More than 150 symptoms are associated with premenstrual syndrome: the number and type vary from person to person, and often from month to month. It’s difficult to diagnose PMS because in hinges on timing, with symptoms usually occurring during the same phase of the menstrual cycle, from one to 14 days before menstruation.
Unfortunately there is no lab test to help with a clear diagnosis, but the National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome suggests that a chat with your sympathetic pharmacist or GP can prove helpful.
For women who want to take a more pro-active approach, then it’s worth knowing that a healthier lifestyle, improved nutrition and regular exercise may relieve mild to moderate PMS. Complementary medicines, such as agnus castus 20-40 mg a day, red clover isoflavones 40-80 mg a day, or St John’s wort may also help. But some complementary medicines can conflict with other medicines, so make sure you get advice from your pharmacist first.
More information is available on the National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome website www.pms.org.uk.