What Cause PMS?

What causes PMS, or Premenstual Syndrome? It can be very debilitating to many women. There are ways to combat the myriad of symptoms.

About half of all menstruating women have Premenstrual Syndrome at sometime or another. No one really know what causes this common group of symptoms to develop one to two weeks before the onset of a period. However, there is a viable theory that may explain why PMS occurs.

Hormone changes occur regularly in women of all ages. Women who have normal cycles tend to have higher estrogen levels at the start of a period and lower levels at the end of the cycle. For women that suffer from PMS, estrogen levels stay high during the whole cycle producing a host of symptoms we collectively call PMS.

PMS occurs before the menstrual cycle and generally subsides once menstruation begins. There are a reported 150 different symptoms that are associated with PMS. Some of the more common symptoms can include mood swings, breast tenderness, cramps, headaches, cravings, depression, changes in bowel habits, fatigue, blemishes, weight gain and so on. Severity varies from women to women, but seems to increase with age. Stress may also be a factor. Most women get by without needing medical assistance. However, there is a small percentage that do require it. PMS most often affects women who have undergone major hormonal changes in life. Example of this would be, childbirth, miscarriage, abortion, stopping birth control pills, and amenorrhea.

If you do decide you do need medical help for PMS, it is a good idea to have a record on hand of your symptoms. Keep a detailed report of when your menstrual cycle started and ended as well as what symptoms you experienced. Jot down when the symptoms occured as well as the severity. This way, when you arrive at the doctor's office you have some kind of record showing your symptoms therefore making diagnosis and treatment that much easier. This is also a great way to avoid costly medical testing.

There are many ways to help comfort oneself during this tring period. Natural remedies are always preferred. Magnesium and calcium taken daily may help in the long run. Magnesium can be taken in 600 mg. daily divided into 2 or 3 doses. Combine that with 1500 mg. of calcium. These two vital nutrients should be consumed on a regular basis by women and men to maintain great health. Vitamin B complex shoud be taken once or twice daily in 100 mg. doses. Take with food. Start this one week before your cycle and continue until the cycle is complete. Vitamin E has been known to help reduce breast tenderness, cravings, fatigue, and depression. It has been shown to improve production of prostaglandins or chemical messengers. This is the feel good hormone. Recomended doses of this is 400 to 800 units per day. Other natural helps include fish oil, evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil, and acidophilus. Acidophilus actually may help to reduce higher levels of estrogen. Dandelion may be helpful for bloating and Kava can help with moodswings.

Of course, there is good old Motrin IB for the pain and over the counter water pills to help with water gain. And, don't forget good old excersise. It is a good idea to consult your physician before taking any medicine or natural product.

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