The Facts About PMS

About a week or two before your period, you start to feel a little abnormal. You become very tired, your stomach hurts, and your mood fluctuates. This isn’t new to you, you are very aware of what is happening: Premenstrual Syndrome. Although the symptoms go away after menstrual bleeding starts, these couple of weeks can be rough for you. The symptoms of PMS may not be the same every month; some are worse than others. For some women, however, every month is a challenge.

Why Do I Get PMS?

The cause of varying PMS symptoms is not really known, but several factors may be considered. Your lifestyle could play a pivotal role in why you get it. If you drink caffeine, alcohol, eat unhealthy, salty food, you are likely at risk. The most logical cause is that your hormones change during the menstrual process. That could be causing many of the symptoms. PMS can be aggravated if you are someone who suffers from depression or stress.

Premenstrual Syndrome also occurs more often in certain women. Usually you are susceptible to PMS if you are between your 20’s and early 40’s. It could also be attributed to family history of mental illness. Having already had children could also be a factor.


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What Can My Gyno Do?

Your gynecologist can diagnose premenstrual syndrome. If you experience the same kind of symptoms every month, your doctor should be able to deliver a diagnosis pretty easily. However, some of your symptoms could be related to other medical conditions such as:

  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Anxiety
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Menopause

Before diagnosing you with PMS, your doctor will want to rule out the above conditions.


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What Are the Common Symptoms of PMS?

If you are experiencing one or more of these signs, you very well may have PMS. They include:

  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Frequent headaches
  • Back, joint, or muscle pain
  • Odd food cravings
  • Swollen or tender breasts
  • Changes in appetite
  • Trouble concentrating

    Can PMS Be Treated?

    There isn’t a universal treatment for PMS. Really the best thing to do is examine your lifestyle and adapt in order to avoid the syndrome. Practice these healthy habits, and you might lessen your symptoms.

    • Get at least 8 hours of sleep a night
    • Drink plenty of water
    • Avoid sugar, caffeine, salt, alcohol, cigarettes
    • Get regular exercise
    • Begin a vitamin regimen of Vitamins D, B, E, Magnesium, Calcium, and Folic Acid

    Over the counter medication is available to relieve any pain associated with PMS. Ibuprofen and medications like Pamprin or Midol can alleviate headaches, cramps, breast tenderness, and back pains.

    Call us at Stony Brook Women’s Health to get more suggestions that are suited to you specifically. We are here for you and are happy to discuss any of your concerns with you.