Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome

Raise your hand if you don’t suffer from PMS! Can I say that I envy you?

I have been living with it for many years even if things have clearly improved by adopting some precautions.

There are thousands of theories surrounding this syndrome. Some say it is caused by progesterone deficiency, others by vitamin deficiency, still others think it is related to a neuroendocrine imbalance.

What is certain is that premenstrual syndrome for many women is highly debilitating as well as recurrent, month after month, during the post-ovulatory phase (luteal phase).

It mainly affects women over the age of 25 and tends to get worse over the years, especially in those who have had one or more children.

The timing and type of symptoms vary greatly from woman to woman and help can come by charting the various symptoms to be able to manage them better.

It is estimated that as many as 9 out of 10 women experience PMS in some form during their reproductive life. In practice, very few are completely free from it given the variety of symptoms with which it occurs.

A useful scheme that we report below can be found in the book by Dr. Elizabeth Vliet published in 2001 and entitled “Screaming to be heard: hormone connections women suspect and doctor still ignore”.

Types of PMS symptoms

  • Affective symptoms : depression, irritability, anxiety, anger, crying, panic.
  • Behavioral symptoms : impulsive actions, compulsion, agitation, lethargy, decreased motivation
  • Symptoms related to the autonomic nervous system : palpitations, nausea, constipation, dizziness, sweating, tremors, blurred vision, hot flashes.
  • Symptoms related to electrolyte balance : swelling, water retention, fuller breasts, swollen hands and feet.
  • Dermatological symptoms : acne, oily hair, urticaria, skin rashes, herpes, allergy attacks
  • Cognitive symptoms : decreased concentration, changes in memory, confusion…
  • Pain : migraine, headache, back pain. muscle and joint pain breast pain, neck stiffness

The important thing is to understand what the symptoms related to premenstrual syndrome actually are thanks to the cyclical nature with which they occur in order to exclude other causes.

Because if, for example, the symptoms appear in other phases of the menstrual cycle, they are NOT related to the syndrome.

What makes these symptoms cyclical and present in the post ovulatory phase are the hormonal changes that occur each month in an ovulatory cycle.

Women who do not ovulate cannot suffer from PMS.

How do you know if you have PMS?

To understand if the symptoms you feel are referable to premenstrual syndrome, just record them in a graph. You can easily record them in a basal temperature graph (without monitoring the tb even if it would be useful to understand if the symptoms appear after the temperature rise and therefore after ovulation) by writing them in the notes.

If you see that they appear cycle after cycle more or less in the same period they are referable to premenstrual syndrome.

How to fight PMS?

There are many remedies to combat premenstrual syndrome, from medicines to natural remedies, from nutrition to a different lifestyle. Each method has its own effectiveness and sometimes some contraindications.

In the article ” how to manage and cure premenstrual syndrome ” you will find all the remedies to try to limit or eliminate premenstrual symptoms.

The contents of this article are not medical in nature. We recommend that you consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment of the symptoms you are experiencing.

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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