Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is defined as a condition that manifests in distressing physical, behavioral, and psychological symptoms, despite the absence of organic or underlying psychiatric disease. It occurs regularly during the luteal phase of each menstrual cycle and either disappears or diminishes significantly by the end of menstruation.
Understanding the causes of premenstrual syndrome
The specific cause of PMS remains a mystery. However, cyclic ovarian activity and hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, are considered key aspects. Other influencing factors could include genetic predispositions, hormonal imbalances, or specific dietary and lifestyle factors.
Recognizing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome
PMS symptoms are extensive and can include both physical and emotional aspects. Physical signs may include breast tenderness, headaches, joint and muscle pain, increased appetite, and fatigue. Emotionally and behaviorally, mood swings, irritability, depression, anxiety and concentration problems may occur.
The intensity and severity of PMS symptoms varies from woman to woman
While some experience only minor discomfort, others may be severely affected by symptoms, significantly reducing their quality of life.
Assessing the severity and frequency of premenstrual syndrome
PMS is classified by severity: mild, moderate, or severe. In mild cases, a woman's daily activities are barely affected, while in severe cases, quality of life can be significantly impaired. The most intense form of PMS, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, affects about 3% to 30% of women. It is a serious condition that requires intensive clinical intervention, and women may experience extreme mood swings, severe irritability, and even suicidal thoughts.
Diagnosis and treatment of premenstrual syndrome: the role of cycle monitoring
Diagnosing PMS can be challenging because there are no specific tests. It relies mainly on symptoms and their regular monthly recurrence. An efficient method for recording and detecting PMS symptoms is cycle monitoring. By continuously recording monthly symptoms and their severity, patterns can be identified and the onset of symptoms can be predicted.
A healthy diet to help manage PMS symptoms
A balanced diet rich in nutrients can support you in your wellness. Research suggests that calcium and vitamin D, when sufficiently present in the diet, can reduce the risk of PMS.
The healing effects of exercise on premenstrual syndrome
Regular physical activity can have positive effects on PMS. Endorphins, often referred to as "happy hormones," are released in the brain during physical activity. These can naturally balance mood swings.
Stress reduction to improve PMS
Stress can make PMS symptoms worse. Relaxation exercises such as yoga, breathing techniques, or mindfulness-based stress reduction can help relieve PMS-related anxiety and irritability.
Tracking PMS symptoms with the Daysy Fertility Tracker
With Daysy, you can track your data over multiple cycles and identify patterns,, triggers and remedies of your PMS symptoms. For moderate to severe symptoms, you should consult a doctor to explore other possible causes and discuss possible alternative therapies.