I’m Not Usually This Crazy…HONEST!!10 Comments

By SassyChic
Posted on 27 Nov 2010 at 7:23pm

Premenstrual Tension? Or just an excuse for rude and coarse behaviour? I’m only asking because as much as it gets on my very last nerve when men make this unfair assumption, a clear distinction does have to be made between the two.

I’m sure if you’ve ever experienced PMT/PMS you will know that, heck yes! It does exist. Whilst some of us may experience  it in mild form and get pretty much get away with throwing a few dirty looks around for a few days, some of us females on the other hand have it a lot tougher. We know and pals like this right? Unless you’re that  pal in question!

You may have heard this condition being referred to as either PMS or PMT and thinking they mean different things. The terms premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual tension (PMT) mean that same thing and used interchangeably.

The NHS reports that three out of four women say PMT significantly affects their lives, with 5 to 10 per cent classifying their PMT as severe. With that in mind, I do wonder how come so many females suffer with PMT and don’t know when, why or how this happens to them month in, month out.

In my case it’s probably because after a few days or so the crazy feelin’ dies off and I just forget about it, hope my boyfriend forgives my random outbursts and carry on as normal…until the next month of course! Well as always I can’t help ‘preaching’ and saying it’s about ‘putting up’ with something or ‘shutting up’ about it. In this case, putting up with it means making small changes to keep the emotional ups and downs at bay! Here’s what I know and have learnt that may be a very effective and quick way help with your PMT.

The term PMT is used to cover a range of symptoms experienced by some women for up to two weeks before their monthly period. There are said to be more than 100 recognised symptoms that may be due to PMT. The issue really relate to the extent of disruption to your home and work life that’s attributable to the monthly cycle.

Of course I should add that none of these symptoms are exclusive to PMT. These symptoms can also be caused by other conditions such as depression, stress, thyroid gland problems (under- or over-activity) and anaemia. The obvious give away for knowing if it is PMT is that the symptoms will appear and disappear pretty much every month leading up to your menstrual cycle and in some cases right through the whole cycle.

Fortunately though, most women are only likely to experience a handful of these symptoms. I’m sure you’ll recognise the most common psychological symptoms such as irritability, mood swings, losing your temper easily, loss of confidence, crying for no particular reason, Aggression, Poor concentration, Tiredness. The Physical symptoms are you may have experienced are breast tenderness, abdominal swelling or bloating, weight gain, Swollen ankles, tiredness, headaches and possibly migraines.

 If you ever talk to a friend about your PMT you’ll have figured out that your version might either be milder or more intense than what she may describe. The National Health Service explains that women who suffer from PMT may possibly have a lower than normal level of a certain chemical in their brain (serotonin), which may explain some of the non-physical symptoms such as irritability, depression and mood swings. PMT is also attributed to normal fluctuations in hormone levels (even though at the time you really don’t feel that normal). During your cycle there is an accumulation of salt and water in the system, and a reduction in progesterone, the hormone that prepares the uterus to receive a fertilised egg.

So the part that is most significant about this post…TREATMENTS. There are many treatments for PMT, most of which have some short-term benefit. It’s likely that few of the treatments only provide relief for longer than a few months. Also treatment will depend upon the nature of the symptoms and their severity. There are two types of treatments, Non-Hormonal and Hormonal. You don’t need to try all just picking one will surely make all the difference to a stressful time in the month!

NON-HORMAL TREATMENTS

Lifestyle, Diet and Exercise – For many women, simple changes to diet and lifestyle, reducing alcohol (alcohol robs the body of essential vitamins and minerals which helps to regulate our hormone levels) and caffeine intake (caffeine lowers the body’s ability to absorb certain essential nutrients, and can aggravate skin problems) and cutting down on cigarettes will make the monthly symptoms more bearable.

Something quick and simple that can make a very big difference is eating less salt to reduce water retention.

Reduce sugar intake to combat weight gain and depression.  Control sugar cravings by taking a Vitamin B complex with added magnesium and chromium.

Vitamin B6 Supplements – This vitamin is commonly recommended for mood swings and irritability. Lack of Vitamin B6 is said to also cause irregularity in the menstrual cycle. There is said to be some interesting scientific support for its use for mild symptoms, but you need to be careful not to take too high a dose. It is advisable to consult your doctor before starting treatment.

Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) – Capsules of EPO can be helpful in alleviating premenstrual breast pain in some women. However, the evidence in favour of its effect is slight and it has been withdrawn from NHS prescription for this reason.

Diuretics (water tablets) – This option is one that may give relief from ankle swelling. They will not relieve abdominal bloating, which is not caused by fluid retention but by relaxation and distension of the muscle in the wall of the bowel. Diuretics need to be prescribed by a doctor and should only be taken for a few days each month in the lowest of doses.

Herbs and Spices– Camomile tea, taken two or three times a day in the week or fortnight before the start of a period is calming, and acts as a diuretic, removing some of the body’s retained fluid.

Stronger herbal diuretics, known as boldo, dandelion, juniper and parsley can also be used.  Most herbal diuretics work gently on toning and strengthening the body’s kidney function, with none of the harsh effects of conventional diuretics.

Another natural way of restoring hormone levels is the herb Wild Yam, which contains phytoprogesterone, a natural form of progesterone, and successfully used in the treatment of menopausal symptoms, may be used as an alternative to the synthetic hormone, progesterone, which is often prescribed in various forms to be taken during the second half of the menstrual cycle to restore hormone levels.  Many women feel more confident taking a ‘natural’ rather than a synthetic hormone.

HORMAL TREATMENTS

There are several types of hormonal treatments available for more severe and intense PMT however due to nature of this treatment you will need to consult your Dr. These treatments include Combined Oral Contraceptive (COC) pill (although some of the side effects can sometimes be similar to that of PMT so for me this is very questionable).  Danazol (synthetic hormone based on the male hormone testosterone), Oestrogen patches and implants, Mirena intra-uterine system (IUS) (a contraceptive device) and of course prescribed drugs.

For more professional and comprehensive advice and information visit www.pms.org.uk.

So now you know mine! Tell us your PMT stories and what helps you chill out!

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  • marian

    menses and its complications. hmmm!

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  • marian

    It’s very true cos i’ve also been facing similar troubles prior to my menses.Thanks for the eye opener,sassychic

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    maame Reply:

    same here hun..

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    marian Reply:

    oooh women. We suffer right frm menses to child birth n to menopause. god pls help us.

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  • marian

    My man doesn’t understand me when I face these problems. He thinks am just being snubbish. He certainly has to see this article.

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  • marian

    If spices and herbs help,then am in cos i love good spices.

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    Golden Gurl Reply:

    Yea the Vitamin B6 and some of the herbal teas work really well! Def try it and give it a go. Coz I know what it’s like and it’s worse when you feel like you can’t control your emotions or do anything about it. I just feel like everyone is working my las’ nerve when am on my cycle. Also apparently sugar is the ENEMY lol, if you cut down more it real can make a diff. Picked up a few more tips on this post like the water tablets and the wild yam looks interesting.

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    maame Reply:

    OHH LOL NOW I SEE. WELL I HAVE THE MOST BI-POLAR PERIOD EVER. OH GOD, THE FIRST DAY IS LIKE BEING IN HELL. aM GONNA TRY THESE STUFF TO SEE IF IT WORKS AND NO SUGAR THAT DAY. ONLY THE FIRST DAYS I HAVE PROBLEMS WITH.

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    marian Reply:

    Mine is the first 2 days.I can’t even walk. My knees becomes stiff n painful, as if there is no blood flowing thru.

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