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This subgroup of PMS is characterized by weight gain (greater than three pounds), abdominal bloating and discomfort, breast congestion and mastalgia, and the occasional swelling of the face, hands and ankles. These symptoms are due to an increased extracellular fluid volume which is in turn due to an excess of aldosterone which causes increased fluid retention. Aldosterone excess during the luteal phase of PMS-H patients may arise due to any of the following factors:
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Aldosterone: A steroid hormone secreted by the adrenal cortex that regulates the salt and water balance in the body.
Diuretic: An agent increasing urine flow, causing the kidneys to excrete more than the usual amount of sodium, potassium and water.
Dopamine: A neurohormone; precursor to norepinephrine which acts as a stimulant to the nervous system.
Estrogen: One of the female sex hormones produced by the ovaries.
Pituitary: The pituitary gland is small and bean-shaped, located below the brain in the skull base very near the hypothalamus. Weighing less than one gram, the pituitary gland is often called the "master gland" since it controls the secretion of hormones by other endocrine glands.
Premenstrual Syndrome: PMS consists of various physical and/or emotional symptoms that occur in the second half of the menstrual cycle, after ovulation. The symptoms begin about midcycle, are generally the most intense during the last seven days before menstruation and include: acne; backache; bloating; fatigue; headache; sore breasts; changes in sexual desire; depression; difficulty concentrating; difficulty handling stress; irritability; tearfulness.
Serotonin: A phenolic amine neurotransmitter (C10H12N2O) that is a powerful vasoconstrictor and is found especially in the brain, blood serum and gastric membranes of mammals. Considered essential for relaxation, sleep, and concentration.