Munson Health
 
Premenstrual Syndrome

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by Scholten A

(PMS; Premenstrual Tension Syndrome)

 

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Diminished self-esteem
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep problems
  • Appetite changes (eg, sugar and/or salt cravings, overeating)
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Headache
  • Breast swelling and tenderness
  • Palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Muscle pain
Symptoms usually improve when bleeding starts (menstrual period).
 

Treatment

Treatment options include:

Dietary Changes

Dietary changes may be helpful. Your doctor may recommend that you decrease your intake of salt, sugar, and caffeine . Eating small, frequent meals may also help.

Vitamins and Minerals

The following vitamin and mineral supplements might reduce PMS symptoms:
  • Vitamin E (400 IU)—may reduce breast tenderness
  • Calcium (1,000 mg)—may decrease bloating, depression, and aches
  • Magnesium (400 mg)—may decrease pain, fluid retention, and improve mood
  • Manganese (6 mg)—may help control symptoms of menstrual pain
Talk to your doctor before you take any supplements.

Regular Exercise

Exercising throughout the week may help to reduce your symptoms.

Medications

Your doctor may recommend medicine, such as:
  • Diuretics to reduce bloating and fluid retention.
  • Pain reliever to relieve cramps, headaches, and muscle aches
  • Birth control pills to reduce physical symptoms
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors to reduce emotional symptoms

Psychotherapy

Women with severe PMS symptoms (called premenstrual dysphoric disorder ) may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy . Therapy may reduce negative emotions and enhance problem-solving skills in relationships. It may also manage obstacles, frustrations, and discomfort.
 

RESOURCES

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
http://www.acog.org/

Women's Health.gov
http://www.womenshealth.gov/

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/

Women's Health Matters
http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca/

 

References


Premenstrual syndrome. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq057.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20120824T1006488269 . Accessed August 24, 2012.


Premenstrual syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated June 14, 2012. Accessed August 24, 2012.


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) fact sheet. Women's Health.gov website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/premenstrual-syndrome.cfm . Updated May 18, 2010. Accessed August 24, 2012.


4/14/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Brown J, Shaughn O'Brien PM, Marjoribanks J, Wyatt K. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for premenstrual syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Jan 21;(1):CD001396.

 

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