PMS - Management


Many treatments have been suggested for PMS, including diet or lifestyle changes, and other supportive means. Medical interventions are primarily concerned with hormonal intervention and use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

  • Supportive therapy includes evaluation, reassurance, and informational counseling, and is an important part of therapy in an attempt to help the patient regain control over her life. In addition, aerobic exercise has been found in some studies to be helpful. Some PMS symptoms may be relieved by leading a healthy lifestyle: Reduction of caffeine, sugar, and sodium intake and increase of fiber, and adequate rest and sleep.
  • Dietary intervention studies indicate that calcium supplementation (1200 mg/d) may be useful. Also vitamin E (400 IU/d) has shown some effectiveness. A number of other treatments have been suggested, although research on these treatments is inconclusive so far: Vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese and tryptophan.
  • SSRIs can be used to treat severe PMS. Women with PMS may be able to take medication only on the days when symptoms are expected to occur. Although intermittent therapy might be more acceptable to some women, this might be less effective than continuous regimens.
  • Hormonal intervention may take many forms:
    • Hormonal contraception is commonly used; common forms include the combined oral contraceptive pill and the contraceptive patch. This class of medication may cause PMS-related symptoms in some women, and may reduce physical symptoms in other women. They do not relieve emotional symptoms.
    • Progesterone support has been used for many years but evidence of its efficacy is inadequate.
    • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists can be useful in severe forms of PMS but have their own set of significant potential side effects.
  • Diuretics have been used to handle water retention. Spironolactone has been shown in some studies to be useful.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; e.g., ibuprofen) have been used to treat pain.
  • Clonidine has been reported to successfully treat a significant number of women whose PMS symptoms coincide with a steep decline in serum beta-endorphin on a monthly basis.
  • Chasteberry has been used by women for thousands of years to ease symptoms related to menstrual problems. It is believed some of the compounds found within Chasteberry work on the pituitary gland to balance hormone levels.
  • DL phenylalanine can reduce or prevent symptoms of PMS in some women. It is only effective when the PMS is associated with an abrupt decline in circulating serum beta-endorphin levels.
  • Recent evidence suggests that daily treatment with St. Johns wort (Hypericum perforatum) may improve the most common physical and emotional symptoms associated with PMS.
  • Essential fatty acids,
  • Evening primrose oil, which contains the Omega-6 EFA GLA (gamma-Linolenic acid), lacks clear scientific support.

Read more about this topic:  PMS

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