Premenstrual syndrome is well known but little understood, by the women who have it and the physicians who treat them. times, it seems that every woman around has PMS, but it never the same. One woman swears she’s bloated and craves chocolate; another has crying fits and mood swings, while a third gains or has insomnia. The symptoms range all over the map. What’s you can’t do anything about it, right?
Even though it affects 80 percent of women, PMS can’t seem any respect. In fact, our culture loves to make jokes about PMS how it makes women lose control. There’s nothing funnier or than a woman who gets enraged because there’s no ice cream house, or because her husband forgets to do something he was to do.
The jokes exist in part because there are a lot of misconceptions about PMS and its causes. Some people think it’s just a normal a woman’s life while others refuse to believe it exists. Neither opinions are true, however. PMS is confounding: it includes than 150 symptoms that happen to occur during the menstrual This complexity makes PMS difficult to identify and to treat. provides the perfect opportunity for people and businesses to the marketplace and hawk purported PMS cures, such as the dubious therapies that abound on the Internet.
Medical experts haven't deciphered all of the mechanisms involved in PMS, but they do know it is driven to some degree by brain chemistry. The neurotransmitter serotonin seems to play a central role. PMS is also driven by a woman's family history, her diet, and her lifestyle. On a biological level, some women are simply more predisposed to getting PMS. It may be a relief to many sufferers to know that there are valid medical explanations for those infamous mood swings, anxiety, and irritability—there’s even a biological explanation for PMS food cravings! For the small percentage of women who have severe PMS, it is a relief to know that their devastating symptoms are part of a legitimate disorder rather than something they’re imagining.
Though our culture considers PMS a “female thing,” premenstrual syndrome affects more people than the women who have it. It takes its toll on a woman’s family, on her relationships, and even on job. Researchers recently calculated that PMS costs society billions of dollars as each woman diagnosed with PMS accrues more than $4,000 in direct and indirect costs, such as days lost from work, lost productivity while on the job, and medication costs!
Unfortunately, many women simply give up in the face of such a diffuse disorder: they’re confused by their symptoms and wonder what, if anything, they can do about them. PMS treatments vary from simple at-home strategies, such as taking pain relievers and adjusting how you eat and exercise, to hormone treatments, antidepressants, and numerous alternative therapies; navigating through them can tricky.
The truth is that women with PMS don’t have to give up and accept their symptoms as a matter of course.