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Many women experience different changes in their body and emotions prior to the start of their period. Women can experience short temper, bouts of sadness, may feel over weight. These changes can be known as premenstrual syndrome, premenstrual tension or PMT for short.

Symptoms: Studies show that up to 90 percent of women experience some of the following symptoms prior to the start of their period. Many women find they can deal with these symptoms and enjoy their normal everyday activities.

However there are other women with more severe symptoms who find their lives are disturbed several days a month. If you experience severe symptoms it is advisable to go to a health practitioner who will be able to advise you on a course of action.

The most common emotional symptoms of PMS include:

  • Mood Swings
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Feelings of not being able to cope
  • Reduced interest in work and social life
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low Libido
  • Poor concentration
  • May feel unloved or unwanted
  • Wanting to be alone

The most common physical symptoms include:

  • Tender breasts or swollen breast
  • Weight increase
  • Bloating
  • Fluid retention
  • Insomnia
  • Tiredness
  • Constipation
  • Aches and pains
  • Food cravings
  • Low energy levels
  • Skin problems

PMS should settle down after you have had your period. If however you do happen to experience symptoms once you period has finished there may be an underlying issue. These symptoms may be due to depression, peri-menopause, or thyroid or other conditions so it is advisable to speak to your health practitioner. As you approach your 30s remember the symptoms tend to get worse around the 30s and may continue up until menopause.

Causes – There is no known cause of PMS however it is said to be linked to hormonal changes towards the end of the menstrual cycle affecting the internal workings of the body in particular the nervous system.

Treating PMS – There are lots of things you can do to help treat the symptoms of PMT. One of the best methods is to keep a calendar record of your PMT. Write down all the physical, emotional and psychological changes you had on the day of the month it occurred.

Try and cut down on sugar and fatty foods and eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. A healthy diet is always a good place to start.

Avoid alcohol, caffeine and coffee as well as these also impact on the nervous system.

Add in some form of aerobic exercise on a daily basis to your routine and make sure you get plenty of sleep.

Endeavour to keep stress to a minimal and if you are experiencing stress try and do meditation, relaxation techniques, yoga, tai chi or other forms of stress reduction techniques.

If you are experiencing prolonged symptoms or sever symptoms then speak to the health practitioner who is best able to advise you on other treatments.

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