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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to certain symptoms that occur one to two weeks prior to a menstrual period in a woman.

Its causes are not clear but some risk factors include:

  • Excessive caffeine consumption
  • Smoking
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Family history

Symptoms vary from person to person and may include:

  • Swelling in abdomen, hands and feet
  • Abdominal  cramps
  • Tender breasts
  • Acne
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Change in bowel movements
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

A lot of women can manage symptoms without treatment. In other cases, it may include:

  • Pain killers
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Antidepressants
  • Diuretics

There is no specific prevention for PMS but the following can help:

  • Regular exercise
  • Avoiding caffeine
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Avoiding tobacco
  • Having a low salt diet