Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS or PMT)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is defined as a recurrent, cyclical set of varying physical and behavioral symptoms that appear 7 to 14 days before menses and usually subside with onset. Depending on the symptoms and their severity, they usually interfere with some aspect of a woman's life. The effects of PMS range from minimal discomfort to severe, disruptive symptoms and can include nervousness, irritability, depression, and multiple somatic complaints.
Researchers believe that 70% to 90% of women experience PMS at some time during their childbearing years, usually between ages 25 and 45. According to the DSM-IV-TR, a more severe form of PMS is referred to as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD includes the psychological manifestations of PMS.
Causes of Premenstrual Syndrome
Signs and symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome
Clinical effects vary widely among patients and may include behavioral symptoms, somatic symptoms, or both. These symptoms include:
Diagnosis of Premenstrual Syndrome includes:
The patient history shows typical symptoms related to the menstrual cycle. To help ensure an accurate history, the patient may be asked to record menstrual symptoms and body temperature on a calendar for 2 to 3 months prior to diagnosis. Estrogen and progesterone blood levels may be evaluated to help rule out hormonal imbalance. A psychological evaluation is also recommended to rule out or detect any underlying psychiatric disorders.
Premenstrual Syndrome treatment
Educating and reassuring patients that PMS is a real physiologic syndrome are important parts of treatment. Because treatment is predominantly symptomatic, each patient must learn to cope with her own individual set of symptoms. Treatment may include antidepressants, vitamins such as B6 (pyridoxine), hormonal contraceptives, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, prostaglandin inhibitors, diuretics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Herbal remedies for PMS
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