The premenstrual syndrome
(PMS) refers to a variety of symptoms
which recur in the same
phase of the menstrual cycle. These generally make their appearance two to seven days before
the onset of menstruation and are relieved once the menses start.
Approximately , 40 per cent of menstruating women suffer from premenstrual tension and it
occurs mostly in women over 30 years of age. IN some women, the onset of symptoms
to coincide with ovulation and may then persist until menstruation commences. IN some rare
cases, relief from the premenstrual syndrome
may be obtained only with the cessation of the
The onset of this syndrome
is abrupt, generally with a headache which is often accompanied by
vomiting. A general feeling of depression
and irritability permeate the entire experience. What is
worse, these symptoms
intensify progressively, making the last day of the PMS the worst.
Tension headaches are common during this period, but in some cases, migraines attacks occur
with severe pain and vomiting. The patient suffers from breast tenderness, which is sometimes
so severe that it is almost unbearable. There may also be abdominal bloating , accompanied in
some cases, by odema of the ankles and hands. Some women resort to dieting to get rid of the
abodminal bloating but this only leads to fatigue
. Others may experience a
craving for sweet foods.
Some of the less common symptoms
are exacerbation of epilepsy
dizziness, back ache, hoarse
voice, greasy hair , acne
and allergic reactions.
Patients suffering from premenstrual tension may show a gain of weight of one kg or more in the
latter part of the menstrual cycle due to salt and water retention. The retention of fluid is partly
due to ovarian steroids, but there is also an increased output of anti diuretic hormone from the
posterior pituitary gland
There is no specific laboratory diagnosis
of the premenstrual syndrome
. The problem can be
diagnosed on the basis of past history showing a clear, recurrent relationship between a stage of
the menstrual cycle and the onset of symptoms
as well as the coincidence of relief with the start
or cessation of menstruation. The patient may maintain a personal diary about her symptoms
and feelings during those days. The record should be kept for atleast three cycles.
The causes behind the premenstrual syndrome
still remain unexplained. Some authorities
believe that deficiency of hormone progesterone
may result in PMS but this has not yet been
satisfactorily proved. Emotional stress
can often contribute to the symptoms
, and the social
relationship of the patient needs to be reviewed.
A team of researchers at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore and John Hopkins University School of
Medicine, London, through carefully controlled studies concluded that dietary deficiencies
particularly that of vitamin E and vitamin B6 or pyridoxine are the most common causes of PMS.
Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms
. Where only mild symptoms
experienced , the problem can be elevated by a change of routine. Extra work and stressful
situation should be avoided. Fluids should be moderately restricted and care should be taken not
to add extra salt to the food.The patient's partner and family members should be educated about
all the facets of the PMS. The patient should not take any oral contraceptives
as these may
cause fluid retention and lowering the plasma
levels. Hormonal imbalance and infections of the
can be helped by a natural diet regimen.
As most women feel tension arising from chronic constipation
it is essential to treat this condition
first. In constipation
, the putrefying faecal matter may be reabsorbed into the bloodstead, and
the same blood, if supplied to the brain, will cause gradual enervation. Constipation
relieved by a lukewarm water enema and liberal intake of seasonal fruits and vegetables and
simple fibrous meals.
Other treatment for the PMS include regular cold hip baths for 10 to 15 minutes twice a day. This
will congestion and inflammation of the uterus
and connected organs. Tension will also be
dissipated with this treatment. Hot foot baths followed by a cold compress to the lower abdomen
and the inner surfaces of the thighs also help to relieve uterine congestion and tension.
If the cold hip bath is not practicable, a wet girdle pack applied twice a day on empty stomach is
very beneficial for clearing up uterine congestion and improving bowel function.
All these statements should be suspended during the menstrual flow.
Diet pays a significant role in preventing premenstrual syndrome
. The patient should avoid
refined carbohydrates, sugars, coffee, tea, tobacco, other stimulants, oily, fried or spicy food and
A regular practice of yogasanas, especially those recommended for strengthening the
genito-urinary system will be very useful in overcoming premenstrual syndrome
. These asanas
are bhujangasana, shalabhasana, vajrasana, paschimotanasana, ardhamatsyendrasana and
trikonasana. Other helpful measures are brisk walks and abdominal exercises which are good
for strengthening the abdominal muscles and pelvic organs.
Great relief can also be obtained by manipulating the tender points gently, on the big as well as
other toes of the feet. Manipulation on the middle portion of the leg foot which relates the uterus
and vagina will help to correct the disorder of the uterus
Mental poise is an important factor. Negative mental attitudes like fear, worry, anger, jealousy ,
tension and inferiority complex should be eliminated by positive thinking, meditation and good