The exact cause is unknown. Hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, and neurotransmitter (serotonin and norepinephrine) fluctuations are being studied. PMS patients who have had hysterectomies may continue to have symptoms, but the symptoms in all patients disappear with menopause. There is no cure for PMS. In some women, dietary changes and exercise provide some relief through the loss of water weight, the alleviation of stress, and an increase in the production of endorphins. Antidepressants or antianxiety drugs are sometimes prescribed. In severe cases hormones that induce a premature menopause may be administered.
See publications of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; S. D. Bender, PMS: A Positive Program to Gain Control (1986) and PMS: Questions & Answers (1989); Boston Women's Health Book Collective, Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century (1998).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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