Also called as Premenstrual Tension or PMT, Premenstrual Syndrome in women is characterized by a series of changes (both physical and emotional) that occur in relation to the monthly menstrual cycles.
While some women may experience physical symptoms like bloating, cramps or breast tenderness, others may experience emotional symptoms like stress, depression, mood swings etc. And although these conditions may be considered as a part of the normal ovulatory function of a woman, in some cases, they may be too severe to handle and can seriously hamper one’s daily routines.
Understanding the symptoms of PMS is important as it would give you a firsthand knowledge on how you need to go about determining its causes and treatment. And although the symptoms and the severity of the same would vary from one woman to the other, in general most women who have PMS experience these symptoms from time to time.
Accordingly, the more common symptoms of PMS include breast tenderness, bloating, bingeing, hunger pangs, weight gain, fatigue, irritability, aggression, anxiety, depression, stress, mood swings, concentration issues, migraines and tearfulness etc.
Common Causes For Premenstrual Syndrome
The funny thing about PMS is that even though it affects every other woman out there, there is no specific cause for the condition. And while there are several theories that seem to point out the reason for PMS, the exact cause for the same still remains delusive.
Fluctuating Hormone Levels
One of the most common causes for PMS as adjudged by many happens to be fluctuating hormone levels in the female body.
Of all the hormones present in the female body, progesterone and estrogen are considered as the hormones responsible for menstruation and reproduction. And so, changes in the levels of these hormones inside the body could possibly cause symptoms related to PMS in the body.
Physical And Emotional Changes In The Body
Changes in certain body chemicals can also cause PMS, according to certain studies. While changed levels of progesterone and estrogen can trigger off PMS related symptoms like fluid retention, weight gain, bloating, breast tenderness etc., changes in the levels of certain body chemicals can cause emotional issues that sync with the symptoms of PMS.
For instance, during menstruation, the levels of serotonin in the brain change substantially. Serotonin is a brain chemical which also acts as a neurotransmitter. And so, changes in the levels of the same can trigger off a series of emotional conditions like mood swings, irritability, depression, and anxiety etc.
Other General Factors
In addition changing hormonal and body chemical levels, there are a few other factors that can cause Premenstrual Syndrome. These include:
Lack Of Nutrients:
Crash or power dieting can strip your body off essential nutrients it would need to function on a daily basis.
Without these nutrients, your body would cease to function normally. And this can affect simple routines like hormone production which with time can cause PMS.
High Intake Of Salt:
It has been found out that women who opt for salty foods or include high amounts of salt in their dishes tend to develop the symptoms of PMS early on in their lives.
Excess salt can lead to water retention and cause bloating, two conditions that are synonymous with PMS.
Caffeinated Drinks And Alcohol:
High intake of caffeinated drinks and alcohol can also cause PMS in women. Accordingly, these drinks can significantly lower the serotonin levels in the body, thus leading to conditions like stress, anxiety and depression.
The diuretic effects of caffeine can potentially inhibit the body from absorbing vital nutrients and minerals for healthy growth and sustenance. In addition to it, the drink would also create a loosening effect which in turn would lead to important minerals and vitamins being washed off along with other impurities. The decreased levels of nutrients can in turn aggravate hormonal changes and thus cause PMS.