The age-old question, what is PMS, is going to be explained in two wild stories. Once, a friend of mine started crying because her dog walked away from her, and that made her think that no one loved her. Another friend was making a quesadilla, and she tried to flip the tortilla, but instead, dumped the ingredients all over the stove. Then, she screamed and threw the spatula across the kitchen!
These are just two samples of what ladies go through in the weeks before their periods. This condition is known as PMS. Let’s try to understand more about PMS.
What Is PMS? — The Definition
PMS is an acronym that means Pre-menstrual Syndrome. It involves either emotional or physical symptoms that women may undergo seven to 14 days before menstruation. The symptoms may not be the same among different women. For one to be diagnosed with PMS, they have to show a continuous series of emotional and physical signs that may start after ovulation and/or slightly before menstruation to the extent of altering one’s normal functioning. A comprehensive diagnosis will require a daily record of symptoms over a few months to study the consistency. Before a determination is made, various disorders that exhibit the same symptoms will have to be excluded.
What Is PMS? — Causes
The actual trigger or cause of Pre-menstrual Syndrome is still unknown. Scientists have noticed changes in hormones during the menstrual cycle as one of the causal factors. Other researchers have also claimed that the start of PMS is when the corpus luteum dies, leading to progesterone loss and depressing the central nervous system.
However, it is also believed that some symptoms may be triggered by the consumption of high levels of alcohol, salty foods, and caffeine. These triggers have been found to be contributing factors in changing hormone levels, so one is advised to reduce the consumption of these foods, as well as reduce any stress. Exercises are also recommended for those who show certain symptoms.
What Is PMS? — Signs and Symptoms
Do you have a record of symptoms that make you think that you have PMS? First, you need to understand that there are over 250 different symptoms that have been elated to PMS. So, the one you have noted could certainly be associated with this condition.
Known emotional symptoms include mood swings, increased emotional sensitivity, insomnia, anxiety, stress, tiredness, food cravings, and changes in sexual interests. Physical signs may be exhibited through lower back pain, bloating of the stomach, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, joint and muscle pain, breasts becoming tender or swelling, and acne or whiteheads.
The above symptoms may be different between women and may change from cycle to cycle.
To sum it all, it is important to note to answer what is PMS, is that PMS happens mostly to women who are between the age of 20 and 40. Depressed women or those with a history of depression and past medical history may also be more affected by PMS.