Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has a wide variety of signs and symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression. It's estimated that as many as 3 of every 4 menstruating women have experienced some form of premenstrual syndrome.
PMS symptoms start five to 11 days before menstruation and typically go away once menstruation begins. The cause of PMS is unknown. However, many researchers believe that it’s related to a change in both sex hormone and serotonin levels at the beginning of the menstrual cycle.
The symptoms of PMS are usually mild or moderate. Twenty to 32 percent of women report moderate to severe symptoms that affect some aspect of life.
But a small number of women with premenstrual syndrome have disabling symptoms every month. This form of PMS is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
PMDD signs and symptoms include depression, mood swings, anger, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, difficulty concentrating, irritability and tension.
Emotional and behavioral signs and symptoms
- Tension or anxiety
- Depressed mood
- Crying spells
- Mood swings and irritability or anger
- Appetite changes and food cravings
- Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
- Social withdrawal
- Poor concentration
- Change in libido
Physical signs and symptoms
- Joint or muscle pain
- Weight gain related to fluid retention
- Abdominal bloating
- Breast tenderness
- Acne flare-ups
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Alcohol intolerance
Do’s n don’ts of PMS (for mild to moderate cases) and during Menstruation.
- Dietary modifications - Including whole grain cereals and pulses, fresh fruits and vegetables to provide the necessary micronutrients and fibre.
- Taking small meals which are easily digestible
- Going for a 30 min walk daily, yoga and meditation to manage stress.
- Take enough rest especially during the menstrual cycle, including a minimum 7 hours sleep
- Maintain proper hydration and include fruits and vegetables with high water content.
- Menstrual hygiene - changing the pads at frequent intervals depending on the flow. Using triphala powder, 15-20g powder boiled in half a liter water till colour changes, cool, sieve and use to clean the vaginal area once a day.
- High salt, alcohol, high sugar/fat, highly refined foods and caffeine.
- Any high intensity exercise or work or gymming or recreational activities like trekking/running marathons and so on.
- Eat junk especially during abdominal cramps.
Dietary constituents that help during PMS
- Cacao beans - rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and tryptophan (precursor for mood booster serotonin). A tsp of raw cacao powder to your milk/water helps to deal with the symptoms of PMS
- Pumpkin seeds - rich in omega 3- and omega 6- fatty acids, fibre and zinc.
- Green leafy vegetables - rich source of iron, calcium, magnesium.
- Application of warm castor oil on the abdomen
- 5ml of warm castor oil to be taken internally.
- ⅛ tsp of dry ginger + ¼ tsp of ajwain in a 45 ml water, boil till the colour changes, strain and drink.
- Pranayam or deep breathing techniques.