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Premenstrual Syndrome

By: Alyxandria Herring

Do you by any chance experience irritability, mood swings, or perhaps have trouble sleeping a week or two before your period? You may be experiencing PMS, Premenstrual syndrome. PMS has a wide variety of symptoms besides the ones listed above such as tender breasts, stomach pain, acne, muscle aches, and so on. Symptoms range from mental changes to physical before your menstruation. Roughly up to 75% of those who menstruate are affected by PMS. The severity of how you PMS varies though from person to person, one person may have mild to no symptoms at all while others may experience severe pain and mood swings. Usually PMS goes away 2-3 days after you begin your period.

While the exact cause of PMS is uncertain, it is believed that it is linked to levels of estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen is a hormone found in everyone but is largely associated with women as they averagely have higher levels or it, similarly to how men are associated with testosterone due to higher levels. Estrogen affects menstruators by regulating the menstrual cycle and also affects your heart, brain, skin, pelvic muscles, hair, and breasts. Progesterone is a hormone that triggers your uterus lining to thicken for the potential of fertilization. Progesterone also regulates menstruation much like estrogen. During the first half of menstruation (before ovulation) estrogen levels are higher. However, after ovulating (during the second half of menstruation) estrogen levels drop and progesterone levels rise which triggers your period to begin. Estrogen and serotonin have been shown to be connected where a decrease in estrogen can lead to a decline in serotonin. A decrease in serotonin can lead to psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, irritability, poor appetite, and insomnia; symptoms which are similar to the ones described when PMSing. Increased levels of progesterone on the other hand have been shown to have both psychological and physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness and swelling, bloating, depression, and anxiety.

There are ways to help relieve symptoms of PMSing, such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol, being active, reducing sugar and salt intake, and so on. However if PMSing symptoms begin to affect your daily life, it is best to seek medical treatment.

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1 Comment

Allie van Erp
Allie van Erp
Jul 29, 2022

Very informative!

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