Is PMS your problem too?


Most of the women experience little discomfort in their lower abdomen before the menses. But if

  • You get irritable, tense or unhappy before your menses or
  • Your breast becomes very tender
  • You have a feeling of bloating and flatulence and if
  • These symptoms interfere with your daily routine.

Then you might be suffering from Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

A woman’s menstrual cycle is under the control of certain hormones. The second half of the cycle which is called as luteal phase is linked to PMS. Changing levels of hormone affect some women more than the others. Apart from this, certain other factors like high salt diet, low levels of antioxidants, caffeine or alcohol can worsen your symptoms.

A few problems like endometriosis, perimenopause and adverse effects produced by oral contraceptive pills need to be excluded. Your gynaecologist would like to take elaborate history to rule out these. She would also like to see that you are not suffering from anemia, hypothyroidism, eating disorders and mood disorders.

The good news is this that this problem is treatable and you need not suffer anymore.

Keeping an exercise program in your schedule is advisable. Engage yourself in some form of de-stressing activities. You need to cut down a little bit on your salt intake. Reduce your tea or coffee intake. For some who suffer from mild symptoms, this is all that they need to do. However, some might require medications in the form of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory drugs. Calcium and vitamin D supplementation may be useful in some. Some might require hormonal treatment and diuretics. Antidepressant medication may have to be prescribed in severe cases.





Know your health through your menstrual cycle


Know your health through your menstrual cycle

A woman is a beautiful creature of God who can give birth to a new being. Each month, her body gets prepared for pregnancy. One of the ovary sheds an egg. It gets fertilized with the sperm. After that it gets embedded in the uterus and a woman gets pregnant. For implantation, the lining of the uterus undergoes a series of changes. If the egg doesn’t get fertilized, the lining is shed through the vagina and you get your menses.

The length of a menstrual cycle is counted from the first day of your cycle to the first day of the next. A normal menstrual cycle comes at regular interval. However, in the initial few years when menses start, they may be irregular. As you age, a regular pattern gets established. Your regular cycles can come at as short interval as 21 days or as long as 35 days. They usually last for 2-7 days.

It’s important that you keep a track of your menstrual cycle pattern. Within a range, “normal” is what’s normal for you. Tracking your menstrual cycle can help you detect any abnormality or disease in time as “A stitch in time saves nine”.

Keep a note of your cycle length. Record the flow. Has it become lighter than usual or you have started using more pads than usual. Keep a note of any pain associated with the cycle. Whether it has been worsening? If there is any bleeding in between the cycles or after the intercourse. Pay attention to any mood changes around the time of menses.

There can be many reasons of the menstrual irregularities. If you’ve missed your periods, it could be pregnancy. If that is not the case, you might be having some hormonal problems. It could be some disorder of the thyroid or you might be having polycystic ovary syndrome. A change in eating habits or excessive physical activity or stress might be another possibility. It could be due to premature ovarian failure. In these females, the ovaries stop functioning before time and their menses stop at a much younger age

Your menstrual problems may be due some infection of the reproductive organs. There might be fibroids or polyps in the uterus which are non- cancerous growths of the uterus. In some cases, it can be due to cancerous changes in the cervix (mouth of the uterus) or in the uterus itself.

Remember, by keeping a track over your menstrual cycle, you can find out what’s normal for you and what isn’t. Talk to your health care provider when you have some concerns about your menstrual cycle.



The Glucose challenge test measures your body!!!

Did your doctor tell you that you’ve to undergo glucose challenge test?

You should be worried about this! This test measures your body’s ability to breakdown sugar.

Is it really required ?

Yes, all pregnant women should undergo this test. It is required to screen you for gestational diabetes.

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is when you develop high levels of blood sugar because of diabetes. Insulin is the hormone that is secreted by our body to utilize blood sugar. During pregnancy, many hormones are secreted that have a function opposite to that of insulin. It can lead to high blood sugar in some females.

What are my chances of developing gestational diabetes?

About 1-14% pregnancies are complicated by diabetes and 90% of them are gestational diabetes. Indians are at an average risk for developing diabetes.

However, few patients are at high risk of gestational diabetes eg. obese females, those with a personal history of gestational diabetes or a family history of diabetes.

When is the test done?

Earlier, the test used to be done between weeks 24 and 28 of pregnancy. Nowadays we recommend it at the first visit itself.

How is the test done?

You are asked to take sugary solution and after 2 hours, your blood sample is taken.

Do I need to do some special preparation for the test?

No, you need not do any special preparation. You can eat and drink normally before the glucose challenge test. However, you should not eat after taking the sugary solution. And since you will be asked to wait for two hours, you can bring something to read for yourself or can engage yourself in some other activity.

What is an abnormal blood sugar level?

With 75 gram of glucose, 2 hour blood sugar level of 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) or higher indicate gestational diabetes.

What is the treatment if I am diagnosed as Gestational diabetes?

It depends upon your sugar levels. You may be managed with life style and diet modification or you may need medical management.

Is there any risk to my baby with the test?

No. The test does not carry any risk to the baby.