Health Guide
Drug Guide

Premenstrual syndrome

What is it?

Premenstrual (pree-men-strull) syndrome (sin-drome) is also known as "PMS." This name is given to symptoms that may begin 1 or 2 weeks before your monthly period. These symptoms usually go away soon after the start of your period. PMS may be worse some months and better others. It can affect the way you act or feel. About half of all women have PMS at some time. It is more common as you get older. There is no cure for PMS but medicines may help your symptoms.


Changes in chemicals in the body called hormones cause PMS. Things that may make PMS worse are a poor diet, lack of exercise, or eating and drinking too much caffeine. Symptoms of PMS may be worse if you have stress or mental problems. Caregivers do not know why some women have PMS worse than others.

Signs and Symptoms:

Wellness Recommendations:

Eat a healthy balanced diet and get 7 1/2 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Exercise daily. Eating less salt may help the swelling in your body.

Medical Care:

There is no cure for PMS. Medicine ("water pills") that helps your body get rid of water can help swelling. Birth control pills or depression medicine may help you feel better. Counseling or joining a PMS support group may help you and your family cope with PMS. You may have a blood test, when you are feeling both good and bad, to measure your estrogen and progesterone hormone levels.

Dietary Measures:

Herbs and Supplements:

Before taking any herbs or supplements, ask your caregiver if it is OK. Talk to your caregiver about how much you should take. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the label. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to. The herbs and supplements listed may or may not help treat your condition.




Care Agreement:

You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


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Last Updated: 9/15/2016

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