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The premenstrual syndrome.

PMS is probably a group of entities which include various symptoms that occur during the 7 to 10 days before menstruation and disappear a few hours after the onset of menstruation. The definition of PMS lacks objective criteria. The most common symptoms are irritability, bloating, aggressiveness, mastodynia, and headaches. The prevalence of PMS is estimated at 30 to 40 per cent. PMS is more prevalent among women working outside the home, alcoholics, women of high parity, and women with toxemic tendency; it probably runs in families. The etiology of PMS is no less obscure to us than when it was first described by Frank in 1931. No single theory has been established to explain the entire diversity of PMS symptomatology. The multitude of possible etiologic factors includes psychosocial bases, progesterone deficiency, prolactin excess, thyroid hypofunction, renin angiotensin alternations, antidiuretic hormone excess, decreased colloidosmotic pressure, endorphin activity alternations, serotonin metabolism alternations, prostaglandin action, vitamin deficiency, and such unconventional theories as the ovarian infection or the "yeast overgrowth" theory. A partial resolution of this divergence of hypotheses comes from the biopsychosocial model developed by Keye and Trunnel. According to this model, a biologic, perhaps genetically determined, predisposition to PMS is realized when past and present life experiences, attitudes, beliefs, coping styles, and social forces interact to stress a woman. The diagnosis of PMS is based on establishing a relationship between the luteal phase of the cycle and the symptoms. The evaluation of PMS patients includes the use of a monthly diary to scale the symptoms, a physical examination, and biochemical studies to rule out other disorders. Management includes education, reassurance, and drug therapy.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]

References

  1. The premenstrual syndrome. Lurie, S., Borenstein, R. Obstetrical & gynecological survey. (1990) [Pubmed]
 
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