Premenstrual syndrome: All You Need To Know

Everyone who has a uterus can explain to you with a pinch of despair that managing an all time fluctuating hormone is such a difficult task. 

There are days when you want to go out and explore new things, you’re ready for challenges, and you even enjoy the traffic on red lights whereas on other days, bloating, tears, and a big no to everything – you all must have been through this. 

You all feel maximum hormonal in the final week of your two cycles. This phase is called luteal phase. During this phase, you produce the most hormones and they also fluctuate the most.

In case your sex hormones aren’t as balanced as you want them to, this phace will probably make it evident through your PMS symptoms like mood swings, bloating, breast tenderness, anxiety, headaches, insomnia, acne, and fatigue – sounds familiar?

This blog explains what’s the cause of PMS, and what you can do to survive this time of the month calmly.

The Fundamentals

PMS means premenstrual syndrome. To be honest, PMS is just a sophisticated way of describing the painful symptoms you experience before your periods.

The symptoms include but they aren’t confined to:

  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Bloating
  • Mood swings
  • Change in sleep pattern or insomnia
  • Appetite changes
  • Water retention
  • Breast tenderness
  • Acne
  • Sugar cravings

You can consider these symptoms as a little messenger from your body that something is wrong with it and it needs little attention.

What Is The Root Cause Of PMS?

Factors that influence PMS are:

1. Hormonal Imbalances

When you experience these signs at the end of your cycle, it most probably indicates hormonal imbalances related to progesterone, oestrogen, or in some cases even both.

This may look like:

  • Lower level of progesterone: This is often caused due to stress, hard workout, or your body doesn’t get the food or nutrients it needs to ovulate.
  • Higher than appropriate levels of oestrogen: This happens when you get exposed to xenoestrogen in your environment, the food you eat, the oral contraceptive pills, high body fat and alcohol.
  • Oestrogen metabolizing poorly: It is the ability of your body to detoxify old oestrogen it doesn’t require now. Poor oestrogen metabolism occurs when either your liver isn’t working at its full capacity or you aren’t able to move your bowels.

2. Lower Immune Function

Menstrual cycle has a very clever relationship with your immune system. Oestrogen helps in regulating your immune system, keeping you as safe as it can in the first half of your cycle when your body is preparing itself for ovulation.

Your immune system is slightly suppressed by hormonal shifts around your ovulation. This is perfectly normal as it newly fertilizes eggs from the immune system’s attack. 

  This simply means any health condition that was kept at bay by your immune system in the follicular phase becomes prominent during the luteal phase and it gets worse when your hormones fall down before your periods.

3. Inflammation

  Inflammation in your body raises the activity of an enzyme known as aromatase. This changes testosterone to oestrogen. More Inflammation results in higher levels of oestrogen and oestrogen metabolites. Your PMS symptoms get worse with this.

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