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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) (cont.)

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Prevention

Lifestyle changes for PMS

  • Perform aerobic exercise (if not daily, then 3-4 times a week, even a brisk walk).
  • Learn and use stress management techniques such as relaxation, deep breathing, meditation, a warm bath, listening to music, or yoga in your day.
  • Limit salt intake (to help reduce fluid retention, bloating, and swelling especially in the feet and hands).
  • Limit caffeine intake (caffeine can make breast tenderness worse and increase headaches).
  • Avoid alcohol (alcohol can often affect a woman differently before her period).
  • Eat small meals and snacks spread throughout the day so you don't go for long periods of time without eating.
  • Vitamin therapy
  • An adequate intake of some vitamins may help prevent some of the symptoms of PMS, although this has not been conclusively established.
  • Vitamin B6 - 100 mg per day maximum (larger doses sometimes cause serious side effects). The patient can also take a B-complex that includes all the B vitamins. Vitamin B6 may take the edge off irritability and reduce fatigue and depression.
  • Vitamin E - 400 IU per day (maximum) may be helpful in reducing breast tenderness.
  • Calcium - 1,000-1,200 mg per day of elemental calcium (the labels on foods and supplements give the amount of elemental calcium they contain) may reduce bloating, body aches, anxiety, or depression.
  • Magnesium - Some small studies of magnesium supplementation have shown that 200 to 360 mg of magnesium taken up to 3 times per day may provide some relief.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Prognosis

The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome are usually gone within 3-4 days of the start of a woman's period. If a woman has a severe case of PMS, some doctors will treat them with a variety of medications or with a combination of medicine, diet, and exercise. The only definitive cure for PMS is removal of the ovaries, which may have many other complications and unwanted long- and short-term consequences. Most women gain benefit from existing therapies without surgery.

Medically reviewed by Wayne Blocker, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology

REFERENCE: Premenstrual syndrome.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/25/2016

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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a recurrent luteal phase condition characterized by physical, psychological, and behavioral changes of sufficient severity to result in deterioration of interpersonal relationships and normal activity.

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