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All about premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) causes of premenstrual syndrome diagnosis of PMS treatments of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) premenstrual syndrome medications herbal therapy to cure premenstrual syndrome premenstrual syndrome (PMS) diet premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

What treatments are available to cure premenstrual syndrome (PMS)?

Different treatments are aimed at different causes of premenstrual syndrome, and different approaches may relieve some symptoms but not others. Anti-inflammatory drugs are especially helpful for cramping, bowel symptoms, breast pain, and headaches. Diuretics (water pills) help with swelling and sometimes headaches. Antianxiety drugs and antidepressants (which usually also relieve anxiety) may help with mood, irritability, and concentration. For those women who also seek

contraception, contraceptives such as pills and patches (all of which inhibit ovulation) may be of value as they reduce the hormonal variability of the natural menstrual cycle. Indeed, the progestin drospirenone (Yasmin) has been associated with a further decrease in PMS/PMDD symptoms because of its unique action as a mild diuretic, although it is not yet specifically approved for this indication. Supplements help some women as well.

General measures include dietary changes, exercise, and emotional support from family and friends during the time of a woman's cycle. Avoidance of salt before the menstrual period, reduction of caffeine intake, elimination of smoking, alcohol and refined sugars have all been recommended and may help symptoms. Other dietary alterations that have been recommended include restricting the intake of animal fats, dairy products and calcium.

Women have been encouraged to increase their intake of complex carbohydrates (for example, pasta and rice), magnesium and zinc (minerals), vitamins A, E, and B6. While doses of vitamin B6 of 50mg once or twice daily can help relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, excessive use of vitamin B6 is discouraged, since it can cause nervous system symptoms including tingling and numbness in the arms and legs, and even permanent nerve damage

If your symptoms are moderate to severe and interfere with your normal daily activities, then your doctor probably will prescribe medications aimed at relieving specific symptoms.For example, if you are troubled by bloating and weight gain, then your doctor may prescribe a diuretic to help your body eliminate the excess water. Oral contraceptives, especially birth control pills containing both estrogen and progestin, may be used to minimize the severity of cramps and the length of your period.

If you have symptoms of irritability, social withdrawal, angry outbursts or depression that interferes with your work or home responsibilities or your personal relationships, then your doctor may suggest that you try an antidepressant medication. These medications have proven to be effective in alleviating these types of symptoms. The most effective antidepressants for relieving PMS are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which include fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem and others), sertraline hydrochloride (Zoloft) and clomipramine (Anafranil). Other antidepressants include nefazodone (Serzone) and venlafaxine (Effexor). These can be taken for two weeks prior to each period or can be taken every day.

For very severe symptoms, or when other medications fail, your doctor may prescribe a medication that causes the ovaries to stop producing estrogen so that ovulation stops. Danocrine (Danazol) is a synthetic androgen that suppresses the hormones in the brain that trigger ovulation. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GRNH) agonists, such as leuprolide (Lupron), create a temporary menopausal state by suppressing hormones in the brain that control the production of ovarian hormones and ovulation. These medications can be used only for short periods of time. They commonly lead to hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. If therapy needs to continue for more than six months, you will also have to take estrogen to prevent bone loss. Whether your symptoms are mild or severe, it always helps to have your family's understanding and support while you are being treated for premenstrual syndrome. For this reason, your doctor will encourage you to speak frankly with family members about your symptoms and your premenstrual syndrome treatment.

Ability to cope with the extra burden of premenstrual hormone changes may be enhanced by a variety of non-medical means. Regular exercise may improve your self-esteem and provide you with a feeling of being more healthy. Similarly, relaxation by a variety of means and improving your diet may have a beneficial effect. There is no evidence that special diets for premenstrual syndrome have additional benefit. Theoretically, pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) and magnesium may be beneficial as they are known to play an essential part in the chemistry of the brain: controlled trials, however, have shown little scientific evidence of clinical benefit. Counselling may be assist some individuals to assess their problems in life and make a start on sorting them out.

More information on premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

What is premenstrual syndrome (PMS)? - Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the name given to a group of physical and emotional symptoms that some women experience on a regular basis in relation to menstruation.
What are the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome? - Symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe. Women can have premenstrual syndrome of varying duration and severity from cycle to cycle.
What is dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps)? - Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) is not considered a symptom of premenstrual syndrome. A woman can experience both premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhea.
What causes premenstrual syndrome (PMS)? - Lifestyle may play a significant role in premenstrual syndrome. Premenstrual syndrome involves inflammatory substances called prostaglandins.
How is the diagnosis of PMS made? - The diagnosis of premenstrual syndrome can only be made from the history. The most helpful diagnostic tool is the menstrual diary, which documents physical and emotional symptoms over months.
What treatments are for premenstrual syndrome (PMS)? - Different treatments are aimed at different causes of premenstrual syndrome, and different approaches may relieve some symptoms but not others.
What medicines can help for premenstrual syndrome treatment? - Anti-inflammatories prevent the body from producing prostaglandins. Hormones such as nafarelin (Synarel) and leuprolide (Lupron) prevent your body from releasing eggs and undergoing a menstrual cycle.
What herbal therapy is available for premenstrual syndrome? - Certain herbs have been evaluated for use in premenstrual syndrome. Many over-the-counter herbal preparations combine various herbs with certain vitamins to create a premenstrual syndrome formula.
What's the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) diet? - A daily diet based on general nutrition guidelines can help in overall well-being as well as premenstrual syndrome control. An adequate vitamin and mineral intake may help with premenstrual syndrome symptoms.
What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)? - Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe, disabling form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Women who experience PMDD may have abnormal reactions to normal hormone changes that occur with each menstrual cycle.
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Natural Formula for PMS Relief
Herbal remedies are safe, effective and non-addictive, and have been used by herbalists for centuries to promote female reproductive health throughout the menstrual cycle. Formulated in convenient drop form, Femalite may be taken when needed for support during the premenstrual and menstrual period.

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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005