Struggling with PMS this month – Vida-Flo is here to help

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to the group of symptoms and signs a woman experiences in the weeks before a menstrual cycle (period). Most women have PMS symptoms at a certain point in their lives. It is estimated that 75% of women have experienced some form of PMS.

What causes PMS?

The actual cause behind PMS is unknown, However, the following factors are seen as the main contributors to PMS:

  1. Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle: The fluctuation in estrogen and progesterone, the hormones responsible for a period, is considered a leading cause of PMS. Therefore, when the levels of these hormones stabilize during pregnancy and breast-feeding PMS disappears.
  2. Changes in a certain chemical in the brain, called serotonin, is another cause of PMS. Fluctuation in serotonin levels causes depression, mood swings, fatigue, food cravings, and sleep problems.
  3. Undiagnosed depression may be present in some women with severe PMS symptoms.

Symptoms of PMS

PMS symptoms usually follow a cyclic, predictable pattern. However, they vary from one woman to another and may vary for the same woman from one period to the next.

The physical pain and emotional stress may be strong enough in some women to affect their daily routine.PMS symptoms usually disappear within four days of the start of the period.

PMS Symptoms include:

Those affecting emotions and behavior, such as:

  • Anxiety.
  • Feeling upset
  • Depressed mood.
  • Tension.
  • Mood swings.
  • Bouts of crying.
  • Anger.
  • Irritability.
  • Food cravings.
  • Insomnia.
  • Lack of concentration.
  • Changes in libido.
  • Social withdrawal.

Those physically affecting the body, such as:

  • Bloating.
  • Fluid retention leading to weight gain.
  • Fatigue.
  • Muscle and joint pains.
  • Headache.
  • Breast tenderness.
  • Changes in bowel habits leading to diarrhea or constipation.
  • Acne flares.
  • Spotty skin.
  • Greasy hair.

When to ask for help?

If you feel you can’t manage your PMS symptoms with standard lifestyle changes, you may want to try out Vida-Flo.

Vida-Flo provides intravenous (IV) hydration therapy which provides the body with an equivalent of 2.5 gallons of water. This is important for women suffering from PMS, as both estrogen and progesterone affect the body’s hydration levels. Therefore, increasing the body’s fluid intake helps keep you hydrated and thus feeling better.

However, if you still can’t manage your symptoms or if they have become debilitating, meaning that they are affecting your health or daily activities you should seek professional medical advice.

This is because a small number of women develop debilitating PMS symptoms every month called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

What is the premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)?

PMDD is a recurrent disabling form of PMS what causes depression, mood swings, anger, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, difficulty concentrating, irritability and tension. Women with PMDD need professional medical help.

How to diagnose PMS?

There is no particular finding, laboratory test, or investigation that helps diagnose PMS.

The doctor usually links a woman’s symptoms to a certain predictable premenstrual pattern. The doctor may ask a woman to record her symptoms in a diary for two cycles, as well as, ask her to note the dates of PMS symptoms appearance and disappearance, in addition to, the first and last days of the period.

The doctor may perform some blood tests or other physical assessments to test for conditions with symptoms similar to PMS such as thyroid disease, mood disorders, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Treatment of PMS?

Lifestyle changes are usually sufficient in most women to treat symptoms of PMS. These include:

Dietary changes such as:

  • Eating smaller, morefrequent meals to reduce bloating.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids or going for a monthly IV hydration session at Vida-Flo to rapidly replenish the body with the volume of fluids it needs especially if during heavy periods.
  • Limiting salt intake to reduce bloating and fluid retention.
  • Eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and calcium-rich foods.
  • Avoiding alcohol and caffeine as they may exacerbate PMS symptoms.
  • Regular physical exercise such as walking, cycling, swimming or other aerobic activity for 30 minutes most days of the week helps improve overall health, relieves fatigue and improves the mood.

Managing stress level by:

  • Getting plenty of sleep (7 to 8 hours).
  • Practicing relaxation or deep-breathing exercises.
  • Trying out yoga, meditation,or a massage to help relax and relieve stress.
  • Keeping a daily diary of symptoms for 2 to 3 cycles to show to the doctor.

What medications are used to treat PMS?

If lifestyle changes are insufficient, occasionally the doctor may prescribe one or more medications to help relieve symptoms of PMS. These include:

  1. Anti-depressants: Especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which successfully control mood swings caused by PMS.SSRIs are the first-line treatment for severe forms of PMS and PMDD. They are usually taken in the two weeks before a period.
  2. Cognitive behavioral sessions
  3. Diuretics are used for bloating and fluid retention symptoms.
  4. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugssuch as ibuprofen are used to ease cramps and breast pain.
  5. Combined hormonal contraceptive pills.