Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment for Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Date: July 17, 2021

Anyone who has dealt with the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) understands how debilitating they can be. Mood swings, bloating, cramping, and cravings are common signs and symptoms. Too many people make jokes about PMS, especially when they don't understand it. But the truth is that PMS is no laughing matter.

PMS symptoms affect around one-third of menstrual women. PMS may be a mere irritation for some, but it can be extremely debilitating for others. This is why it's critical to comprehend what it is and why it occurs. Let's learn everything there is to know about PMS, including common symptoms, causes, and treatment choices, in order to gain a better understanding of it.

What Is PMS and How Does It Affect You?

Premenstrual syndrome, also known as PMS, is a collection of mental and physical symptoms that occur after ovulation but before the start of a woman's menstrual cycle. Symptoms normally begin around the time menstruation begins and disappear once menstruation begins.

It's crucial to note that PMS symptoms aren't experienced by everyone who menstruates. Others, on the other hand, may just have minor symptoms, while others may have crippling symptoms that prevent them from going about their everyday lives.

Is PMS Common and Who Gets It?

PMS symptoms can affect any woman who is menstruation. So, how widespread is it? “As many as three out of four women report they get PMS symptoms at some point in their lifetime,” according to the.

According to reports, approximately 75% of all premenopausal females have at least one PMS symptom, but only 8 to 20% meet the criteria for a diagnosis of PMS, which include symptoms that interfere with normal daily activities, appear 5-days before the period begins and end within 4-days after the period begins, and last for at least three months.

PMS physical symptoms vary from person to person, and they can range from minor to severe. Food cravings, oily skin, and other skin changes are some of the physical signs of PMS.

Weight gain, stomach bloating, menstruation cramps, constipation, and diarrhoea are all possible side effects for some people. Symptoms such as headaches, tiredness, and painful or swollen breasts are prevalent.

PMS Psychological Symptoms

PMS symptoms aren't only physical; they can also be mental. Low mood, impatience, rage, despair, anxiety, or mood fluctuations are some of the most frequent emotional symptoms.

Feeling emotional, sobbing, social disengagement, difficulties concentrating, decreased libido, and sleeping issues such as are all frequent psychological symptoms.

PMS with Severe Symptoms

Let's start with the fact that severe PMS symptoms are uncommon. A tiny number of women (about ) may develop severe symptoms of (PMDD). While both PMS and PMDD have physical and psychological symptoms in common, PMDD causes significant mood swings that can impair everyday activities and even destroy relationships.

Sadness or hopelessness, anxiety, and rage, as well as significant mood fluctuations, are common PMDD symptoms. Depression, weeping outbursts, panic attacks, insomnia, binge eating, severe cramps, and a lack of interest in typical everyday activities are all symptoms of PMDD.

How Can You Tell If You Have PMS?

Many people are unaware that their symptoms are linked to their menstrual cycle. This is especially common in people who have irregular menstrual periods. So, how can you tell if your symptoms are caused by PMS?

Keeping a log of your symptoms is the best approach to figure out if your symptoms are due to PMS. This will aid in the formation of patterns. PMS is most likely the cause of symptoms that occur at the same time of the month, each month, and during the same phase of your menstrual cycle. If not, you could be suffering from the effects of another underlying condition.


Unfortunately, no one knows what causes PMS. Researchers believe, however, that a change in hormone levels (particularly oestrogen and progesterone) that occurs a week or two before menstruation plays a role in PMS symptoms.

After ovulation, your oestrogen and progesterone levels drop dramatically, which may alter your serotonin levels. Serotonin is a brain molecule that aids with mood, appetite, and sleep regulation. Keep in mind that shifting hormone levels may impact some people more than others, which is one of the reasons why pinpointing the specific cause of PMS is difficult.

How Does PMS Change As You Get Older?

Will your PMS symptoms alter as you get older if you get them in your twenties? Yes, according to the Office on Women's Health. “When you approach and are in the transition to menopause, called perimenopause,” the source says, “PMS symptoms may get worse as you reach your late 30s or 40s and approach and are in the transition to menopause.”

Individuals who experience mood swings as a result of hormonal fluctuations during their menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable. Hormone levels can fluctuate unpredictably as you approach menopause, causing mood swings. However, keep in mind that PMS will end after.

Treatment for PMS

Treatment for PMS will vary depending on the individual's specific symptoms. The good news is that most minor symptoms can be managed with over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, dietary adjustments, and lifestyle modifications. Let's take a closer look at these next.


If you're suffering from severe symptoms like headaches or stomach cramps, over-the-counter drugs may help. For headaches, cramps, and muscle discomfort, you can use pain medications like acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines.

Diuretics may also assist with bloating and breast pain. Keep in mind that if your PMS symptoms are severe and you aren't getting relief from over-the-counter drugs, you should consult your doctor. They may prescribe hormonal birth control or other drugs to aid with mood-related issues.

Gentle Workouts

Gentle movements such as walking, running, riding, or swimming may also provide some relief. The study looked at college-aged women who exercised 1.5 hours each week.

Physical PMS symptoms such as bloating, flushing, nausea, constipation, diarrhoea, breast swelling, and increased appetite improved for the individuals, according to the findings. External factors such as nutrition, sleep, and living conditions may have also influenced the outcomes. Nonetheless, exercising is beneficial to your health in general, so it's worth a go!

Techniques for Relaxation

For those who experience mood swings, relaxation techniques may be very effective. Taking a bath, going for a stroll, or writing in a diary are all good ways to relax and reduce stress.

Practicing or tai chi may also be beneficial. Finally, stretching, talking with a close friend, or discussing with a professional can all help you manage your emotions.

Dietary Modifications

Changes in your diet may also help alleviate some of your PMS symptoms. For example, is a necessary nutrient that may aid in the relief of migraines. Magnesium can be found in a variety of foods, including leafy greens.

Additionally, fatty acids present in meals such as fish, nuts, and green vegetables may aid in the reduction of stomach cramps. Finally, is not only necessary for strong bones, but it also aids in the regulation of food desires, sleep, and moods. Dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods are among the best.

When Should You Visit Your Doctor?

PMS symptoms are never fun to deal with, but happily, the majority of moderate symptoms may be addressed with over-the-counter drugs, dietary adjustments, and lifestyle changes. It's time to consult your doctor if your symptoms are interfering with your daily life or if they don't go away.

Other medical concerns such as,, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and thyroid disease must first be ruled out by your doctor. Every month, keep track of your symptoms and menstrual cycle and share this information with your doctor. If your symptoms occur at the same time every month, PMS is most likely to blame.

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