Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Q & A
What is PMS?
Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a group of changes that take place in the days leading up to your menstrual cycle. Most women will notice some signs that their period is about to begin, but for others, those changes are pronounced and extremely disruptive.
In previous generations, women were taught to simply accept unpleasant symptoms surrounding their period. Today, women have treatment options, and there’s a greater awareness of the significance that PMS plays in the lives of many women.
What are the symptoms of PMS?
Premenstrual syndrome symptoms can be emotional, physical, or behavioral. You might experience just one, or a combination of several, and their intensity can vary.
Physical symptoms include:
- Muscle aches
- Weight gain
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Breast tenderness
Emotional symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Social disconnection
- Bursts of anger
- Sleep difficulties
Behavioral symptoms include:
- Increased forgetfulness
- Lack of mental clarity
- Fatigue or exhaustion
PMS symptoms can disrupt your normal routines and are a leading cause of missed time at school or work among women. Finding relief is important to maintaining a healthy balance in your daily life.
How can I treat PMS?
Lifestyle modifications can go a long way toward lessening the symptoms of PMS. Some of your daily habits could be contributing to PMS symptoms without your knowledge.
Your gynecologist works with you to identify lifestyle areas where changes can improve PMS symptoms. Some common examples include:
- Not getting enough exercise
- Insufficient or poor quality sleep
- Excessive caffeine consumption
- High levels of stress
- Poor diet
- Low levels of vitamins and minerals
Making changes to these areas can not only lessen PMS symptoms, but can also improve your overall health and wellness.
Are there more involved treatments?
If lifestyle modification doesn’t yield the desired results, your gynecologist can prescribe medications to lessen symptoms. Some drugs work to relieve depression or anxiety, while others help you eliminate excess weight or bloating. Hormonal birth control can be a great treatment path, temporarily ending your ovulation cycle to offer relief.
If you find yourself altering your normal routines due to PMS symptoms, schedule a consultation at Unified Premier Women’s Care to look into treatment possibilities.