As women we tend to have a lot of issues surrounding our menstrual cycle whether it is just cramps, a few mood swings or something more serious. PMS or premenstrual syndrome is just one example of issues we can have regarding our cycle. Premenstrual syndrome is both physical and emotional distress during the postovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle. It can also affect you during menstruation. If you suffer from PMS you will most likely have the symptoms one to two weeks before your actual menstruation.

As you progress towards your menstruation the symptoms tend to increase. While you may feel physical discomfort during the week before menstruation, you may experience a heightened discomfort one or two days before your period. The symptoms of PMS include weight gain, breast swelling, breast tenderness, bloating with distended abdomen, water retention, headaches, backaches, acne, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, cold sores, depression, cravings, hot and cold flashes, insomnia and overall body aches. You may also bruise easier during this time.

While we may joke about PMS, it is a real condition that can cause problems in a women’s life. Women may be irritable, tired and in pain, making it difficult to function properly. Not really surprising is the fact that close to three fourths of the population of women suffers from PMS. It is also not really surprising to find the symptoms will increases as a woman gets older.

Most women accept PMS as a natural occurrence during the menstrual cycle and do not seek a physician’s advice for the relief of any of the symptoms. One reason for this may be the lack of knowledge about the condition. While it is obviously related to the menstrual cycle, there is a lack of understanding as to the cause of the symptoms and why some women are more affected than others. Some scientists believe that PMS is related to the production of estrogen and progesterone. Theories have been created where estrogen excess, progesterone depletion, vitamin B6 deficiencies, low levels of serotonin, excess of prolactin, and a change in glucose metabolism may be related to the symptoms women experience.

PMS may also be related to weight in some cases. Those who monitor the foods they eat, and are not overweight, tend to have fewer symptoms, while being overweight will increase some of the discomforts. Calcium is another vitamin women may need during menstruation. Calcium is related to bone density and a lack of it calcium during the menstrual cycle may cause other imbalances.

While there are drugs that help alleviate the symptoms there are also natural methods of reducing symptoms during PMS. Yoga is one very beneficial method since it not only helps with relaxation during stressful times, but the acts of stretching and exercising themselves help alleviate some of the body pain. Eating right is another great option for women suffering from PMS. Changing habits during the PMS stage is an easy way to possibly help eliminate some or all of the symptoms.

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