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Definition of Premenstrual syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome: A combination of physical and mood disturbances that occur in the last half of a woman's menstrual cycle after ovulation which normally end with the onset of the menstrual flow. Physical features of the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) include breast tenderness and bloating. Psychological changes include anger and depression.

Monthly chemical changes may be responsible for PMS. The chemical changes may involve sex hormones, neurotransmitters, and opioid peptides.

PMS can be mimicked and must be distinguished from other disorders. The most helpful diagnostic tool for PMS is a menstrual diary. Treatment of PMS includes exercise, dietary changes, emotional support from family and friends, and medications. The medications for PMS include diuretics, pain killers, oral contraceptives, drugs that suppress ovarian function and antidepressants. Abbreviated PMS.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=5031
Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

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