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What you go through before your period is about to arrive, anxiety, tender breasts, mild pain in your abdomen, etc., is called premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It is nothing extraordinary, and almost all women experience PMS every month. But there may be some cases with PMS when you will need to see a doctor. We’ve put together some key points you may not know about this condition.
1. The first thing you should know is that the female hormone estrogen is the main trigger of the changes that you experience throughout your whole cycle. Bloating, swelling of arms or legs, and food cravings are the usual physical symptoms. Feeling overly emotional, experiencing depression, overall weakness, anger and irritability, or having anxiety and social withdrawal may also occur. The main hormones that are responsible for tender breasts before your period are estrogen, progesterone and prolactin.
2. Nearly 90% of women experience unpleasant symptoms before their periods. As many as 20% to 40% of women may have PMS at some point in their life.
3. PMS is present when:
Physical and emotional symptoms occur reliably a few days before multiple consecutive menses (periods).
The symptoms go away after completing a period and don't occur at other times.
The symptoms cause significant personal problems (such as at work, school, or in relationships).
No medicines, drugs, alcohol, or other health condition might be to blame.
4. Sometimes PMS can be a health condition requiring medical assistance.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of PMS that can only be treated medically. The symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of PMS, but are severe enough to interfere with work, social activities, and relationships. PMDD occurs in 3 to 5 percent of menstruating women. If you think you might be suffering from PMDD, see your ob-gyn ASAP to get medical help.
Many women gain relief from the symptoms of PMS with lifestyle changes including exercise, vitamins, and a caffeine-free diet. Doctors may also prescribe hormonal birth control or certain meds depending on the case and medical history.