Have you ever had that feeling when you hate every single thing that is happening around you? Or even the most little thing can annoy you? And that crazy impression when you’re sad about the feeling of emotional emptiness for no apparent reason? For three weeks out of every month your energetic, happy, upbeat and even-tempered then a week before your menstrual flow begins you’ve changed into a mad women. Your mood swings from frustrations, anger, depressions and irritability are due to hormonal changes. Somehow, despite the cramps and the headache we manage to waddle to and from refrigerator, groceries and restaurants to satisfy our food cravings. Sounds awful? It is, but that is something what women deal on a monthly basis. That grumpy, punchy, headachy feeling is very much like PMS, or at least some symptoms of PMS.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
has a wide variety of symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression. An estimated 3 of every 4 menstruating women experience some form of premenstrual syndrome. These problems tend to peak during your late 20s and early 30s. Symptoms tend to recur in a predictable pattern. Yet the physical and emotional changes you experience with premenstrual syndrome may be particularly intense in some months and only slightly noticeable in others.
Still, you don’t have to let these problems control your life. Treatments and lifestyle adjustments can help you reduce or manage the signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
The most common signs and symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome include:
Emotional and behavioral 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.
Physical signs and symptoms:
Joint or muscle pain, Headache, Fatigue, Weight gain related to fluid retention, Abdominal bloating, Breast tenderness, Acne flare-ups, Constipation or diarrhea
Although the list of potential signs and symptoms is long, most women with premenstrual syndrome experience only a few of these problems.
For some women, the physical pain and emotional stress are severe enough to affect their daily routines and activities. Regardless of their severity, though, the signs and symptoms disappear, for most women, as the menstrual period begins.
But a few women with premenstrual syndrome have disabling symptoms every month. This form of PMS has its own designation — premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome with signs and symptoms including severe depression, feelings of hopelessness, anger, anxiety, low self-esteem, difficulty concentrating, irritability and tension. A number of women with severe PMS may have an underlying psychiatric disorder.
Exactly what causes premenstrual syndrome is unknown, but several factors may contribute to the condition:
Cyclic changes in hormones. Signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome change with hormonal fluctuations and disappear with pregnancy and menopause.
Chemical changes in the brain. Fluctuations of serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that is thought to play a crucial role in mood states, could trigger PMS symptoms. Insufficient amounts of serotonin may contribute to premenstrual depression, as well as to fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems.
Depression. Some women with severe premenstrual syndrome have undiagnosed depression, though depression alone does not cause all of the symptoms.
Stress. Stress can aggravate some of your PMS symptoms.
Poor eating habits. Some PMS symptoms have been linked to low levels of vitamins and minerals. Other possible contributors to PMS include eating a lot of salty foods, which may cause fluid retention, and drinking alcohol and caffeinated beverages, which may cause mood and energy level disturbances.