Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Are you one of
those women for whom having a period is almost torture? There
you are getting on quite blissfully with the business of
living… and then the big M - menstruation, blights you. And
this happens on a regular basis. You rail against the laws of
nature that have gifted the ‘curse’ of menses to women. Your
head aches, your stomach cramps, your tummy feels bloated, you
feel like crying for no apparent reason, and you bite
everyone’s head off at the slightest provocation. Most of all,
you hate it when people shrug and patronizingly mouth,
was first recognized and given a name – premenstrual syndrome
or PMS in 1931. There was official recognition of symptoms that
have plagued women for centuries. Feminists were ambivalent
about the acceptance by doctors that PMS was a problem that they
needed to take cognizance of. They felt that this would just
give men another opportunity to point a finger at the “weaker
sex” and their physical and mental inability to cope.
The onset of
menstruation signifies that a girl has stepped across a
biological threshold into puberty. For some women, menstruation
is merely an inconvenience. Others really dread “that time of
month.” The latter are usually women who are plagued by
premenstrual syndrome (PMS). For these women it is not the five
days of actual menstruation that bothers them so much as the
symptoms of PMS that manifest themselves any time from two to
ten days before menstruation begins.
As its name
signifies, the symptoms of PMS begin after ovulation, peak just
before menstruation begins, and then vanish at the start of
menstruation. The symptoms can be both physiological and
psychological. There are a large number of symptoms of which the
most common are: tender breasts, bloated abdomen, appetite
changes and cravings, pimples,
headaches, stomach upset and swollen hands and feet. Women
afflicted with this problem also display mood
fatigue, irritability, lack of concentration, over-sensitivity,
crying jags, and social withdrawal.
Tips for relieving the symptoms of PMS
avoid stressful situations and get some rest.
exercise like walking can help relieve PMS.
intake of alcohol and caffeine contained in tea, coffee,
soft drinks, etc.
intake. Salt absorbs water and increases water retention.
also helps in reducing premenstrual tension and water
Eat less at
every meal, but more often. This will minimize the
fluctuations in blood
sugar. It may also help to eat more green leafy
vegetables, whole grains and cereals, fish and poultry.
symptoms of PMS are so severe that they require medical
treatment. Psychologists describe this as Premenstrual Dysphoric
Disorder (PDD). In cases of PDD, the depression
and mood swings of the woman are so severe that they disrupt her
normal functioning. In such situations, the woman might have to
be treated medically. Doctors may recommend painkillers,
diuretics for fluid retention, and anti-depressants
in extreme cases. 1.5 gms of Evening Primrose Oil
taken twice daily has been found to alleviate painful and tender
breasts. Both the physical and mental emotional symptoms of PMS
have a biochemical basis that can be linked to the level of
certain hormones in the blood. Hence, some doctors may even
prescribe birth control pills to alleviate menstrual cramps and
pre-menstrual tension on occasion. The ingredients of the pill
probably even out any hormonal imbalance.
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