pmsDo you fear those days of the month, not for the actual bleeding but for the person you become right before your chums? Do you feel that those few days cause a ruckus in your life every single month? Do not worry. Blame your hormones which give rise to this condition called PMS (Pre – Menstrual Syndrome ). And you are not the only one going through the “tough time” every month.

As per the statistics, almost 85% women experience PMS during their reproductive life, that comes to approximately 3 out of 4 women; while 30 to 40% of them will have symptoms distressing enough to interfere with their daily lives.

Cause of PMS :

Exact cause although not known, PMS is mainly attributed to the fluctuation in the levels of sex hormones – i.e. estrogen and progesterone and their interaction with the brain chemicals known as neuro-transmitters (particularly serotonin).

Symptoms :

PMS can present itself in form of a great variety of symptoms, affecting your physical, mental, social and emotional well being. Any one or a combination of any of the below mentioned symptoms may co-exist.

Physical Symptoms :

  1. Bloating/swelling of body due to fluid retention
  2. Weight gain
  3. Weakness
  4. Increased sensitivity to pain
  5. Breast tenderness
  6. Acne
  7. Constipation or diarrhoea
  8. Food cravings and increase in appetite
  9. Headache

Mental Symptoms :

  1. Mood Swings
  2. Increased irritability
  3. Lack of interest
  4. Lethargy
  5. Forgetfulness/ clumsiness
  6. Loss of libido

Emotional Symptoms :

  1. Feelings of sadness/hopelessness/depression
  2. Uncontrolled crying
  3. Feeling of guilt
  4. Poor self confidence
  5. Anxiety
  6. Feeling of overwhelmed or getting out of control

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Social Symptoms :

  1. Introversion
  2. Desire for solitude
  3. Lack of interest in socializing, communicating
  4. Strained inter personal relations due to erratic moods
  5. Poor performance at work or home
  6. Absenteeism at work every month

Experiencing painful menses? It might be Dysmenorrhea . Read more about Dysmenorrhea here.

Managing PMS :

Not all cases of PMS require medical attention and intervention. A healthy lifestyle is the first step to managing PMS. Treatment is required for cases wherein the PMS prevents a woman from leading a normal daily functioning. For many women, lifestyle approaches are often enough to control the symptoms.

  1. Keep your stress levels to the minimal
  2. Exercise daily for 45 to 60 minutes daily – brisk walking, jogging, cardio, cycling, yoga, meditation. Aerobic exercises help in relieving PMS symptoms by increasing the oxygen supply to the body.
  3. Hot fomentation, massage and rest can help in relieving the pain.
  4. Manage your Diet :
  • Drink more fluids, increase your water intake
  • b. Avoid fat, sugar and excess salt
  • Include more of complex carbohydrates like wheat, barley, jowar, brown rice, cereals,etc and fruits , salads in your diet
  • Cut down on your intake of coffee/tea/alcohol/smoking
  • Avoid starving for long time. Eat small meals frequently to keep your sugar levels in control
  • Avoid binge eating or stuffing yourself with junk food, chocolates.
  • Take multivitamins, magnesium and calcium supplements as prescribed by the doctor because nutritional deficiency can lead to symptoms of PMS

5. Catch up on your sleep. A good 8 hours sleep will make you refreshed and restore your energy levels.

6. Anger Management : Understand that this is not what you are on the other days of the month. Realizing the fact that the mood swings and irritability are due to the hormonal reasons, you can cope up with its after effects in a much better way. Keep your near ones informed about your usual PMS symptoms.

7. Conventional Treatment :

Consists of pain killers, NSAIDs for the dysmenorrhoea, oral contraceptive pills for regulating the hormones and anxiolytic & anti-depressants. However, conventional medicines are short lasting, giving temporary relief, habit forming and do not treat the condition from its root cause. The side effects produced by long term oral contraceptives will be discussed in upcoming blogs.

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H. Homeopathic Treatment :

Homeopathy is a holistic treatment which encorporates mind as well as body. The homeopathic medicines are selected after a full individualizing examination and case analysis, which includes the medical history of the patient, physical and mental constitution.

Homeopathic medicines along with the above mentioned life style changes can relieve mild to severe cases of PMS without any side effects, withdrawal symptoms or drug dependency.

Tip for the day: Look at it this way. PMS, if mild in intensity, is a warning signal from your body that your periods are about to appear, giving you enough time to prepare yourself and plan your week accordingly.
If the suggested lifestyle changes don’t make you feel any better, turn to Homeopathy for the safest and the most reliable way to cure and harmony.

-Blog written by Dr Amrita Utekar

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