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Premenstrual syndrome is the variety of symptoms and signs occurring between the time period of Ovulation and Periods (Menses).

Causes :

The exact cause of Premenstrual syndrome is unknown. But some of the following factors contribute to it. They are :

Hormones :  Cyclical changes that takes place in hormones contributes to PMS. The signs and symptoms changes with the fluctuation in the levels of hormones. The PMS disappears with pregnancy and menopause.

Serotonin :The Chemical changes in the brain also contribute to PMS. The insufficient levels of Serotonin, a neurotransmitter is associated with PMS symptoms like depression, Food cravings, tiredness and Sleep disturbances.

Depression : Some women who are suffering from severe Premenstrual syndrome are thought to be associated with Depression. But most of the time they are left undiagnosed. Appropriate care and lifestyle modifications may help to come out of the Depression due to PMS.

Signs and Symptoms :

Anxiety : People who are anxious may have palpitations, sweating, trembling, shaking, sleeping disorders, sense of impending danger, panic attacks or doom. They may also have trouble in decision making, feeble, irritable, tense and restless. People may have nausea or abdominal distress.

Depression : Women with severe PMS might go for Depression, that in most of the cases left undiagnosed.Appropriate care and lifestyle modifications may help to come out of the Depression due to PMS.

Crying Spells : Women may experience frequent and uncontrollable crying. It is mostly triggered by anxiety or panic attacks in PMS. On an average each crying spell lasts for period of about Eight minutes. If it lasts for longer period do consider about the depression or other mood disorders associated with PMS.

Mood Swings, Irritability, Anger, Appetite changes, food cravings, Social withdrawal, Poor concentration, Insomnia, and also change in libido are some of the signs and symptoms associated with PMS.

The physical signs and symptoms include Joint pain, Muscle ache, Fatigue, Headache, Weight gain related to fluid retention, Abdominal bloating, Acne, Breast tenderness, Constipation or Diarrhea, Alcohol intolerance and also sometimes Migraine may be aggravated during the Premenstrual syndrome.

Duration :

The Duration and severity of PMS varies from individuals to individuals. On an average it starts few days prior to menstruation and disappears approximately after fourth day of menses. But it may also extend to the complete length of the menstruation. If the PMS is extensive and severity is worse enough to cause interruption in the daily activities, then it is called the Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

How to overcome ?

Usually PMS settles within four to five days of onset of Menses. Some may have little signs and symptoms while others find it difficult to lead a daily normal life. For those people with little symptoms, life style modification and also good care & support is more than enough to tackle PMS, whereas for women who cannot tolerate PMS must have a visit to doctors to have the symptomatic treatment.

Yoga : The Asanas that help to overcome the signs and symptoms during the premenstrual and menstrual period are as follows : Cat pose (Marjariasana), Bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), Seated straddle (Upavistha Konasana), Child’s Pose (Balasana), Kapotasana (Pigeon pose), Apanasana, Shavasana (Corpse pose), The Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana), Bound Angle Pose are some of the Yoga poses and asanas that would help overcome menstrual cramps and Premenstrual syndrome.

Apart from Yoga distracting oneself from things that causes anxiety and uncomfortable circumstances might help to overcome mood disorders associated with PMS. Engaging themselves in their hobbies, mild physical activities, hanging out and sound sleep may help to decrease the severity of PMS. To Limit salty foods – this helps to reduce bloating and fluid retention, to eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and also whole grains and also to choose foods rich in calcium. For psychological problems like anxiety and depression – drugs like Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors can be given. It is an Over the counter Drug. And so consulting a physician is mandatory to treat psychological problems that are out of control. Caffeine withdrawal, adequate sleep of 7 to 8 hours a day, regular exercises, high complex carbohydrate diets are some of the necessary things that are to be followed to reduce PMS.

When to consult a Doctor ?

When signs and symptoms are out of control, do consult your doctor and seek medical advice for symptomatic treatment.

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