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How can I manage my problems associated with menses?

Q: I am 34 years old and have severe problems during my periods. A week before I get my periods, I feel heaviness in my body and I feel as though a heavy weight has been tied to my stomach. Once I get my periods, I have this severe cramping stomach pain, and I have to take 1-2 tablets of Colinol to get relief. This has been happening right from the beginning, when I was 15 years old. I have tried ayurvedic, homeopathic, but in vain. I have also done a TSH test and the results were normal. I do not have any other health problem. Since I am working, this has become a nightmare for me. I have a daughter who is 9 years old. I am worried if she would also have the same problem. Can you help me please?

A:From the symptoms, it appears that you may have a condition known as Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). It is presumed to be caused by changes in hormones after ovulation. I will suggest different levels of things to try. - Avoid salt and other sodium containing foods. - Caffeine restriction is also helpful for symptom relief. - Aerobic exercise is also shown to be helpful in some women. If these things do not help you, then try Vitamin B-6, 50 mg a day for two weeks before your period. Vitamin E has also shown to be helpful in symptom relief. Calcium supplements (Calcium Carbonate) about 1200 mg a day also help symptoms. Lastly, if there is no relief of symptoms from the above, see a gynaecologist for prescription medicines called SR. These medicines can be taken for about 10 days a month and do help symptoms. Some women swear by birth control pills to relieve symptoms. For relief of cramps, I suggest taking ibuprofen 400 mg three times a day for about 2-3 days before your period starts.

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