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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a group of symptoms that may include body aches, backache, headache, nausea, vomiting, loose stools or constipation, and mood swings. These symptoms arise 1-2 weeks before menses starts and usually end with the onset of menstrual flow. The symptoms differ for different females and at different ages.
Excessive intake of oily and spicy foods, sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition, unhygienic living conditions, improper diet, and psychological factors play a part in causing symptoms of PMS.
In Ayurveda, PMS is known as Krichhraartava (Krichhra means ‘difficult’ and aartava means ‘menses’). Increased intake of oily, spicy, and hot foods, and overindulgence in physical activities, or a sedentary lifestyle causes impairment of Apana Vata (a sub-dosha of Vata or Air) as well as Pitta (Fire). Apana Vata is located in the lower pelvic region and is responsible for elimination of menstrual blood, stool, urine and reproductive fluids. Impaired Apana Vata and Pitta circulate in different channels of the body, causing various physical symptoms of PMS.
Additionally, Apana Vata might also cause aggravation of Prana Vata, a sub-dosha of Vata linked to anxiety, mood swings and depression like problems. Thus, emotional symptoms are also involved during those days.