Headaches and abdominal pain, mood swings and malaise – the days before menstruation affect many women. The complaints are individual, but some women are so affected that they have to severely restrict their everyday life during this time. Tikbow asked a gynecologist about symptoms, causes and tips for relieving PMS.
What is PMS?
PMS, short for premenstrual syndrome, refers to physical and emotional symptoms that occur during the period before menstruation. Typical symptoms are headaches, mood swings, water retention, pains in the abdomen or muscles – the severity of the symptoms varies from woman to woman. But one thing is certain: "Yes, PMS exists and many women know the symptoms, which usually occur a week before menstruation, only too well", says gynecologist and author Dr. Sheila de Liz. In addition to the above-mentioned complaints, other symptoms may include: Hot;hunger, sensitive breasts, nausea, fatigue, völlegefel, up to anxiety and in very bad cases even fainting. What exactly happens in the body?
"PMS is triggered by a weak second half of the cycle" explains the gynecologist. "Normally, the small bladder in which the egg is‘ used to produce the luteal hormone progesterone from day 15. PMS is a sign that too little of it is produced, which then becomes noticeable physically and psychologically." In summary: The more clearly hormone levels fluctuate shortly before menstruation, the more irritable and dissatisfied we feel.
What PMS actually means to women
A pronounced PMS is not something you should simply accept, de Liz emphasizes. The symptoms are also an indication that something is out of balance. An unhealthy lifestyle, smoking, alcohol, stress or too little sleep aggravate the symptoms. So do fast food, convenience foods and the magnesium deficiency that often results. "PMS wants to tell us: ‘Do some soul-searching! Is your current lifestyle really doing you any good?‘ The fact that we are more sensitive towards the end of the cycle should also be understood as an invitation to engage in self-reflection and to remember to value ourselves". PMS is – if we pay attention to it – so it is something that in the end can even strengthen us mentally if we decide to pay more attention to ourselves.
Tips to alleviate discomfort
As a doctor, Liz knows that predisposition can also play a role. Meditation, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle can help reduce symptoms, but they don’t always completely relieve them. In addition to taking magnesium preparations, nature-identical magnesium supplements can also help;ProgesteroneHowever, since the latter requires a prescription, it is all the more important to take your PMS symptoms seriously and talk to your gynecologist about them.
What PMS is not
PMS is not something cute or something you should roll your eyes at. It can’t be explained away. And there is no point in trying to simply get over it,” stresses the gynecologist. In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2017, British psychologist Robyn Stein DeLuca explained that many clichés about PMS nevertheless persist so stubbornly and the symptoms are declared to be a female problem: “We women have internalized too much the concept that the female body is flawed. " High time to change "something about this attitude!