Coping with PMS Symptoms

pms symptoms

Did you wake up today with a bad mood and cramps? Check the calendar, it is probably the time of the month and what you are experiencing right now are PMS symptoms.

The symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) start almost a week before your menstruation begins.

The common symptoms include cramps, mood swings, bloating or even headaches.

Around 3 in 4 women do experience these signs once in their lives. Though, for most, it accompanies them every month.

Read this article to find out how you can cope with the mood swings and pain during Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).

causes of premenstrual syndrome

Premenstrual Syndrome Causes

PMS is a series of symptoms that occur either a week or two before your period comes.

This is the time when ovulation starts and before you get your menses.

They happen because the estrogen and progesterone hormone levels in your body drastically drop after ovulation symptoms.

In fact, these symptoms disappear a few days into your period because these hormone levels rise back to normal.

Though you may feel severe emotional mood swings if you have a history of depression, anxiety, postpartum depression or a family history of mental health illnesses.

Mostly, Premenstrual syndrome cramps and dysmenorrhea are manageable, however, some people may get a condition known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

PMDD is a severe form of PMS whereby the symptoms you feel are extreme.

Your anger levels, irritability, pain and mood swings all ramp up.

You can feel extremely depressed and even suicidal, get panic attacks, raised levels of anger and body pain.

These symptoms of PMDD only occur in about 3 to 8 percent of women.

The rest usually have normal signs and symptoms. Read on that below!

pms symptoms in a woman's body

What Are PMS Symptoms?

PMS symptoms differ for every woman.

Some may undergo emotional turmoil while others may see physical symptoms such as pain affecting daily life.

However, you may also be in the lucky minority that experiences no pain or mood swings.

Their intensity can also change with age.

As you approach menopause and are in a perimenopause stage in your 30s and 40s, you can experience more pain because of the fluctuating hormones.

You can only ever get rid of PMS when your menstruation stops after menopause.

Otherwise, you have to cope with these signs on a monthly basis.

The main concerns of PMS include:

  • Cramps
  • Bloating in the stomach because of water retention
  • Tender breasts
  • Having a headache
  • Feeling cold and hot
  • Stomach problems like diarrhea and constipation
  • Having acne breakouts
  • Having food cravings
  • Light and noise sensitivity

Besides that, you will also see emotional symptoms of mood swings and depression because of hormonal and brain chemical changes.

You are at a greater risk of feeling emotional issues at this time if you already suffer from depression and anxiety.

Moreover, if you are already undergoing stress and have a family history of depression then you are likely to experience more mood swings.

They affect you in the form of irritability, being clumsy, having crying spells and difficulty concentrating.

Moreover, you also quit social activities, don’t feel like doing anything, get insomnia and stay tense.

These symptoms will not let you function properly and interfere with your daily activities.

Hence, they affect your quality of life.

Though, mostly the pain will disappear within 4 days into your period, mild pain can last longer for some.

Also, it usually starts a week or 5 days before your period however, they can start earlier than 2 weeks too.

Hence, you can identify when your symptoms start.

You need coping strategies and treatment to deal with it.

medicines for pms

 

Treatment and Medicines

Your menstrual cycle goes inevitable changes monthly.

Hence if you do get these signs then your fluctuating hormones will continue to cause pain and mood swings.

All you can do is cope with them and lessen their impact to provide some relief.

Try lifestyle remedies before you embark on taking medicines but if they don’t soothe your pain then don’t hesitate to take medications.

Over-the-counter pain medicines like ibuprofen and aspirin can help relieve menstrual cramps, breast tenderness and backaches.

Moreover, you can take hormonal birth control pills to control the discomfort.

Birth control pills help to control the hormones as they stop ovulation.

Hence, you stay PMS-free if you keep taking birth control pills.

Though, it can also exacerbate other emotional symptoms.

Therefore, you may have to experiment with a few birth control pills to find your best match.

Moreover, if you have depression then you can take anti-depressants or serotonin reuptake inhibitors to improve mood.

Furthermore, anti-anxiety medications can also help cope with the high anxiousness you feel at this time.

You may not consider the possibility of taking diuretics but they help to reduce bloating.

Diuretics will help kidneys excrete excess fluids that can reduce breast tenderness and bloatedness in the stomach.

However, all of these medicines have side effects hence, you should consult your doctor beforehand.

What’s better is to go for a simple approach and try home remedies.

Implementing lifestyle changes can soothe your pain.

Moreover, they can also improve your mood.

Keep reading to know more!

woman cycling to cope with mood swings

Ways To Cope With PMS Symptoms

It can be hard to move from your bed when you have period cramps and PMS.

You should indeed rest more during this time but you can also implement slight changes in your routine to feel more active and healthy.

These include:

Exercising 

We know it is hard to get up from your comfortable bed in pain but exercising and enjoying nature is an antidote to your mood swings and pain.

Aerobic exercises like running and cycling help to decrease anxiety and depression.

They pump up the heart and make you active.

For a few minutes, you forget your worries and indulge in the exercise wholeheartedly.

However, if you do not feel like doing anything intense then go for a walk in the park.

A thirty minutes brisk walk can help you interact with nature and decrease your chances of feeling depressed.

Moreover, it promotes mindfulness and being present in the moment.

This can help decrease your anxiety and appreciate what you have.

That said you should listen to your body and stop exercising whenever you feel pain.

In fact, it is better to do them for a short period of time to not exacerbate the pain.

Even if you do not feel any significant changes because of exercise, at least it helps to reduce weight and gets rid of stress which can increase mood swings.

Decrease Caffeine and Alcohol Intake, Forsake Smoking

You should cut down on alcohol and caffeine drinks like coffee, tea and chocolate.

These can exacerbate your symptoms.

Moreover, it has been reported that women who smoke are twice as much likely to develop severe PMS than those who never smoked.

Hence, your terrible period and PMS pain may be coming from smoking.

Quit smoking to improve your health and manage your pain plus mood swings.

woman refusing to eat sugary foods

Make Dietary Changes

When you know your time of the month is near, make some changes to your diet.

Cut down on caffeine, alcohol, sweet and salt.

Instead eat more fruits, vegetables, proteins, whole grains and fats.

However, you will most likely crave sweet, salty and fatty food products.

It is natural to have these cravings during and near your period because of fatigue.

You may think that eating brownies or hamburgers can give you a boost of energy.

However, this energy boost is just temporary and when it comes crashing down, your mood can worsen, so can your bloatedness.

On the other hand, eating proteins and healthy fats help to reduce cramps and inflammation.

The carbs in whole grains result in a chemical chain reaction that stimulates mood improvement.

Hence, eating portions of foods with complex carbohydrates are good for mood enhancement.

They also contain magnesium and proteins that reduce stress levels and instead cause you to relax.

So skip the donuts and eat a veggie omelet and chicken instead.

You can also get your dose of vitamins and minerals in the form of supplements.

Taking certain nutrients helps to ease the pain and promote mood enhancement.

Calcium supplements can reduce the symptoms and omega 3 fatty acids help decrease pain and irritability.

Though, they may not work for everyone.

Also, remember to consult your doctor before taking medicines or supplements.

woman resting to manage pms symptoms

Take Lots of Rest to Manage PMS Symptoms

When you are in terrible pain it is quintessential to take a night of proper sleep.

Skip binge-watching shows and put your sleep first.

Moreover, if you maintain a good sleep routine then you will improve your mood and decrease fatigue.

These are two crucial symptoms of PMS and you will notice an improvement in these only by getting a good night’s sleep.

Furthermore, you also need to relax.

Identify your stress triggers and try to cope with these stressors.

Practicing mindfulness, going for yoga, getting a massage will all help you to relax and be present in the moment.

Stretching and acupuncture can also help you with body aches.

However, do not go for the two during your period.

Once, you reduce your stress levels you can see a significant difference in your anxiety levels before periods.

Therefore, when you notice the symptoms coming, lie down on your bed and relax for a while.

Get as much rest in this time as possible and ease your mind and body.

Conclusion 

You can cope with PMS symptoms if you are already prepared.

Relaxing, eating a good diet and lightly exercising can greatly improve your condition.

After all, you have to deal with this every month, so try to at least make it more bearable.

 

 

 

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