What is PMS? How long does it last?
PMS is the set of symptoms that lasts up to 10 days before menstruation occurs. In some cases, PMS still occurs during a woman’s menstruation, causing the symptoms to end only after she has finished.
It is believed that 7 out of 10 Brazilian women suffer from PMS symptoms, with their peak incidence between 25 and 35 years of age. There are factors that can influence the degree of PMS, which varies from woman to woman.
In more severe cases, the woman’s routine is greatly altered, and it is even necessary to miss work. This type of PMS is known as PMDD and occurs in 8 to 10% of women.
What does PMS mean?
PMS is the acronym for Premenstrual Tension, or else it can be called premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
What is TDPM?
PMDD is known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and is more severe than PMS. For the diagnosis to be made by the doctor, at least five of these symptoms must be present in the lives of women, one of which is in bold:
- Irritability, anger and conflicts with other people become more frequent;
- Lethargy, lack of energy, easy or severe fatigue;
- Emotional lack of control;
- Anxiety, having nerves on edge and tense is very common;
- Difficulty concentrating;
- Affective instability;
- Decreased interest in common activities;
- Excessive eating, marked change in appetite;
- Self-deprecating thoughts, depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness;
- Headache, bloated feeling, weight gain.
Index – in this article you will find the following information:
- What is PMS? How long does it last?
- Risk factors
- PMS symptoms
- How to live together?
The types are separated into A, C, D, H and O. Each has specific PMS symptoms, as each woman has a different symptom. It may be that a woman has 2 or more types at the same time.
It is related to anxiety . Its main symptoms are tension, anxiety, changes in mood, irritability and difficulty sleeping. Some women may be more inattentive, confused or feeling “in the world of the moon”. This is because there is a greater release of cortisol and adrenaline (hormones that contribute to stress ), and estrogen, which helps control stress, falls.
This type of PMS is related to binge eating. Eating chocolate and fatty foods during these days is the main feature of this type of PMS. In addition, headaches are very common.
This is due to the reduction of a hormone called serotonin .
This type of PMS is known because of fluid retention and its characteristics. Swelling in the body mainly in the abdominal region, hands, feet and breasts sensitivity and weight gain are very common in this type of PMS.
This type of PMS has the most different symptoms. Nausea, allergic reactions, sweating, changes in bowel habits, colic, acne , respiratory tract infections and an increase in urinary frequency may occur . All of this can happen during PMS.
The menstrual cycle is calculated for 28 days. During this time, the female body undergoes changes, as it is time to prepare the uterus to receive a baby. In the first 14 days, the ovulation period occurs, increasing the level of estrogen, the hormone responsible for controlling the woman’s well-being.
During the other 14 days, the uterus thickens its walls, forming a kind of “bed” to house the possible baby (endometrium). During these days, the hormone estrogen falls while progesterone increases.
Changing these hormones causes symptoms such as anxiety, breast pain, and mood swings. After finishing the 14 days of thickening of the walls of the uterus, the endometrium is eliminated in the form of menstruation, causing the two hormones already mentioned to fall in their levels.
It is not yet known why some women have such “strong” PMS because there are no differences between hormone levels between women with or without symptoms. What is believed is that some of them are more sensitive to fluctuations in brain neurotransmitters that are caused by changes in hormones in the menstrual cycle.
There are factors that can increase the risk of PMS:
- Family history with PMS;
- High caffeine intake;
- Lack of vitamin B6, magnesium and calcium in the body;
- Anxiety, depression;
- Eat fatty foods.
The symptoms of PMS are many. They can vary from person to person and can also vary according to the cycle.
- Change in mood;
- Pain in the legs;
- Weight gain;
- Willingness to eat goodies or different foods;
- Sensitivity and swelling in the breasts;
- Swelling in the extremities of the body;
- Anger without reason;
- Memory lapses;
- Disturbing feelings;
- Low self-esteem;
- Compulsion for food (sweet and savory);
Less common symptoms
- Change in bowel habits;
- Hot flushes or cold sweating;
- Respiratory tract infections;
- Increased urinary frequency;
- Generalized pains;
- Allergic reactions.
Symptoms most experienced by women:
- Tiredness (92%);
- Anxiety (89%);
- Change in mood (81%);
- Depression (80%).
The diagnosis must be made by a gynecologist or an endocrinologist. When feeling the symptoms, it is necessary to make an appointment so that the specialist can make the diagnosis as soon as possible.
Going to the consultation with some information, such as how long the symptoms have appeared, the patient’s medical history and a list of medications the patient is taking can help to make the diagnosis more quickly.
There is no test that can diagnose PMS. The diagnosis is given according to the woman’s conversation with the doctor and also according to the last menstrual cycles.
Thyroid symptoms are similar to those of PMS, so the doctor may order a TSH and T4 test to find out if your thyroid has any dysfunction and thus signal which of the two is the problem.
There is not just one type of treatment to improve PMS. As the symptoms are the most varied, there are several ways to alleviate the symptoms. Find out here the best forms of treatment for each type of PMS:
Practicing physical activities is the best way to relieve anxiety and other symptoms of this type of PMS. Maintaining a balanced diet is also essential. Physical exercises help to release hormones, such as endorphins (feeling of pleasure).
In more severe cases, medications can be used, such as anxiolytics , used to decrease symptoms.
To reduce these symptoms, focusing on good nutrition is essential. Performing physical activities can also lessen the headache . Binge eating can be alleviated with a diet rich in omega 3, fish and seafood.
Using some medications may be recommended for headaches and migraines . Painkillers, contraceptives and topiramate- based drugs may be indicated by the doctor.
If depression and sadness are diagnosed as severe, the use of antidepressants may be indicated by the doctor. In addition, it is recommended to practice physical exercises and maintain a controlled diet.
The use of diuretics may be necessary to combat fluid retention. It is recommended not to consume foods that can cause fluid retention, such as salt.
The release of inflammatory agents that are related to the menstrual flow can cause pain and bring changes in the intestinal flow. Using anti-inflammatories on days that precede menstrual flow and the first few days can help.
The increase in the frequency of urine is increased due to fluid retention. Reducing the oiliness of the skin helps to prevent acne.
For this more severe type of PMS, an injection of Medroxyprogesterone Acetate may be recommended . But it has been noticed that, in some cases, the increase in some symptoms can occur, such as, for example, weight gain, depressed mood and headache.
Talking to the gynecologist is essential to reach a consensus on the use of contraceptives. He is the one who will indicate whether there should be a pause between one card and another or not. It is necessary to be attentive to the dosage of hormone that is in the contraceptive chosen, as adverse effects can occur or, even, the symptoms of PMS get worse.
Remedies for PMS
The most used drugs to reduce symptoms are:
- Duphaston ;
- Fluoxetine ;
The use of medications should only be done with a medical prescription. Do not self-medicate, as the symptoms may get worse.
Foods that can help to soften PMS
- Vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers and pumpkin;
- Oil seeds and fruits, such as nuts, almonds, pistachios and peanuts;
- Legumes, such as beans of all kinds, chickpeas, lentils and green peas;
- Whole grains, such as oats, brown rice, corn, barley, buckwheat.
NEVER self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained on this site is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.
Some women suffer a lot from the symptoms, making them unable to go to work and even to get out of bed. In such cases, it is essential to have medical monitoring with specific treatment.
Healthy habits that can improve symptoms
- Stop smoking;
- Limit the use of caffeine, chocolate, alcohol and salt;
- Do at least 2 ½ hours of exercise per week;
- Maintain a balanced diet that contains protein, grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products;
- Eat foods rich in calcium, vitamin B6, omega 6.
How to decrease the pain
To relieve pain, use analgesics; anti-inflammatory medications can decrease bleeding and reduce pain.
- Sleep 8 hours a day;
- Perform relaxation techniques;
- Participate in yoga classes or give massages;
- Look for a support group to discuss PMS;
- Count on the support of family and friends.
There is no way to prevent PMS, but performing healthy habits in the topic above can help you better cope with the problem.
PMS is very common among women. If you identify with the text, share it with your friends and family so that they also know more about the subject and understand how this difficult phase of the month occurs.