Premenstrual Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

What Is PMS?

You might get some indication that your period is coming. For most women, this is not a big deal – perhaps a taste for tender or sweet for breast. But for others, hard on the day before their period. If it plays with your daily life, you may have a premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Your period is a natural part of your life. And you can do anything you would do at any time of the month. If PMS is a problem for you, then there are ways to manage it.

PMS is a group of changes that can affect you at many levels. They can be physical, emotional, or practical. Changes come 1 to 2 weeks before your period. Once your period starts, they go away.


Most women have at least one indication of PMS every month. But this is not the same for everyone. As you grow older it can change. It can be difficult to know if there are some symptoms before your period, or if it is actually PMS.

One way to think about this is to ask the question: “Do these changes occur in the way of my regular life? Do they cause problems at work or with family and friends? “If you answer yes, then it can be PMS. Another way to know if there is symptoms five days before your period, for 3 consecutive months.

Women with PMS handle it in a lot of ways. You can make changes to improve your diet, sleep and exercise. You can also learn ways to relax their mind and body. If you try, it does not work, you can talk to your doctor.

what it’s like

PMS is seen in many different ways. Everything in this list can be a sign of PMS. But most women meet only some of them, not all of them.

Physical signs

  • Bloated tummy
  • Cramps
  • Tender breasts
  • Hunger
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Pimples
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation or diarrhea

Emotional signs

  • Tense or anxious
  • Depressed
  • Crying
  • Mood swings
  • Can’t sleep
  • Don’t want to be with people
  • Feel overwhelmed or out of control
  • Angry outbursts

Behavioral signs

  • Forget things
  • Loss of mental focus
  • Tired

Girls and women who still get their period can get PMS. But it’s most common in women who:

  • Are in their late 20s to early 40s.
  • Have had a child.
  • Have family members with depression.
  • Had baby blues (postpartum depression), depression or bipolar disorder.


Even if PMS is common, doctors do not know what the reasons for it are. Probably it is to do chemistry in your body with the changes around your time.

Some conditions affect PMS, but this is not the reason. PMS can be brought, or worse, if you:

  • Smoke
  • Are under lots of stress
  • Don’t exercise
  • Don’t sleep enough
  • Drink too much alcohol or eat too much salt, red meat, or sugar
  • Are depressed

Women with other health problems can know that the problems have become worse before their period. Some of them are migraine headaches, asthma and allergies.

What can you do

There are lots of ways to manage PMS. Even if you can not completely cure it, it is good to know that you have the power to help yourself. These ideas can help:

  • Exercise about 30 minutes a day.
  • Eat healthy foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Try to get enough calcium from foods (think dairy, green leafy vegetables, and canned salmon).
  • Avoid salt, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Work to lower stress.
  • Track your moods and symptoms in a journal.
  • Try over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen. Be sure to follow the dosing instructions exactly as it says on the label.

Some women take vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, magnesium, vitamin B-6, vitamin E and vitamin D with calcium. Others find that home remedies help. If you take any vitamins or supplements, first check with your doctor to make sure that it is safe for you or not.

What your doctor can do

If you have tried different things, but still have bad PMS, then it’s probably time to get help. Make an appointment with your doctor or gynecologist. He will ask about your symptoms, your health and the medicines you take. He can take some blood tests to ensure that the problem is PMS and nothing else.

Your doctor may prescribe medicine. Birth control pills sometimes help with headaches and cramps. Antidepressant (medicines that help in treating depression) may be an option. Some women take medicines to get rid of excess fluid which makes them feel bloated. Doctor is called diuretic (water tablets).

Your doctor may suggest talk therapy. It’s a way to feel better by removing challenges by talking to the mental health counselor and learning new skills.

If you have notes about your symptoms, then bring it on appointment. Plan ahead for the questions you want to ask. This way you will get the best help from your doctor.

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