Premenstrual syndrome is a collection of symptoms which only happen in the run up to a period. These might include psychological issues such as mood swings, low mood, irritability and anxiety, and more physical effects such as spots, breast tenderness, bloating, sleep disturbance, cyclical headaches and tiredness. PMS is very common but the degree to which these symptoms affect women varies greatly. If you think you are suffering from PMS, it is a good idea to keep a symptom diary. There are various changes you can make to your lifestyle which may improve the symptoms. You can make these changes yourself.
• Take regular relaxing exercise such as walking, yoga or swimming as well as more vigorous exercise which increases your heart rate
• Try to get enough sleep – 8 hours a night is recommended
• Eat a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and avoid processed foods and too much salt, sugar, caffeine and alcohol
• If you smoke – give up
• Reduce your stress levels – try massage or other relaxation techniques
If simple measures fail to improve your symptoms, other treatments can be tried.
• Simple painkillers (Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, Co-codamol) can help with any pains
• Evening primrose oil capsules may help breast tenderness
• Vitamin and mineral supplements may help (Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Calcium and Folic acid)
Stopping ovulation often relieves the symptoms of PMS. This can be achieved with the use of the contraceptive pill or injection or an injection of a medicine (GnRH analogues) which gives you a temporary menopause. Some women also improve with the use of some antidepressants. Very occasionally the symptoms are so bad that removal of the ovaries (and possibly the womb) is warranted. Olivia can help you manage your PMS so you can get back to your normal self.