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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or premenstrual tension (PMT) is a common problem that affects many women at any time from when they first experience their monthly periods until menopause. PMS refers to the mental, physical and emotional symptoms that woman can face on the days prior to their period and should disappear within a day or 2.

The cause of PMS is uncertain. However hormone changes in the body combined with diet, emotion, stress and lifestyle all contribute to the symptoms that women experience at or around the time of their periods.


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Physical Symptoms

  • Headaches

  • Back pain

  • Nausea

  • Sore and tender breasts

  • A bloated or puffy feeling

  • Clumsiness

  • Weight gain

  • Tiredness

  • Cravings for food, especially sweet things

  • Spots

  • Constipation

  • Sleep problems

There are also emotional symptoms associated with PMS and include irritability and tension, mood swings, feeling of worthlessness, lack of concentration, and being over sensitive.


The treatments for PMS include high dose oestrogen patches and anti-depressants. Other treatments used for PMS, tend to focus more on the symptoms than the underlying cause. Diet, exercise and relaxation, and mineral supplements (such as evening primrose oil and vitamin B6) all may help to aid in the self management of PMS.

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