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What is PMS? -- 5 things every woman should know about PMS

Updated on May 1, 2018
Being a woman is a wonderful thing...Except when you're hit with PMS
Being a woman is a wonderful thing...Except when you're hit with PMS | Source

I witnessed this while waiting for my green tea latte:

Man on the phone: "Just take a pill and be ready. You know we can't miss this."

Impatiently disconnects the call and turns to his friend: "She's PMS’ing again. I can't stand her when she gets like that. I just wish she could finally realize IT'S ALL IN HER HEAD."

It took all my self -control reserves to stop myself from turning around and punching him on the face and telling him that the throbbing pain he felt from that punch was ’all in his head.’

Many women go through PMS every month and every month they have to endure being seen as crazy or irrational creatures. Many women have heard this so often that they're starting to believe it.

But here 5 things every woman should know about PMS.

Things you need to know, in short...

  • PMS is a real condition. So real that it can be used as a defense in criminal court.
  • PMS is caused by chemical imbalances in brain, leading to physical and emotional pain.
  • When PMS turns more serious, it is called PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) and may need to be treated with psychiatric medication.

PMS is real. It's not all in your head

Don't let anyone minimize the way you are feeling when they tell you that it is "all in your head."

Men love to use that line on us. I think it makes them feel stronger and smarter. If they only knew how horrible this can feel! Men are such little kids when it comes to dealing with pain, that I'm sure if they went through PMS they would end up in the hospital claiming imminent death.

But I digressed. PMS is a very real condition that can affect a woman’s life immensely.

PMS is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, which can make the brain go haywire by causing emotional as well as physical disturbance and pain. The pain be so extreme that some women have to miss work or other important occasions because of this monthly battle. In fact, 52 % of women surveyed admit that they know someone who has missed work due to PMS symptoms.

PMS wouldn't be so crippling if physical pain were the only thing that came with it. To add insult to injury, PMS can also come with some pretty bad emotional responses such as:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • extreme moodiness
  • marked irritability
  • anger
  • panic attacks
  • and many more horrible things...

Have you suffered from PMS or PMDD?

Do you struggle with PMS or PMDD?

See results

PMS is not normal

We have grown so accustomed to saying "PMS" that we have forgotten what it really is, or what those three letters stand for. PMS stands for PreMenstrual Syndrome. It's a syndrome. By definition, a syndrome is an abnormality. Yes, PMS is not normal. It's common, but it is not normal. Most men and women think the PMS is and should be part of every woman's life. But it shouldn't.

What causes PMS

During a woman's period, hormones and chemical neurotransmitters in the brain experience drastic changes. In other words, your brain loses its cool.

Estrogen an progesterone levels drop dramatically which can lead to physical and emotional imbalances.

Not only do your girl hormone levels go crazy, but some of your feel good hormones and neurotransmitters go on vacation as well. Your endorphin and serotonin levels decrease, which explains why PMS can cause you to feel depressed, irritated and ready to choke the first person you see.

PMS is no joke.
PMS is no joke. | Source

PMS is treatable

As painful as PMS can be, we can find solace in knowing that there are ways to alleviate these horrible pains. Many women resort to over-the-counter medication or herbal treatments. (Personally, herbal treatments don’t do much for me. I have to grab the nearest Excedrin at the first symptom.)

However, PMS can also be treated by taking good care of yourself throughout the month. Exercise and good nutrition can work wonders to help your body manage those chemical imbalances that come every month with your period.

For more information on ways to treat one of the symptoms of PMS (cramps) click here.

I have noticed that when i exercise everyday for at least 30 minutes, my cramps and depression don’t seem to be as bad as when I don't exercise.

PMS can be used in criminal court

Men shouldn't really joke about PMS. It is a condition so serious that PMS and PMDD (a severe, disabling form of PMS,Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder) can be used as legal defenses in criminal court. The chemical imbalances in the brain can be so drastic (and real) that a woman could potentially plead insanity while experiencing PMS or PMDD. I'm not encouraging murderous behavior, but men, you better watch out what you say.

PMS is no laughable matter. Every month turns into a battle and things can get ugly. But with patience and a lot of trial-and-error we might just be able to beat the beast.

Patients with PMS symptoms in a given year

Fraction of US population
1 in 1810 = 0.055%
1 in 3120 = 0.032%
Number of US patients
0 per year
136,500 per year
136,500 per year
Average patient age
36 years
36 years

Computed by Wolfram-mathematica


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