Flu Like Symptoms and PMS - Comparing Flu Like Symptoms and PMS

The Flu

Influenza, commonly known as "the flu" is highly contagious caused by a virus. It is transmitted through droplets in the air or by direct physical contact and spreads rapidly among groups of people. It causes an upper respiratory tract infection that can occasionally spread to the lungs.

Symptoms include a high fever, extreme weakness, aches in joints, muscles, and around the eyes, sore throat, cough, and headache.

The flu is very common, and most people get over it without ill effects, but it can still be very dangerous. Influenza still kills roughly 36,000 people a year in the United States and occasional pandemics such as that of 1918 have caused tens of millions of deaths.


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects most menstruating women to some degree. PMS symptoms can appear any time in the two weeks prior to menstruation.

PMS symptoms include water retention and bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, mood swings, irritability, insomnia, fatigue, food cravings and weight gain, acne outbreaks, chills, joint pain, etc. In total, there are over 150 different symptoms of PMS. Different women will experience different symptoms, and often not only the severity of the symptoms but the specific symptoms themselves will vary from month to month.

The symptoms of PMS are caused by hormonal fluctuations during this time of the month. Following ovulation, estrogen and progesterone levels dip. This abrupt change in hormonal levels can cause an upset in other regulators, among them serotonin, a neurotransmitter.

Serotonin acts to modulate many basic functions such as sleep, appetite, sexual drive, and mood. Thus the fundamental cause of PMS symptoms is likely to be a deregulation of serotonin due to fluctuations in estrogen levels.

Shared Symptoms

Some symptoms are common to both the flu and PMS:
  • joint and muscle pain
  • fatigue and weakness
  • headaches
  • chills
  • irritability and anxiety
Usually, however, it is fairly easy to distinguish between the two. If symptoms recur every month, it is PMS. If, on the other hand, symptoms appear abruptly during the winter months, the likely culprit is the flu.

Treatment Options

Whether it's the flu or PMS, many treatment options are available. Work with your doctor to determine what will work for you. PMS symptoms can be reduced through eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress. Taking a herbal supplement is a great way to reduce your PMS symptoms and boost your immune system to prevent the flu in the future.


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