Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

  1. What is premenstrual syndrome?
  2. Prognosis of the disease
  3. Symptoms
  4. How is it diagnosed?
  5. Causes
  6. How can it be prevented?
  7. Treatment of premenstrual syndrome
  8. Who treats PMS?

What is premenstrual syndrome?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a set of symptoms that women experience one to two weeks before menstruation. These symptoms disappear when menstruation begins.

Prognosis of the disease

In some cases, the symptoms caused by premenstrual syndrome can become disabling for women in their daily lives. In fact, women suffering from depression are at an increased risk of suicide during this period, so it is important to diagnose and treat mood disorders.

Even so, most women who receive treatment for PMS symptoms are able to alleviate them.

Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome

The vast majority of women suffer from at least one of the symptoms. The most common are:

  • Bloating or gassy sensation
  • Breast tenderness
  • Clumsiness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Decreased tolerance to noise and lights
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Increased fears

Sometimes these symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your normal life. Often, these symptoms tend to worsen when a woman is in her 40s, as menopause approaches.

The best way to prevent PMS
is to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Medical tests for PMS

There are no specific tests to diagnose premenstrual syndrome, but it is important to have a complete medical history and physical examination including a pelvic exam.

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One thing that may be helpful in confirming the diagnosis is for the woman to write down symptoms on a calendar to identify the most troublesome ones.

What causes premenstrual syndrome?

There is no specific cause for PMS, although it is believed that changes in brain hormone levels may play a role.

PMS may be related to social, cultural, biological and psychological factors. It mainly affects women who:

  • Are between the ages of 20 and 40
  • Are mothers
  • Have a family or personal history of major depression
  • Have a history of postpartum depression or an affective mood disorder.

Is it preventable?

The best form of prevention is to lead a healthy lifestyle. This can be achieved by following a series of recommendations:

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Do not drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages
  • Eat frequent and small meals
  • Follow a balanced diet
  • Regular aerobic exercise

Treatments for premenstrual syndrome

There is no definitive treatment for PMS. Specialists recommend regular exercise, pharmacological treatment with painkillers and following a healthy diet avoiding sugars and substituting refined foods for whole grains.

Oral contraceptives can decrease or increase the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

Which specialist treats it?

The expert in charge of treating premenstrual syndrome is the specialist in Gynecology and Obstetrics.