What is PMS (premenstrual syndrome)?
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of emotional, physical, psychological, and mood disturbances that occur after a woman’s ovulation, typically ending with the onset of her menstrual flow. The most common mood-related symptoms are irritability, depression, crying, oversensitivity, and mood swings. The most common physical symptoms are fatigue, bloating, breast tenderness (mastalgia), acne, and appetite changes with food cravings.
A more severe form of PMS, known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), also known as late luteal phase dysphoric disorder, occurs in a smaller number of women and leads to significant loss of function because of unusually severe symptoms. The American Psychiatric Association characterizes PMDD as a severe form of PMS in which anger, irritability, and anxiety or tension are especially prominent.
How common is PMS (premenstrual syndrome)?
About 90% of women experience premenstrual symptoms at some point in their lifetime. The true incidence of PMS has often been overestimated by including all women who experience any physical or emotional symptoms prior to menstruation. It is estimated that clinically significant PMS (which is moderate to severe in intensity and affects a woman’s functioning) occurs in 20% to 30% of women. It is generally most severe in women in their 4th decade of life. About 3% to 8% of women are believed to have the condition.
PMS vs. pregnancy symptoms
For certain women, the symptoms of PMS may be similar to those of early pregnancy, although this is highly individual. Many women do not experience symptoms in early pregnancy, while others may report breast tenderness, bloating, fatigue, and mood swings. These symptoms can be, for some women, similar to the symptoms of PMS or similar to the changes in their body they experience prior to the menstrual period. Unfortunately for women wondering whether specific symptoms are due to PMS or early pregnancy, the only definitive answer comes with the arrival of the menstrual period or a positive pregnancy test.
causes OF PMS
PMS remains an enigma because of the wide-ranging symptoms and the difficulty in making a firm diagnosis. Several theories have been advanced to explain the cause of PMS. None of these theories have been proven, and specific treatment for PMS still largely lacks a solid scientific basis. Most evidence suggests that PMS results from the alterations in or interactions between the levels of sex hormones and brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters.
PMS does not appear to be specifically associated with any personality factors or specific personality types. Likewise, a number of studies have shown that psychological stress is not related to the severity of PMS.
Menstrual cramps are not the same as the symptoms experienced due to premenstrual syndrome (PMS), although the symptoms of both disorders can sometimes be experienced together. Treatment options vary and each woman needs to find a treatment that works best for her.
Over-the-counter or OTC medication for menstrual cramps include NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Midol), and naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox).
Treatments for PMS include emotional support, stress reduction and management, dietary changes, and medication.
signs and symptoms of PMS
A great variety of symptoms have been attributed to PMS. Women can have PMS of varying duration and severity from cycle to cycle. The most frequent mood-related symptoms of PMS include:
• anger and irritability,
• oversensitivity, and
• exaggerated mood swings.
The most frequent physical signs and symptoms of PMS include:
• bloating (due to fluid retention),
• weight gain,
• breast tenderness,
• sleep disturbances with sleeping too much or too little (insomnia), and
• appetite changes with overeating or food cravings.
How long does PMS (premenstrual syndrome) last?
The duration of PMS varies among women. Most women experience the symptoms for a few to several days in the week prior to the onset of their menstrual period. Some women may have symptoms for a shorter or longer time period, but symptoms of PMS typically start after ovulation (the mid-point in the monthly menstrual cycle).
Homeopathic medicines for PMS:
• nuxvomca, silica, Bryonia
Sepia is the top natural treatment for premenstrual syndrome. The main aspect which is covered by Sepia is the treatment of irritability in women with PMS. This medicine is of great help for women who suffer from extreme irritability a few days before periods. Irritability is mostly accompanied by an aversion to indulge in any kind of physical or mental labor. Here, Sepia acts as a remedy to calm the minds of women suffering from irritable conditions. A special symptom that needs mention is bearing down pains in uterus accompanying mental irritability. In most of the women requiring Sepia, some sort of irregularity in their menstrual cycle or periods is often found.
Ignatia is a natural medicine that is very beneficial for the treatment of PMS and is the best remedy for depression and mood swings in women with PMS. Ignatia can be taken by all women suffering from a sad and depressed emotional state before periods. Along with sadness, there is an aversion to the company. Such women desire to be left alone and keep on weeping for long. Women who experience sudden mood swings prior to their menstrual cycle can also benefit from the use of Ignatia. The mood suddenly changes from joy to sadness and Ignatia is the best natural remedy.
Pulsatilla is of great help for women with increased sensitivity towards every little thing during PMS. The smallest of things tend to affect women deeply and they also start to weep over little, insignificant issues. They start to cry in public and usually feel better when offered sympathy. Open air makes them feel good. The women who can benefit from medicine Pulsatilla may also have the problem of suppressed or delayed menses frequently. In most cases, there is also a total absence of thirst for water.
Lachesis is the ideal natural prescription for a headache before menses. The headache may be accompanied by vertigo and dim vision. The headache gets worse a few days before the onset of periods. The pain is relieved as soon as the periods begin.
Silicea, Nux Vomica, and Bryonia: For PMS with Constipation
These three are the most effective remedies for PMS when constipation accompanies. Silicea is the remedy for extreme constipation before menses. Silicea is very beneficial for women who have great difficulty in passing stool or poop. A lot of straining is required in order to pass stool. The stool even slips back after being partially expelled. Natural medicine Silicea helps in easy expulsion of stool without putting in much effort. Nux Vomica is the medicine that is prescribed when the urge to pass stool is very frequent. But the stool passed is very scanty and unsatisfactory. This can be accompanied by pain in the abdomen. Bryonia is the prescription when the stool is extremely hard and dry.