioning. In contrast, 20% of women who suffer from this condition report moderate to severe symptoms that affect some aspects of life. The severity of symptoms can vary from woman to woman, and from month to month.
Symptoms of PMS, when felt, include:
- abdominal bloating,
- abdominal pain,
- sore breasts,
- cravings for food, especially for sweets,
- sensitivity to light or sound,
- changes in sleep patterns,
- emotional outbursts.
How to relieve the symptoms of PMS
Although PMS cannot be "cured", specific measures can still be taken relieve symptoms. So if you have a mild or moderate form of PMS, it might be helpful to know that the main treatment options include:
- take plenty of fluids to relieve abdominal bloating,
- follow a balanced diet to improve general health and energy level, i.e. eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and reduce the intake of sugar, salt, caffeine and alcohol,
- taking supplements, such as those with folic acid, vitamin B-6, calcium and magnesium, to reduce cramps and mood swings,
- take vitamin D supplements,
- sleep at least eight hours a night to reduce fatigue,
- exercise to reduce swelling and improve your mental health,
- reduce stress, for example through reading and yoga,
- follow cognitive-behavioral therapies, which have proved effective.
If necessary, it is also possible to take painkillers, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, to relieve muscle pain, headache and stomach cramps. You can also try a diuretic to stop swelling and water weight gain.
Of course, in this case we always recommend a full sharing with your doctor, who can certainly direct you to the best solutions, once your symptoms have been analyzed.
What to do if the symptoms are severe
THE severe symptoms of PMS they are quite rare, but actually a small percentage of women who show these discomforts have a premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It is a condition that affects between 3 and 8 percent of women, and can manifest itself through:
- thoughts of suicide,
- panic attacks,
- extreme anxiety,
- anger with strong mood swings,
- lack of interest in daily activities,
- problems thinking or concentrating,
- tendency to overeat,
- painful cramps,
Once you have shared this condition with your doctor, it is possible that in order to rule out other medical problems, he may involve you in some physical and gynecological tests, as well as towards a complete blood count and liver function tests. A psychiatric evaluation may also be recommended.
Treatment for this condition varies, and is tailored to each woman's characteristics. However, it could include:
- daily exercise,
- vitamin supplements, such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B-6,
- a caffeine-free diet,
- individual or group counseling,
- stress management therapies.
If the symptoms of this injurious condition do not improve with the treatments above, your doctor may give you a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, an antidepressant that increases serotonin levels in the brain and has many roles in regulating brain chemistry that do not. limit to depression.
Your doctor may also suggest cognitive behavioral therapy, which is a form of counseling that can help you understand what your thoughts and feelings are and change your behavior accordingly.
Can PMS symptoms be prevented?
While not all symptoms of PMS can be prevented, it is possible that the treatments described above can help reduce the severity and duration of the symptoms.
It should also be taken into account that the symptoms of PMS may recur over time, but generally disappear after the onset of menstruation. A healthy lifestyle and a comprehensive treatment plan can reduce or eliminate symptoms in most women.