Articles on pms

Are You Pms-Ing? (All About Premenstrual Syndrome)

Dr. Jyotsna Gupta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
75% OF WOMEN SUFFER from headaches, mood swings, bloating, and other problems that threaten their relationships, work life, and well-being.PMS (Premenstrual syndrome) has been known by women for many years. However, it is only for the past 30 or so years that pharmaceutical companies have targeted and created a market to treat this normal part of a woman's cycle as a disease.Premenstrual syndrome refers to the collection of symptoms or sensations women experience as a result of high hormone levels before, and sometimes during, their periods.One type of PMS is characterised by anxiety, irritability, mood swings & depression around cycle time, breast tenderness, vaginal dryness or itchiness, cyclic insomnia, night sweats & fatigue. These feelings are usually relieved with the onset of bleeding. Most likely, this type relates to the balance between oestrogen and progesterone. If oestrogen predominates, anxiety occurs. If there's more progesterone, depression may be a complaint.Sugar craving, fatigue and headaches signify a different type of PMS. In addition to sugar, women may crave chocolate, white bread, white rice, pastries, and noodles. These food cravings may be caused by the increased responsiveness to insulin related to increased hormone levels before menstruation. In this circumstance, women may experience symptoms of low blood sugar; their brains are signalling a need for fuel. A consistent diet that includes complex carbohydrates will provide a steady flow of energy to the brain and counter the ups and downs of blood sugar variations.Simple Steps to ease PMS1:   Take care of your diet.This means:Cut out caffeine.Stop eating refined flour, sugar, and processed foods.Stop drinking alcohol.Balance your blood sugar by eating protein, such as a protein shake, eggs, and nut butters, for breakfast.Eat evenly throughout the day and don’t skip meals.Don’t eat within three hours of bedtime.Increase fiber in your diet from vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains. Increase omega-3 fats by eating more fish and walnuts.Eat organic food, especially animal products, to avoid environmental estrogens from pesticides.2:   Take supplements.A number of supplements have been shown to help ease PMS symptoms by improving metabolic function and hormone metabolism. Here are the superstars:Calcium citrate.Vitamin B6 ,folate and vitamin B12.Evening primrose oilEPA/DHA (omega 3 fats)A daily dose of multivitamins (all the nutrients work together)Isoflavones from soyReplacing healthy bacteria in the gut also helps normalise oestrogen and hormone metabolism. Take 5 to 10 billion live organisms in a daily probiotic supplement.3:   Get moving.Exercise is very important for balancing hormones. Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, 4 to 5 times a week.4. Address stress.Dealing with stress is also critical. Take a hot bath at night, get a massage, try yoga, learn deep breathing or meditation.If your symptoms are severe and are affecting your daily life, you should consult a Gynaecologist for Medical intervention.Dr. Jyotsna Gupta

Get Rid of PMS for Good!

Dr. Disha Sridhar, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
"And When She Was Good She Was Very, Very, Good, and When She Was Bad She Was Horrid."You see it all the time: That crazy, cranky, above else hungry female character depicted in movies and TV shows for decades on end. It's an overused stereotype that unfortunately represents how a large section of our society sees women during 'that time of the month', even today.  Why I find the depiction problematic is because it makes us believe that all of this is normal. We as women, also grow up believing that PMS is an inherent part of being a female and we are bound to suffer every month after month. Well, I am here to tell you, Its not true! PMS is a symptom of underlying hormone imbalance, which can be fixed and is totally preventable.What the is PMS?Even though it stands for 'pre'­menstrual syndrome, PMS doesn’t necessarily occur right before your period. The symptoms can present themselves any time between ovulation & menstruation, which is the second part of your monthly cycle- also known as your luteal phase. During this period a woman may experience everything and anything from bloating, ravenous hunger, acne or anxiety.But let me tell you, PMS is not normal. Its a sign of underlying hormone imbalance which can be corrected. The cause of this imbalance is usually-too much estrogen, coupled with low progesterone, and micronutrient deficiencies. All these coupled together can make your brain & body to go on an un­fun rollercoaster ride. Anything from imbalanced nutrition to unresolved relationships can disrupt the hormonal balance in your body. Despite the fact that many women now approach their doctors wanting to understand PMS and get help, there is still a belief among conventional practitioners that these symptoms are strictly hormonal or even worse psychological, and have nothing to do with a woman’s life, and that they can be “fixed.” They might simply prescribe oral contraceptives or antidepressants for women with PMS to control symptoms along with their cycles and emotions. However, it's important to understand the underlying problems by asking more questions about the woman's nutrition,personal & professional life. Symptoms of PMSPMS involves a wide variety of symptoms. Here are the most common:Abdominal bloatingAbdominal crampingAccident proneness, coordination difficultiesAcne, hivesAggression, rageAnxiety, irritability, suicidal thoughtsAsthmaBack painBreast swelling and painBruisingConfusionDepression, withdrawal from others, emotional labilityEdemaExacerbation of preexisting conditions (lupus, arthritis, ulcers, herpes, etc.)Fatigue, lethargyFainting (vasovagal syncope)Food binges, salt cravings, sweet cravingsHeadache, migraineHeart palpitationsInsomniaJoint swelling and painNauseaUrinary difficultiesThe key to making the diagnosis, however, the most important aspect is not the exact symptoms themselves, but the cyclic nature in which they occur.What do I do about it?Don't put your faith in pills and potions. They are no match for what is going on in your endocrine system . Further proof that there is no magic solution: Many women on birth control pills also struggle with PMS, even though they have the supposed cure all of synthetic hormones. I recommend a balanced approach to healing PMS, instead of just treating the symptoms. Many women are given symptomatic treatments for their PMS that, in the long run, do not work. To treat a woman’s headaches with painkillers, and her mood changes with antidepressants or antianxiety drugs is to ignore the underlying imbalance that leads to PMS in the first place. In addition, these treatments often have deleterious side effects of their own. There is no magic bullet for treating PMS, it needs a systemic and holistic approach.Take a balanced diet: Include leafy greens, sweet potatoes, coconuts and avocados in your diet.Eliminate caffeine. Even if you only drink one cup of coffee per day, eliminating caffeine can make a huge difference for some women.Get enough essential fatty acids in your diet. Nuts, seeds, Flax seed , evening primrose oil can help.Reduce stress. Women who practice meditation or other methods of deep relaxation are able to alleviate many of their PMS symptoms.Exercise. Get at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week. Brisk walking is all that is necessary.Listen to Your Body. The truth is, if you ignore your cyclic nature, disconnect from your body's wisdom and try to function as a linear being with the same drives, focus, and attitudes day after day, PMS will often be the result, no matter what you take to try to control it. If you don’t pay attention to the issues that come up premenstrually during the years when your periods are regular, it is likely that your symptoms will escalate during perimenopause. That’s why it is important to understand that every premenstrual issue is potentially related to a larger, deeper need that is not being met or that has been ignored for a long time. Having treated hundreds of women with PMS, I know that such a rethinking is needed. When we don’t acknowledge our needs, our bodies have to scream louder to get our attention.Wishing you a PMS FREE PERIOD!Dr.

The Power of Your Menstrual Cycle and PMS!

Dr. Disha Sridhar, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
How to be more powerful in your life by understanding your hormones and menstrual cycle.Most of us consider our menstrual cycle as a liability and do not appreciate its true value. But the truth is that our real power lies in our menstrual cycle. If only we start listening and learn from its signals.One of the reasons that mood changes in the premenstrual week aka PMS frequently doesn’t respond completely to attempts to change it with natural hormones, supplements, diet, and exercise is that there is an emotional component that goes with it that has an underlying and important purpose in a woman’s life.Dr. Hanley has worked extensively with this aspect of PMS because she believes that without it, full healing often can’t take place. Dr. Hanley approaches PMS, with all its emotional volatility, as an important guide, and teacher. She calls it the goddesses’ gift. Menstruation is a time in a woman’s cycle when she is especially sensitive and has access to her deeper levels of intuitive knowing. This knowing is often filled with pain in our culture because of all of the conflict women have with feelings they are not supposed to have. Women are not supposed to have anger. They are not supposed to be anything but sweet and nurturing, and this sets up a pattern of repressed emotions and guilt over those times when anger and frustration do boil over. The typical woman who visits our clinic with PMS aggravated or fueled by emotional conflict says, “I’m not myself. I can not just take it all in stride anymore. I’m angry, I’m agitated, I have really strong feelings, I 'm reactive, I’m a witch and a bitch! What is wrong with me?” Rather than judging her, I would say, “There’s nothing wrong with you! What you’re experiencing is an important teacher, and we’ll use all kinds of wonderful tools to help you learn about what’s underneath that anger, to appreciate and honor your sensitivity, and to balance your body so that you have control of this phenomenon.”PMS helps you to have a moment, or a day, or a week to have access to parts of yourself that are not necessarily sweet and happy or just pretending to be sweet and happy. PMS gives you a window of opportunity for identifying and working with these feelings.At one time in history, menstrual blood was not considered dirty or a “curse”; it was cherished as sacred and used in rituals and to fertilize the fields. A woman who was menstruating went to a special lodge with her sisters where her increased sensitivity and cyclic ability to tap into her deeper knowing was used to help guide the tribe or village.Today a sensitive menstrual woman is regarded as a liability, someone to be feared and avoided. In fact, at any point during the month when a woman expresses anger or irritation, she may be accused of having PMS. If she has a strong opinion she may be accused of being a “ball-buster”or of trying to be like a man, as opposed to just being smart or competent.However, sensitive also means more intuitive, more in touch, more creative, more spontaneous, and more unpredictable. When these attributes are expressed and appreciated, first and foremost by the woman herself, they tend to be expressed in a more positive way. When a woman’s loved ones also appreciate her more sensitive times, it’s a true gift.PMS may push a woman to understand that she does have limits and that those limits are not shameful; they are to be honored. Women need to recognize for themselves when they are neglected, abused, overworked, unappreciated, and not respected. They need to know that they aren't bad if they can’t stay up half the night with a sick child, go to work all day and be competent, and then come home and be cheery, nurturing, and selfless while they cook and do laundry and then stay up half the night again. Feelings that have been suppressed all month may flare up out of proportion premenstrually. Women who feel free to express and discuss their feelings and to implement their intuitive knowledge have a much better handle on their emotions when they are premenstrual. When women learn to respect and listen to their own intuitive knowledge, they are taking their first step in healing themselves. We at Truhealing ask women to search for that kernel of truth in their anger, their frustration, their volatility. They can search through dance, journals, painting, sculpture,dream journals, women’s groups, exercises such as yoga and tai chi, or any other creative form of expression that takes them deeper into themselves.As this process takes place, women learn to be excited and intrigued by their increased sensitivity and to look for the wisdom and creativity available to them. Women who access valuable knowing through a creative process and their intuition find that if they need to, they can later express this knowing in a more linear, rational, or logical way. Many times, women are parallel processors,processing and integrating a large amount of information at once in a non-linear, non-logical way: They just “know.” This is a gift and a strength, just as thinking in a linear, logical fashion is a strength (and yes, both men and women have the ability to do both kinds of thinking.)  Acknowledging and appreciating the greater sensitivity of a woman’s premenstrual time is a core issue that profoundly affects her overall physical, mental, and emotional health and well ­being. This is why it’s so counterproductive and often destructive to walk into a conventional medical doctor's office with the emotional complaints of PMS. If anti-depressants don’t fix the problem, you’ll be given a “crazy” label, and that results in an even more crazy-making. With some personal sleuthing and creativity, and a willingness to keep track of what works and what doesn’t, PMS can usually be brought into balance within a few months. If you can find a sympathetic and knowledgeable health care professional to work in partnership with you and help you monitor your progress, that’s wonderful. If not, you have to do some work on your own to create healing and balance yourself.Here are some of my tips:Take a daily multivitamin/ mineral that includes zinc, 10 mg; B complex (all of the B vitamins);vitamin C, 500– 1000 mg; magnesium, 300– 400 mg; vitamin E, 400 IU daily. In addition, takeVitamin B6, 50 mg daily.Eat a plant ­based, fibre­ rich diet of fresh, organic vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes.Get some exercise every day.Keep a journal and allow yourself to notice the deeper levels of your anger and pain. Seek to resolve unresolved issues the rest of the month.Wishing you more feminine power!Dr.

Premenstrual Syndrome: Some Facts

Dr. Devjani Das (Ganguly), Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Is it “that time” of the month? Are you not feeling quite your normal self? Is coping with work and family becoming difficult? The question to ask yourself is: Am I suffering from Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)?About 5 out of 100 ladies experience severe symptoms of PMS, though overall prevalence is 3% - 30%. It is more commonly seen in ladies who are obese and where there is lack of exercise. It is less commonly seen in women who use hormonal contraception.PMS can be a cause of distressing physical, behavioral and psychological symptoms. There is usually no history of a pre-existing physical or psychiatric disorder. PMS occurs in a cyclical manner, during the second half of each menstrual cycle, and significantly regresses by the end of menstruation. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and not everyone will experience the same combination of symptoms. The cause for this disorder is not precisely known, but hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, and cyclical ovarian activity are important contributors.PMS is diagnosed with the help of a symptom diary maintained over two menstrual cycles. The type and severity of symptoms should be recorded in the diary. Symptoms to watch out for include mood swings, irritability, depression, feeling out of control, breast tenderness, bloating, headaches, and behavioral symptoms like being prone to accidents.Treatment for PMS is targeted towards life style changes, cognitive behavioral therapy, hormonal treatment, medication to deal with specific symptoms such as tablets for depression, and rarely, in very severe intractable cases, surgery may need to be done.Complementary therapies such as magnesium, calcium/vitamin D, isoflavones, agnus castus, ginkgo biloba and pollen extract have shown some benefit, but further research is awaited, before their use can be recommended.In the management of PMS, lifestyle modification with a healthy balanced diet, exercise and stress reduction is of great importance. Cognitive behavioral therapy and referral to a clinical psychologist is likely to help symptoms. Symptom diaries should be used to monitor and assess results of treatment. Majority of PMS problems can be managed successfully with maintaining a healthy, stress-free lifestyle and cognitive behavioral therapy, and these should be the initial steps in the management of this condition.

Premenstrual Tension: Symptoms and Solution

Dr. Ramna Banerjee, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Approximately 5% of women experience severe premenstrual symptoms which include depression, anxiety, irritability and loss of confidence, and physical symptoms including bloating and mastalgia. PMS is ‘a condition which manifests with distressing physical, behavioural andpsychological symptoms, in the absence of organic or underlying psychiatric disease, which regularly recurs during the second half of each menstrual (ovarian) cycle and which disappears or significantly regresses by the end of menstruation’.The degree and type of symptoms can vary significantly from woman to woman. The precise aetiology of PMS remains unknown but cyclical ovarian activity and hormonal fluctuation throughout the month has been implicated.Absence of PMS before puberty, in pregnancy and after the menopause supports this theory . It can be graded as mild, moderate or severe depending on the degree of symptoms. Since patients can find these symptoms very debilitating and often get depressed, patiently listening to them and good support from their doctors and family is always helpful. I advise women to do regular exercise throughout the month like walking, jogging, cycling and swimming. Maintaining a optimal body weight and eating a well balanced diet also helps amongst other things in order to get a sense of confidence back.Also reducing tea, coffee, salt intake in the second half of the cycle is helpful. So is yoga.There are medicines available in extreme cases to help with symptom control that can be prescribed by a doctor. These are usually hormonal pills to maintain a balance throughout the cycle or a group of drugs called SSRI's. Also in some cases vitamin supplements like evening primrose oil and vitamin E are prescribed. In extreme cases injections and surgery may have to be considered.

Thyroid and Female Infertility

Dr. Swetha Thumula, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Over a million people across the world suffer from thyroid problems. In most cases people take thyroid issues very casually. This is because people are unaware of the fact, that thyroid can be the reason behind other serious ailments. Most women undergoing treatment for female infertility have been diagnosed with severe thyroid malfunctionality. If thyroid goes untreated, it can become the greatest reason behind infertility in both men and women.The cellular functions in our body are regulated by the thyroid hormones. The abnormality in these hormones may lead to infertility in both sexes and recurrent miscarriages in women. The Indian Thyroid Society has the opinion that nearly 70 percent of the women suffering from PMS or premenstrual syndromes are diagnosed to suffer from low thyroid levels. The low level of thyroid hormones reduces the production of progesterone giving rise to PMS symptoms in women. This has lead to thyroid testing become an integral part of the treatment for female infertility.Hypothyroidism or under active thyroid glands that does not produce enough hormones, has been directly linked to female fertility. The low level of thyroids intervenes with ovulation and cause infertility. Moreover, hypothyroidism may also cause autoimmune or pituitary disorders and give rise to infertility in women. Standard thyroid test may not always also detect the low level of ovarian tissues. Special detection methods as the part of treatment for female fertility are required to detect whether thyroid is causing infertility or not.Symptoms of Thyroid AbnormalitiesWeight gainFatigueConstipationMuscle and joint paintsIrregular or abnormal periodsSleeplessnessSkin drynessHair may become thin and coarseEyebrows may shed and nails might become brittleWomen enduring these symptoms must get in touch with a doctor and go for TSH. However, hypothyroidism can be controlled with thyroid supplements that can restore fertility. It is advisable to keep monitoring the thyroid levels at regular intervals and continue the prescribed medication. This is important even you are considering a treatment for female infertility.Tips to overcome thyroid problems:Losing weight and lowering the level of stress30 minutes daily walk and avoiding elevatorsConsulting doctor immediately if any of the above mentioned symptoms are felt or seenA healthy and active lifestyle, balanced diet and regular checkups will keep your thyroids glands performing well.

10 Early Signs of Pregnancy

Dr. Jyotsna Gupta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Every woman is different. So are her experiences of pregnancy. Not every woman has the same symptoms or even the same symptoms from one pregnancy to the next.Fatigue - If you're suddenly exhausted, it might be a response to the increasing hormones in your body. Don't treat fatigue with excessive caffeine if there is a chance you may be pregnant.Sensitivity to certain Smells – Certain pleasant or unpleasant smells can make you nauseous. If you're repulsed by certain smells, or have an increased sensitivity to odors.Nausea and Vomiting – This is due to rising hormones levels in early pregnancyBreast Tenderness – Tender and heavy-feeling breasts, darkening of the areolas and even more pronounced veins on your chest can be a first sign that you're pregnant. Get a well fitted bra to ease the discomfort Frequent Urination – In early pregnancy the uterus grows and pushes on the bladder, triggering the urge to urinate more often.Shortness of Breath - This is because you need extra oxygen due to the growing embryo.Spotting and Cramping – This is due to implantation of the fertilized egg to wall of the uterus. Is it PMS or pregnancy? It's hard to tell, but if you're feeling crampy, it might be your uterus stretching to get ready for a baby.Mood swings- These are also related to changes in hormones.Constipation - The higher levels of the hormone progesterone can make you constipated. You swear you fit in your skinny jeans just last week. If you're feeling a little puffy or backed up, it might be extra progesterone due to pregnancy, which slows down your digestive system.Late Period- Many of the early signs of pregnancy are also symptoms of PMS. How to tell the difference? The most telling clue yet will be a missed period. If your cycle is fairly regular and you're late, you should head to the drugstore for pregnancy test kit or a gynecologistA pregnant woman could have all of these or maybe have only one or two. If any of these symptoms become bothersome, then visit your Gynecologist and Obstetrician for consultation.Dr. Jyotsna Guptahttp://gynecologist-delhi.webs.com