Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Symptoms and Causes
What is PMS? Nine out of 10 women experience premenstrual syndrome, which is a combination of symptoms, a week or two before their period. Fluctuating hormones are thought to be the cause. Symptoms include:
- Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, depression
- Fatigue/sleeping disturbances
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Appetite changes
To deal with PMS:
- Be active throughout the month. Physical and especially aerobic activity can lessen depression, fatigue and other symptoms.
- Eat healthy every day. Two weeks before your period, make a point to avoid caffeine, salt and sugar.
- Get plenty of sleep. Teens need eight to 10 hours of sleep, or more.
- Don’t smoke or vape. One study found that smokers were twice as likely to have moderate or severe PMS.
- Keep track. Write down when you have your period -- and what you’re feeling -- so you can notice patterns of what’s normal for you.
- Take a closer look. Not everything is PMS. That headache might really be a migraine, fatigue can be a thyroid issue, moodiness can be anxiety or depression which should be treated.
Severe PMS can be a sign of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which occurs in less than 5% of women of childbearing age.