PMS is not a real disease and for this reason it is often underestimated by gynecologists, yet 60% of women suffer from it
Six out of ten women, one week before the menstrual cycle, begin to experience a series of really annoying symptoms: it is the premenstrual syndrome. Let’s try to understand what it is and what are the symptoms.
In this article
What is premenstrual syndrome
It is a set of physical and mental disorders that regularly disappear with the onset of menstruation and which occur with sudden mood swings, depression, irritability, crying fits and pains of various types, from localized tension in the breasts or lower abdomen to fluid retention, from skin problems to headaches.
What do all these ailments depend on?
It is not known precisely cause, but only the mechanism that causes them. Which is a kind of auto-allergic reaction. Basically, the ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone which increase respectively immediately after ovulation and just before menstruation but, in the case of PMS, due to incorrect commands given by the pituitary, there is an excess of secretion: it is a type of hormonal self-intoxication! Who is paying for it, then, is the liver that normally has to work harder in the days before menstruation to metabolize the hormones too many, and that is therefore congested. But the key is in the psyche, because one thing is certain: hormones and mood are closely linked.
Since ancient times, the somatopsychic changes associated with this phase of the menstrual cycle have been a source of prejudice: already in Pliny’s “Natural History” we read that women of childbearing age were impure and caused damage to crops, orchards, and domestic animals that were withheld unable to control their impulsesyes because of the effect of hormonal fluctuations on the psyche.
The term “Premenstrual Syndrome” was introduced in the 1960s by Greene and Dalton and has since been attributed more than 150 symptoms that embrace multidisciplinary fields: from gynecology to endocrinology, from dermatology to neuropsychiatry. In its broadest sense, SPM can be defined as
the cyclic recurrence, in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, of a combination of physical, psychological and / or behavioral changes of sufficient severity to lead to a deterioration in interpersonal relationships and / or interference with normal activities “(Reid RL, 1985)
Premenstrual syndrome, symptoms
Before menstruation there can be many different symptoms, both physical and psychological. In fact, it is estimated that virtually all women have gods symptoms of PMS, some lighter others more serious (in some cases even disabling). Here is a list of the most common symptoms.
- Breast pain
- Feeling of bloating
- Swelling of the face, abdomen and fingers
- Weight gain
- Changes in appetite
- Acne and other skin rashes
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Muscle or joint stiffness
- General tenderness, especially in the back
- Cramps / abdominal pain
- Exacerbation of seizures, migraines, asthma, rhinitis or urticaria
- Mood alteration and depression
- Want to cry feeling “out of sorts”
- Tiredness, fatigue, lethargy
- Tension, discomfort, restlessness
- Difficulty in coordination, clumsiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Changes in sexual interest
- Sleep disorders
- Insatiable appetite
- Loss of self-control
There are those who suffer from headaches or constipation. Or experience an unusual and irrepressible craving for carbohydrates, especially sweets and chocolate, or salty foods.
PMS can also be affected by stress: this is why it affects women between 30 and 40 with more intensity. At this age, in fact, they have more commitments and are divided between work, home and children.
Remedies for PMS
So here are some tips that can help you face those days in full well-being.
The diet: cereals, fruit, fiber and little salt
In the days preceding menstruation, hunger attacks are frequent, often characterized by the desire for a specific food: chocolate, sweets or pasta are the most popular. These attacks are triggered by a drop in blood sugar levels. They are also thought to be affected by a drop in serotonin levels – a neurotransmitter that promotes peaceful sleep, keeps mood swings at bay, and influences the regulation of estrogen and progesterone hormones. Especially sugar levels but also serotonin levels are affected by what you eat.
The most suitable foods are those rich in complex carbohydrates, which favor the production of serotonin and help maintain a constant blood sugar level: cereals and whole grains, such as:
- bread and crackers,
- legumes, such as beans, chickpeas and lentils,
Nutritionists suggest adding a portion to each meal.
Green light also to fish: provides proteins …