Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ryan Claire Reikowsky
Premenstrual syndrome, commonly referred to as PMS, is considered by many in the West to be a treatable medical condition characterized by complex physical and psychological/behavioral symptoms, cyclically affecting women of reproductive age. While the exact causes of premenstrual syndrome have yet to be established, existing theories suggest that it may result from a combination of hormonal changes or fluctuations, neurochemical changes within the brain, nutritional deficiencies, and/or stress. The duration and severity of PMS symptoms vary widely in women affected by the condition, but in general, symptoms begin anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks prior to menstruation and end within about 24 hours of the onset of menstruation. Treatment options include changes in diet and exercise, pharmacological solutions, psychotherapy, and stress reduction. The complex of physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms that have come to be characterized as PMS have been studied since the beginning of the 20th century. As ...