Are you suffering from physical symptoms such as abdominal pain, headache, nausea, and mental symptoms such as irritability before menstruation? These symptoms are called PMS and are characterized by premenstrual symptoms.
On the other hand, symptoms may continue even after menstruation begins. In this case, it is most likely not PMS.
In this article, we will introduce you to the symptoms and characteristics of PMS and how to alleviate the symptoms of PMS. And I will also explain dysmenorrhea, which is important to distinguish from PMS. Finally, we will explain what kind of medical institution you should visit, so please refer to it. Find out in this article
- Difference Between PMS and Dysmenorrhea
- What is dysmenorrhea
- Which hospital should I visit
It is important to know when PMS symptoms occur.
PMS symptoms typically begin 3 to 10 days before menstruation. Symptoms disappear or subside when menstruation begins and hormone balance stabilizes.
If the symptoms persist between the onset of menstruation and ovulation, it is likely that the symptoms are not PMS but something else. Therefore, it is important to know when PMS symptoms occur.
To relieve PMS symptoms
There are many things you can incorporate into your life to alleviate the symptoms of PMS.
The first thing to do is to be conscious of magnesium and calcium in your diet. Although the mechanism is not clearly understood, various studies have reported that magnesium and calcium may improve psychotic symptoms caused by PMS1) 2).
It is also recommended to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and smoking, which can exacerbate symptoms3).
Also, if you have symptoms of PMS but can move, exercise is recommended. Exercise can change your mood and relieve mental symptoms, and you can also expect to alleviate physical symptoms by improving blood circulation. Light aerobic exercise, such as walking, is good. Other treatments, such as hormone therapy and Chinese herbal medicine, are also ways to relieve PMS. If lifestyle changes alone do not alleviate the symptoms, it is recommended to consult a gynecologist.
If PMS continues during menstruation, there is a possibility of dysmenorrhea
If PMS symptoms persist during menstruation, the possibility of dysmenorrhea cannot be ruled out.
First, let’s take a look at the symptoms and causes of dysmenorrhea. And I will explain the difference between PMS and dysmenorrhea in an easy-to-understand manner, so please refer to how to tell them apart.
What is dysmenorrhea
Dysmenorrhea is defined as the unpleasant symptoms that occur during menstruation that interfere with daily life. Symptoms vary from person to person, and include physical symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, headache, weakness, loss of appetite, and diarrhea, as well as mental symptoms such as irritability.
Dysmenorrhoea is classified into two types, functional dysmenorrhoea and organic dysmenorrhoea, depending on the cause.
Menstrual pain is caused by contractions of the uterus to push out the bleeding and prostaglandins produced by the endometrium. In functional dysmenorrhoea, the contraction of the uterus is strong due to the constitution, etc., and it may be easy to feel pain. The symptoms are likely to be exacerbated by stress, and are characterized by being more common in adolescence.
On the other hand, organic dysmenorrhea is caused by some disease hidden in the uterus. Uterine diseases include endometriosis, adenomyosis, and uterine fibroids. If the pain is so strong that the analgesic ingredients do not work, or if it affects your daily life, you may have organic dysmenorrhea.
Differences between PMS and dysmenorrhea
PMS and dysmenorrhea differ in the timing of symptoms.
PMS symptoms typically appear 3 to 10 days before the onset of menstruation and disappear or lessen once menstruation begins. PMS symptoms are primarily caused by hormonal fluctuations before menstruation. Therefore, when menstruation begins and the hormone balance stabilizes, the symptoms are characterized by calming down.
Dysmenorrhea, on the other hand, occurs during menstruation. Dysmenorrhea is divided into functional dysmenorrhea, in which the uterus contracts excessively during menstruation, and organic dysmenorrhea caused by other diseases.
Both PMS and dysmenorrhea have different symptoms depending on the person. And you may experience similar symptoms such as irritability, weakness, nausea, and headaches.
The time when symptoms appear is a guideline to distinguish between dysmenorrhea and PMS, so check the time when symptoms appear.
What kind of medical institution should I visit?
If the symptoms of PMS continue during menstruation, it is desirable to see a gynecologist as soon as possible because dysmenorrhea may be present. Organic dysmenorrhoea, in which another disease is lurking in the uterus, is something you need to be careful about.
At the gynecology department, medical interviews and ultrasound examinations are performed to check for the presence or absence of the underlying disease. It is desirable to receive appropriate treatment under the judgment of a doctor according to the cause and symptoms of the disease.
Also read the following articles
Introducing how to adjust female hormones that are easily disturbed
Incorporating Chinese herbal medicine may lead to alleviation of various symptoms
Taking herbal medicines is also effective for painful PMS symptoms. Kampo medicine comprehensively reviews various things such as the person's constitution and lifestyle, and gradually improves symptoms from the inside of the body. There are various herbal medicines, but the herbal medicines that are effective for the symptoms of PMS are as follows.
- Kamishoyosan: Depression, irritation, hot flashes, hot flashes, etc.
- Toki shakuyakusan: Tendency to coldness and anemia
- Keishibukuryogan: Hot flashes, headache, lower abdominal pain, etc.
There are individual differences in the symptoms of PMS, and it is necessary to take Chinese herbal medicine that matches the symptoms . Kampo medicine gradually improves the symptoms, so it is easy to incorporate it into your life, so if you want to alleviate the symptoms little by little, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
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If your PMS symptoms continue after you start menstruating, you may have dysmenorrhea. I explained the timing and characteristics of each symptom of PMS and dysmenorrhea, so please refer to it. In addition, PMS symptoms can be expected to be alleviated by methods that can be incorporated into daily life, such as diet and exercise.
It is important to check when the symptoms appear and determine whether it is PMS or dysmenorrhea. If it is difficult for you to make a judgment on your own, or if you suspect that you have dysmenorrhea, we recommend that you see a gynecologist.
1) Adrianne Bendich, The Potential for Dietary Supplements to Reduce Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Symptoms 2000 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07315724.2000.10718907?needAccess=true&journalCode=uacn20
2) Nahid Fathizadeh et al. Evaluating the effect of magnesium and magnesium plus vitamin B6 supplement on the severity of premenstrual syndrome. 2010 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3208934/
3) Pinar G, et al. Premenstrual Syndrome in Turkish college students and its effects on life quality.