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- Patient Comments: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) - Effective Treatments
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- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) facts
- What is premenstrual syndrome?
- How common is PMS?
- When was PMS discovered?
- What causes PMS?
- What are the symptoms of PMS?
- How is the diagnosis of PMS made?
- What conditions are like PMS?
- How is PMS distinguished from other conditions?
- What treatments are available for PMS?
- What medications are used to treat PMS?
- Are there herbal or natural remedies for PMS?
- Can exercise help relieve some of the symptoms of PMS?
- Is there a "cure" for PMS?
Quick GuidePremenstrual Syndrome Pictures Slideshow: A Visual Guide to PMS Symptoms, Causes and Treatments
Are there herbal or natural remedies for PMS?
The fruit of the chasteberry tree (Vitex agnus castus) was shown in limited studies to relieve some of the symptoms of PMS. However, further studies are needed to clarify this association and to determine the value of chasteberry fruit as a potential therapy for PMS. Since herbal preparations are not regulated by the US FDA, caution is warranted when taking this or any kind of over-the-counter supplement. While evening primrose oil and gingko biloba are plant extracts that have been promoted by some as remedies for PMS, there is no evidence that these products are effective, and they are not recommended.
Vitamin supplementation with calcium, magnesium have been shown in some trials to help alleviate symptoms of PMS, and may have some benefit. Taking calcium and magnesium supplements may help some women. It is always important to recommend guidelines when taking vitamin supplements, since taking excess of some supplements may be harmful.
Can exercise help relieve some of the symptoms of PMS?
Evidence suggests that exercise can help relieve some of the symptoms of PMS in adolescents young women. Physical activity improves general health and helps relieve nervous tension and anxiety. Exercise is believed to release endorphins. Endorphins contribute to euphoric feelings such as the "runner's high" experienced after prolonged exercise. Endorphins are chemical messengers for nerves (neurotransmitters) that affect mood, perception of pain, memory retention and learning.
Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and improves overall fitness by increasing the body's ability to use oxygen. Swimming, walking, and dancing are "low-impact" aerobic activities. They avoid the muscle and joint pounding of more "high-impact" exercises like jogging and jumping rope. Benefits include cardiovascular fitness, muscle tone, weight loss or control, decrease in fluid retention, and increase in self-esteem.