Understanding PMS Symptoms and Ways to Manage Them

Sad, upset, unhappy woman holding hands on stomach suffering from abdominal pain with close eyes, having menstrual period, food poisoning, gastritis, diarrhea, feeling unwell sitting in livingroom

Premenstrual syndrome, also known as PMS, affects millions of women every month. It refers to a group of physical and emotional symptoms that occur in the days leading up to a woman’s menstrual period. These symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe pain that can significantly impact daily life.

Despite how unpleasant it can be, know that PMS isn’t the end of the world. There are various ways to manage PMS symptoms and make this time of the month more manageable. In this article, we will discuss the common symptoms of PMS and explore different methods for managing them. Whether you experience mild or severe symptoms, this guide is here to help you better understand PMS and find relief.

Common Symptoms of PMS

The symptoms of PMS can vary greatly from woman to woman, and even from month to month. Some women may experience just a few symptoms, while others may experience many. The most common physical symptoms of PMS include bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, cramps, and fatigue. On the other hand, emotional symptoms may include mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and depression. These symptoms can affect a woman’s daily life and make it challenging to function normally during this time of the month.

If you’re unsure whether you are experiencing PMS or not, the best way to find out is by tracking your symptoms and menstrual cycle. Keeping a symptom diary can help you identify patterns and determine if your symptoms occur in correlation with your menstrual cycle. There are also many apps available that can help you track your periods and PMS symptoms.

Understanding the Causes of PMS

The exact cause of PMS is unknown, but researchers believe that hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle play a significant role. Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels can cause physical and emotional symptoms. Other factors, such as a woman’s diet, stress levels, and genetics, may also contribute to the severity of PMS symptoms. It’s essential to understand that every woman’s body is unique and may react differently to these hormonal changes.

Ways to Manage PMS Symptoms

Fortunately, there are various ways to manage PMS symptoms and make this time of the month more comfortable. Here are some tips to help you cope with PMS:

Keep Track of Your Cycle and Symptoms

By tracking your periods and symptoms, you can identify patterns and anticipate when your PMS symptoms may occur. This can also be helpful for discussing treatment options with your doctor.

Exercise Regularly

Physical activity can help reduce symptoms such as bloating, cramps and improve mood and energy levels. Try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise into your daily routine, even if it’s just a brisk walk. It may be uncomfortable to do so, but you may find that it helps you feel better quicker.

Eat a Healthy Diet

A well-balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can help regulate hormone levels and reduce PMS symptoms. It’s also essential to limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and salty foods which can worsen the symptoms.

Get Enough Rest

PMS can disrupt sleep patterns, so it’s crucial to get at least eight hours of sleep each night. Consider practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation before bed to help improve sleep quality.

Medicate, If Needed

In severe cases, a doctor or a professional at Central Iowa OB/Gyn Specialists, PLC may prescribe medications such as birth control pills or antidepressants to help manage PMS symptoms. These medications may help regulate hormone levels and improve mood. Just be sure to understand the symptoms that can arise from taking these medications.

Consider Natural Remedies

Some women find relief from PMS symptoms by using herbal supplements, such as chasteberry or evening primrose oil. However, it’s essential to consult with your doctor before trying any natural remedies as they may have potential side effects or interactions with other medications.

Self-care and relaxation techniques can also be effective in managing PMS symptoms. Taking time for yourself and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being. This can include things like taking a warm bath, practicing yoga or meditation, reading a book, spending time outdoors, or listening to calming music. Remember, self-care is not selfish, and taking care of yourself is essential for your overall health and well-being.

What Not to Do

While it’s essential to take care of yourself during this time, there are also things you should steer clear of to help manage PMS symptoms. Try to avoid consuming excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol, as either of these can worsen your mood and your symptoms. Avoid smoking, skipping meals, and neglecting any self-care and relaxation techniques; any number of these will undoubtedly make you feel much worse.

PMS is a common and often frustrating experience for many women. But by understanding its causes and learning ways to manage symptoms, you can find relief and make this time of the month more manageable. Remember that every woman’s body is unique, so what works for one may not work for another. Be patient with yourself and don’t be afraid to try different methods until you find what works best for you. And, as always, consult with your doctor if you have any concerns or experience severe symptoms that interfere with your daily life. With the right support and self-care practices, you can navigate through PMS and feel more in control of your body and emotions during this time.