It is widely believed that the rising and falling estrogen and progesterone levels during a woman's menstrual cycle cause premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and mood swings. However, it is still unknown why some women experience much more serve and longer lasting PMS symptoms than other women.
Researchers believe that diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits impact the hormonal balance in women. As a result, women's PMS symptoms vary greatly. Nearly 40% of women experience PMS symptoms every month, and the most common symptom is mood swings. Mood swings are abrupt changes in emotional state from periods of euphoria to periods of depression.
What are Mood Swings and PMS?
PMS and the mood swings that develop from it are caused by an imbalance of hormones. During the menstrual phase, before ovulation, the levels of estrogen and progesterone fluctuate to allow for the natural release of the egg. As a result, a woman may experience physical and mental disturbances in the two weeks prior to ovulation.
Although it is a natural process, a woman might be greatly affected by the changing levels of hormones and may seek immediate treatment.
What Medications are Available?
In the past women were given all sorts of drugs like tranquilizers and sedatives to calm the hysterics. In recent years, progesterone has been given to counteract the rising levels of estrogen.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen are given to help with the general pain and discomfort that women experience with PMS. In severe cases, a drug called Danazol is given to suppress higher amounts of pain. This drug is effective but cannot be used longer than three cycles in a row.
Gonadotropin is a medication that helps some women with mood swings that are a part of PMS. The downside is that it can affect bone density and should not be taken for a period longer than six months.
Although not used as much as they were to treat PMS, antidepressants like Prozac and Zoloft, have been given to women who suffer from severe mood swings and depression related to the chemical imbalance.
These medications are effective, but they cannot be taken for extended periods of time because can cause serious side effects.
What is the Difference between the Treatments?
The difference between the treatments varies. Some women are comfortable with simply taking ibuprofen and similar drugs to relieve pain and mood swings. Other women who experience more severe mood swings and PMS symptoms usually opt for a hormonal drug to combat the rising level of estrogen. Many times, these hormonal drugs are accompanied with other drugs to fight off sleepiness.
In short there are many drugs that can treat the varying symptoms women have as a part of PMS. Many of the hormonal drugs are very effective at relieving symptoms, but it is important to bear in mind that while all of these drugs have the potential to assist in mood swings relief, they all carry side effect risks, some of which may outweigh any potential benefits.
Today more and more women find that dealing with mood swings is best accomplished via a combination of healthy lifestyle and alternative treatments.