Dual Offer + FREE Dr Advice | WhatsApp Prescription | Book Home Visit ✆ 09220145540

Menu Icon
  • Home
  • Health Tips
  • Premenstrual Syndrome Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Treatment

Premenstrual Syndrome Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Treatment

Premenstrual Syndrome Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Treatment

Posted By HealthcareOnTime Team Posted on 2022-01-26

Majority of the women complain about body pain, stomach ache, weight gain, anxiety, depression, etc. before the onset of their monthly cycle. They know that they are feeling and thinking differently, but have no control over these changes. However, during this period of time, they not only undergo physical changes, but also experience emotional and behavioural changes. These changes culminate into a series of symptoms and their severity can affect quality of life by interfering with the routine activities, interpersonal relations or social life. This overall phenomenon is termed as Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). This article briefly explains about this condition, its symptoms as well as the causes and risk factors behind it.

Premenstrual Syndrome Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Treatment

What is Premenstrual Syndrome?
Premenstrual Syndrome is a common cyclic disorder in young and middle- aged women. Though there is no precise definition of Premenstrual Syndrome, it is broadly described as any constellation of symptoms that occur in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. In general, these symptoms occur 10- 12 days before the menstrual period begins and subside completely with the commencement of menstrual bleeding. The term was first described by Frank and Horney in 1931. They postulated the condition on the basis of possible physiopathological origins and on some forms of treatment. Later in early 1980s, Premenstrual Syndrome became a household term and many articles were published to spread awareness among women to tackle the horrors faced during this time of the month.

For centuries and still, Premenstrual Syndrome has not been taken very seriously. But, it is a real, repressive problem for those who suffer from it and also to their loved ones. For some women, it is just a minor problem, whereas in others, these changes can be severe enough to place significant restrictions on daily activities and make it hard to even get through the day. Women who have severe affective symptoms will often cry at the slightest issue without any valid reason and sometimes, the world for them would seem completely negative. Hence, due to severity, Premenstrual Syndrome is listed under "Diseases of the genitourinary system: Pain and other conditions associated with female genital organs and menstrual cycle' by the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Classification of Disease (ICD), 10 Revision.

Though, the true prevalence of Premenstrual Syndrome is unknown, from retrospective community surveys, it is estimated that around 90% of women have experienced at least one Premenstrual Syndrome symptom in the menstrual phase of the cycle. Approximately, 75-80% of the women of reproductive age suffer from this syndrome. Premenstrual Syndrome may initiate at any phase in a women's reproductive life cycle and about one third to half of all women of childbearing age are affected by this condition. Women over the age of 30 years are more prone to be affected by this condition.

The severity of Premenstrual Syndrome symptoms in women varies from cycle to cycle and it ranges from mild to severe. Women with mild Premenstrual Syndrome experience clinical symptoms such as body ache, pain in lower limbs, which do not affect psychological behaviour; whereas in case of severe Premenstrual Syndrome, both the body and mind are affected in a way which impacts daily life. This severe form of Premenstrual Syndrome is known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and around 3-8% women are affected by this condition. It has been reported that up to 59.6% women dealing with Premenstrual Syndrome symptoms would prefer treatment to cope up with this condition and around 28.8% seek medical help. Most of the women manage these symptoms through lifestyle modifications and conservative treatments.

What are the signs and symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome?
Premenstrual Syndrome often produces physical as well as emotional or behavioural changes in a woman. There are more than 200 symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome or PMDD that are described ranging from mild to severe. Severity of these symptoms varies from one woman to another which can lead to difficulty in treating the condition. In fact, these symptoms have also been documented to push some woman towards crime.

Few symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome are listed below.
- Physical changes
- joint or muscle pain
- Swollen or tender breasts
- Stomach ache, headache or backache
- Digestive problems (bloating, constipation or diarrhea)
- Acne
- Weight gain
- Fatigue
- Weakened immune system
- Emotional or behavioural changes
- Irritability
- Anxiety or Depression
- Emotional fluctuations
- Sleep disorder
- Change in sexual interest and desire
- Increase in appetite or food cravings
- Trouble with concentration or memory

What are the causes for Premenstrual Syndrome?
The exact cause of Premenstrual Syndrome remains unknown and yet there is no specific abnormality or defect that has been identified. Despite many studies conducted, researchers are still uncertain about the causes of Premenstrual Syndrome, though the general suspicion is - it may be complex or multifactorial. In women with Premenstrual Syndrome, combination of a variety of risk factors may affect the fine balance between hormones and neurotransmitters. The factors are as follows:

Hormonal changes Hormones play a significant role in menstrual cycle. They protect the female body from physiological changes. However, imbalance in these can cause genuine distress in women and can interfere with daily functioning. These hormonal changes along with chemical changes in the central nervous system (CNS) are thought to be the most common causes that contribute to Premenstrual Syndrome progesterone and Estrogen are the two ovarian hormones that are involved in the menstrual cycle. Levels of both of these hormones in the body are not same at all times. Correct ratio of these hormones aids in good health. However, imbalance in their levels can lead to physical pain and emotional disturbances. Their functionality is generally in tandem to ensure sound health of the reproductive system. The appropriate levels of these two are not only essential for a symptomfree menstruation but also have an impact on other bodily functions. The levels of progesterone and estrogen in women with Premenstrual Syndrome are shown to be same as compared to the unaffected ones. Some studies suggest the possibility of affected women being more sensitive or harbouring abnormal response to hormonal fluctuations.

Chemical changes Interactions between neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain) and reproductive hormones along with their derivatives play an important and complicated role in the activity of the hypothalamic- Heredity pituitary-adrenal (HPA) system. This system controls Premenstrual Syndrome symptoms are often passed on from mother to functions like reproduction, feeling of well-being, appetite and also regulates stress response. Therefore, disturbances in these chemicals may be the underlying mechanisms that affect Premenstrual Syndrome.

Progesterone gets metabolised into its derivatives namely: allopregnenolone and pregnenolone, Women suffering from past or current mental health Allopregnenolone acts as a gamma-aminobutyric acid A(GABA) receptor positive allosteric modulator which enhances the effect of GABA. This neurotransmitter has anti-anxiety and relaxation properties.

Estrogen and progesterone play a crucial role in maintaining adequate amounts of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Estrogen increases the production rate of these neurotransmitters, while progesterone reduces their levels. Thus, increased or decreased levels of ovarian hormones can also alter the levels of these neurotransmitters further causing Premenstrual Syndrome.

Serotonin is used in regulating mood and a number of other functions such as appetite, memory, sexual urges, etc. Low levels are associated with depression and food cravings.

Norepinephrine is from catecholamine family and it enhances memory, promotes vigilance, increases heart rate, blood pressure, etc.

Dopamine is associated with the pleasure system that improves feeling of relaxation and motivation Depleted levels result in anxiety, tension, irritability, mood swings, etc. Dopamine causes production of cortisol in response to stress and low levels of it are associated with depression. Dopamine is also known as Prolactin. inhibitory factor due to its effect on prolactin

Endorphins are natural opiates produced by CNS and pituitary gland. These chemicals are natural painkillers and also regulate pituitary hormones. Varying levels of these may cause Premenstrual Syndrome.

What are the Risk factors for Premenstrual Syndrome?
There are number of other factors which do not directly seem to cause Premenstrual Syndrome but increase the risk for the same, which are:

Age Women are more prone to Premenstrual Syndrome in their late 20s to early 40s and the condition worsens with increasing age. Some women experience Premenstrual Syndrome symptoms in teens and early 20s while others do not get it until 30 years of age.

Heredity Premenstrual Syndrome symptoms are often passed on from mother to daughter, but the intensity and symptoms vary. Thus, family history of Premenstrual Syndrome can also put a woman at a higher risk.

Psychological factors Women suffering from past or current mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, stress or other related disorders are subjected to augmented physiologic response, which may enhance symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome or PMDD and increase their risk.

Dietary and lifestyle factors Poor eating habits are associated with Premenstrual Syndrome which include excess consumption of salty and sugary foods. Eating lots of salty foods can cause water retention and further lead to bloating, while foods with high sugar content are thought to be responsible for fatigue or mood changes. Similarly, drinking alcohol and caffeinated beverages may alter your energy levels and cause mood swings. Furthermore, insufficient intake of minerals such as calcium, Magnesium and vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin can increase the risk of developing symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome. Sedentary lifestyle is also a known factor that can contribute to Premenstrual Syndrome.

Environmental factors Environmental factors and situations like parental loss, childhood difficulties, lack of social support and sexual abuse can increase risk of Premenstrual Syndrome.

Diagnosis of Premenstrual Syndrome
There are no specific Pathology Test or physical findings which can be used to diagnose Premenstrual Syndrome. The medical provider diagnoses the condition based on patient's medical and personal history. Also, the patient is asked to maintain a menstrual diary to keep records of the symptoms, menstruation and ovulation days; if possible for over a period of 3 - 4 months. The symptoms are divided into three parts including physical, emotional and mental, and also the severity of symptoms is expected to be recorded. If the symptoms are seen to always appear 7 to 10 days prior to the menstrual cycle, it is an indicative of Premenstrual Syndrome or PMDD condition. It is also important to rule out other possible conditions that may cause symptoms similar to that of Premenstrual Syndrome. These include thyroid disorders, Diabetes, side effects of contraceptive pills, etc. For e.g. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH test) can be recommended to diagnose thyroid problems. Further diagnosis of PMDD is made on consultation with mental health professionals.

Treatment and prevention
There is no cure for Premenstrual Syndrome and instead multiple ways can be recommended to reduce its symptoms and impact on daily activities. Single treatment option does not work for all women. For many women with mild Premenstrual Syndrome symptoms, few lifestyle adjustments like dietary modifications, regular exercise, abstinence from alcohol or caffeine, adequate sleep, managing stress ete. may be sufficient to control symptoms. Severe symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome cannot be treated with home remedies and hence medications are prescribed in such cases. Common medications that can be used to treat Premenstrual Syndrome include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which aid in relieving pain. Oral contra ceptives can help to eliminate Premenstrual Syndrome symptoms in some women, but also has its own side effects. Similarly, diuretics help get rid of the extra sodium and fluid in the body which reduces bloating, abdominal and breast pain. Antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and anti-anxiety drugs can be used to regulate severe Premenstrual Syndrome symptoms such as depression or mood swings. Supplements of minerals like calcium and magnesium, and vitamins like vitamin B6, Folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin E can be used to overcome nutritional deficiencies which make Premenstrual Syndrome symptoms worse.

Many women experience multiple symptoms during their menstrual cycle. These abnormal Premenstrual Syndrome symptoms could range from mild to severe conditions, showing signs of imbalance, though natural and a routine for all women, need to be managed with utmost care to avoid affecting other facets of life.


View Our Editorial Policy
Was this article helpful?

Trending Health & Fitness Web Stories

Find Latest Health Web Stories, Fitness Photo Stories, Health AMP Stories.VIEW ALL

Did you catch our latest post? JOIN US

Facebook LinkedIn Instagram Twitter YouTube

Contact Us

Email: info@healthcareontime.com | Phone No: 09220145540 | Whatsapp: 9820693367
  • Copyright 2024 HealthCareOnTime.com, All Rights Reserved
  • Disclaimer: HealthcareOnTime offers extensively researched information, including laboratory testing for health screening. However, we must emphasize that this content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always prioritize consulting your healthcare provider for accurate medical guidance and personalized treatment. Remember, your health is of paramount importance, and only a qualified medical professional can make precise determinations regarding your well-being.
DMCA.com Protection Status HealthCareOnTime.com Protection Status HealthCareOnTime.com Protection Status