What is premenstrual syndrome (PMS)? Nine out of ten women suffer from PMS, a combination of symptoms one to two weeks before their periods. This condition is thought to be caused by fluctuating hormones.
- Headache / back pain
- Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, depression
- Tiredness /sleeping disturbances
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Appetite changes
Dealing with PMS:
- Be active throughout the month: Physical, and especially aerobic, activity can alleviate depression, fatigue and other symptoms of PMS.
- Eat healthily every day.
- Avoid caffeine, salt and sugar two weeks before your period.
- Get lots of sleep: lack of sleep can make PMS worse.
- Not smoking and not vaping: according to one study, smokers are twice as likely to suffer from moderate or severe PMS.
- Keep track: write down when you have your period - and what you feel - so you can notice patterns of what is normal for you and what makes your PMS worse.
- Take a closer look: not everything is PMS. Those headaches may really be migraines, fatigue can indicate a thyroid problem, or moodiness can indicate anxiety or depression that 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. If you have severe PMS or other questions about your menstrual cycle, contact your ob-gyn.