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Premenstrual Syndrome – Symptoms, causes and other factors

PMS means PreMenstrual Syndrome. There are many signs and symptoms of this condition which can vary from one woman to another woman. You can have slightly different symptoms which can vary every few months or you can have similar PMS symptoms every month that vary in intensity. This means that not all women are having the same PMS symptoms. In the most cases these symptoms are happening at the same time of your menstrual cycle every month. Also in the most cases women are feeling these symptoms two weeks before their menstrual period begins. When women are in this period, then they feel many different types of symptoms such as depression, irritability, fatigue, food cravings, tender breasts and mood swings. There are some studies in which is shown that three in four women have felt some of the premenstrual syndrome symptoms. These symptoms are recurring in a predictable pattern. The emotional and physical changes which you have in your PMS can vary a lot. This means that people who are around you will not notice that you have changes in your mood or they can notice that you are having intense mood. But you should not let these symptoms to control your life. There are some treatments which you can use or you can make changes in your lifestyle that can manage or reduce the signs and symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome.

Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome

There are many signs and symptoms that women are experiencing through this period. In the medicine there are more than one hundred different symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome. Here are the most common signs and symptoms:

Emotional and behavior symptoms:

  • Poor concentration
  • Social withdrawal
  • Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
  • Appetite changes and food cravings
  • Mood swings and irritability or anger
  • Crying spells
  • Depressed mood
  • Tension or anxiety
  • Loss of libido which means that you have lost interest in sex
  • Tiredness
  • Clumsiness
  • Restlessness

Physical signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Acne flare – ups
  • Breast tenderness
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Weight gain related to fluid retention (you can weight gain up to one kilogram)
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Joint or muscle pain

There are some women who have lot of emotional stress and physical pain which are severe and they can interrupt in their everyday activities. In the most cases these signs and symptoms are disappearing within 4 days of the beginning of the menstrual period for most women. The number of women who have disabling symptoms every month with their PMS is a small number. In the most cases women are feeling premenstrual syndrome symptoms which are making them feel uncomfortable but also there are some women who cannot do their daily activities as the result of these symptoms. PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) is the previous mentioned form of PMS. These symptoms are psychological symptoms at most compared with the physical symptoms. The symptoms of PMDD are:

  • Extreme tension and irritability
  • Very low self – esteem
  • Sleeping much more or less than usual
  • Decreased interest in usual activity
  • Extreme anger and anxiety
  • Persistent sadness or depression
  • Feelings of hopelessness

PMS signs and symptoms are including tension, irritability, difficulty concentrating, feeling overwhelmed, anxiety, anger, mood swings and depression. If you have made some changes in your lifestyle and you still feel that the PMS signs and symptoms are affecting in your everyday activities and your life, then you should visit your doctor.


The real cause for PMS is not known, but also there are many factors which can lead to this condition such as

  • Depression: Women who have severe PMS have undiagnosed depression. But the depression if it is alone will not cause any of the PMS symptoms.
  • Chemical changes in the brain: The serotonin is a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) which has a big role in the mood states. When we have fluctuations of this brain chemical, then this chemical can trigger the premenstrual symptoms.
  • Cyclic changes in hormones: These signs and symptoms are disappearing when you have menopause or pregnancy. The hormonal fluctuations are the reason why the signs and symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome are appearing.