Although a specific cause of premenstrual syndrome in health has not been identified, we do know that hormonal changes trigger the symptoms, and that there may be some binding factors, such as:
• Genetic or hereditary. Studies suggest that this disorder is more common in women whose mothers also suffered from it.
• Psycho-affective, emotional and psychological. Emotional problems and high stress seem to make symptoms worse. The woman’s possible mood disorders, her level of anxiety and a previous medical history of depression also play a role.
• Nutritional. Although it has not been possible to verify, it could be that the premenstrual syndrome is linked to a deficiency of vitamin B6, essential fatty acids, trace elements or hypoglycemia.
Can PMS be diagnosed?
To diagnose premenstrual syndrome, it must be based on the description of the woman’s symptoms, therefore, it is recommended that the symptoms that are perceived be recorded in a diary, as well as their duration, severity, feelings that she is going through and the repercussions that all this has in his daily life. With this information, she must go to the doctor in order to take into account these descriptions (which must be from at least three consecutive cycles) and thus determine the appropriate treatment, which will be focused on relieving the specific symptoms of each woman. The possible therapeutic approaches are mentioned below:
• Diet changes. In some women, increased protein intake and decreased carbohydrate intake may alleviate PMS symptoms.
• Reduce sodium intake to relieve fluid retention.
• Hormone treatment. Oral contraceptives are often a therapeutic alternative, especially for physical symptoms, although their effectiveness varies from case to case.
• Prescription of tranquilizers. The doctor will determine if the use of certain medicinal plants or even medications can help alleviate irritability, nervousness and lack of control, especially in cases where stress cannot be reduced.
• The intake of analgesics or anti-inflammatories can, in some cases, alleviate part of the physical symptoms such as headache, abdominal tension and breast tenderness.
• Some antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can be used by the patient’s doctor to relieve only the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
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