Friday, 8 November 2013

Premenstrual Syndrome : Definition, Types, Diagnosis and Risk Factors

I. Definition
Premenstrual syndrome effects over 70% to 90% of women in the US and less for women in Southeast Asia because of their difference in living style and social structure. It is defined as faulty function of the ovaries related to the women's menstrual cycle, it effects a women's physical and emotional state, and sometimes interferes with daily activities as a result of hormone fluctuation. The syndrome occurs one to two weeks before menstruation and then declines when the period starts.
II. Types of premenstrual syndrome
1. Anxiety
Anxiety is a common symptoms for women with PMS, it is caused by hormone imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. Most women with PMS is found to very high levels of estrogen and low levels of progesterone before menstruation.
2. Craving
Some women with PMS may experience the symptom of food craving, it is caused by abnormal liver function in carbohydrate synthesis. Without coordinating between liver and pancreas, it causes high levels of insulin in the blood stream, resulting in increasing the risk of sugar craving. Other theory suggest when a woman under stress before period, she may grasp for everything which makes her feel more comfortable.
3. Hyperhydration
Breast tenderness or water retention are always a problem for some women with PMS. Breast tenderness is caused by over production of prolactin as resulting of abnormal function of pituitary gland. Water retention is either caused by inability of digestive system in absorbing of potassium or abnormal function of lymphatic function. Some theories also suggest that fluid retention is caused by high levels of serotonin.
4. Depression
Researchers found that women with symptom of depression always have unbalance levels of estrogen and progesterone as resulting of liver abnormal function of fat and protein metabolism. Without right levels of estrogen and progesterone, it causes nervous tension resulting in increasing nervous disorder including depression.
III. Diagnosis
Premenstrual syndrome may be similar to other types of symptoms such as candida, diabetic reaction, allergic intolerance, thyroid function. As of today, no test can diagnose PMS, the only method is to photocopy and fill in the menstrual symptom diary. If there are increasing symptoms in the two weeks before menstruation then it may be premenstrual syndrome.
IV. Risk factors
Researchers found that women with the below categories will be more likely to develop premenstrual syndrome:
1. Genetics
If any one in your family have it, you may have it, although there is no proof about it.
2. Age
If you are between 30 - 40 years of age
3. Children
If you have more than 2 children, your risk of premenstrual syndrome increases significantly.
4. Pregnancy succession
Your risk of PMS increases if you have experienced many pregnancies in quickly succession.
5. Abnormal Hormone upheaval
If you have experienced a hormone upheaval caused by miscarriage, pregnancy, or pregnancy termination, you are at a high risk of developing PMS.

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