Is PMS real?
PMS is something which most women go through in their lives. The symptoms aren’t pretty and they are almost always not welcome.
Why “almost always”?
It is because most women expect to have PMS.
Could it be that their expectations cause PMS? Could it be that it is not real at all?
Let us see
What is PMS?
In simple words, PMS is Pre-menstrual syndrome. It mostly arrives few days before the actual date of menstruation and makes life hell for the woman. Actually, the symptoms make life much worse for the people who are around that woman.
A PMS afflicted woman may become unusually cranky and irritable, may snap without provocation and may forget where she usually keeps her things. She may also develop a craving for chocolates and go to any lengths to get the same. Physical symptoms are 1) a bloated stomach 2) dull hair and skin
Going by the above symptoms, PMS seems very, very real. Any woman would attest to experiencing almost all of them.
However, there is a different view emerging which says that PMS might just be a “cultural syndrome”.
It is pretty much like how women are “expected” to do certain things. For example getting married and having kids
About 40% of women develop very strong symptoms of PMS about a week before they start menstruating. About 5% of those cannot even get out of bed.
But get this – scientists don’t know what exactly causes PMS. Is it the hormones? Is it the feeling that “my periods are coming” that causes the symptoms?
Scientists studying PMS mostly believe that it might be hormones, psychological factors or genetics. Or it could be all of them combined together.
Two hormones Progesterone and Estrogen are very active during a woman’s menstrual cycle. These two are also thought to be the main reasons behind PMS.
They are known to interfere with the functioning of the following neurotransmitters:
Endorphins: These are responsible for reducing pain and for increasing pleasure. Estrogen and Progesterone are known to reduce the levels of endorphins
GABA or Gamma aminobutyric acid: It is known to cause depression and anxiety. Progesterone increases the activity of this neurotransmitter.
Serotonin: It is responsible for regulating sleep patterns. Low levels of serotonin cause depression and cravings for foods which are rich in
carbohydrates. Guess who lowers the levels of serotonin? Estrogen and Progesterone!
Whether it has been proven or not, women worldwide will never believe that PMS isn’t real.