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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a condition that affects a woman’s mental and physical health. Generally start five to 11 days before menstruation and usually stop once menstruation begins.
PMS is commonly seen syndrome in women aged between 20-45. Around 80% of the women has experienced in PMS. Many researchers believe that it is related to a change in both sex hormone and serotonin levels in our body at the beginning of the menstrual cycle.
There are some hormonal changes every month which are normal, however other hormonal changes which cause the PMS symptoms that can range from mild to severe. The symptoms can range from mildly annoying to debilitating.
There are two primary sex hormones that fluctuate the changes during the menstrual cycle - Estrogen and progesterone.
Before the menstruation starts, levels of estrogen and progesterone increase. An increase in these hormones can cause mood swings, anxiety, and irritability. If your estrogen and progesterone hormones get out of balance, then you can experience PMS symptoms.
Serotonin levels affect mood and emotion. Serotonin is a chemical in your brain and which affects your emotions, moods, behaviours and thoughts. If the symptoms seriously affect your life including daily routine, relationship or behaviour, you should consult your doctor.
Common symptoms of PMS including:
changes in sleep patterns
While most women with PMS find their symptoms uncomfortable, a small percentage have symptoms severe enough to stop them living their normal lives. Some women have severe PMS such as severe depression symptoms, irritability, panic attacks and tension. This is the result of a more intense type of PMS known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
PMDD is similar to those of PMS, but are more exaggerated and often have more psychological symptoms than physical ones.
Symptoms can include:
Depression and sadness for no reason
Extreme emotional and sensitive
Extreme anxiety or anger
As depression is a common symptom of PMDD. It can be a feeling of sadness for no reason or consistently have negative thoughts.
There are simple ways to deal with your PMS:
Eat a well-balanced diet high in fibre and make sure to include anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats (EPA and DHA) in your diet by eating more wild fish.
Consume enough vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower which can help with liver detoxification and beans, nuts/seeds, and legumes, which provide phytoestrogens, and fibre to help with estrogen balance.
Research shows that women with PMS found that calcium supplementation improved several mood and body symptoms such as bloating and cramps.
Vitamin B6: Women who experience PMS symptoms typically are not getting enough calcium, B vitamins (especially B6) and vitamins E and vitamin K in their daily intake. Vitamin B6 is an important cofactor for neurotransmitter production and may help with mood and energy.
EPA/DHA (omega-3 fats): The benefits for EPA/DHA includes anti-inflammatory, support heart health and brain and nerve function, and nourish the skin. Studies have suggested that including enough iron, zinc and fatty acids in the diet can help diminish symptoms.
These are easiest ways to make sure you get all the nutrients you need during and before the menstruation. Have proper rest and engage in mild exercise/activity can also help to relieve stress.