Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS): Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What is Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)?

The term Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) broadly describes emotional and physical symptoms occurring before a period. These may include depression, sadness, irritability, anxiety, lethargy, loss of concentration, aggressiveness, changes in libido, changes in bowel habit, skin eruptions, food cravings, crying, propensity to outbursts of anger, clumsiness, distension of abdomen and breasts, and insomnia.

What Causes Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)?

The most important etiological factor for Pre-Menstrual Syndrome is emotional strain. Anger, worry, guilt, frustration and resentment may all, in the long run, cause stagnation of Liver-Qi which is a major cause of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome. Prolonged stagnation of Liver-Qi may also give rise to Liver-Heat which may cause pre-menstrual symptoms in itself. Other factors that may contribute to PMS include irregular diet and overwork.

How is Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) Treated?

Treatment for Pre-Menstrual Syndrome should focus on addressing the underlying causes of the condition. In cases of Liver-Qi stagnation, herbal remedies such as Xiao Yao San (Free and Easy Wanderer Powder) may be effective. Other herbal formulas may be used to address deficiencies in Kidney- and Liver-Yin, or to clear Heat in the Heart and Lungs.