“Premenstrual Syndrome” or PMS can come in a combination of many different symptoms. This can seriously affect both body and mind. Their intensity varies wildly from person to person.
The most common mood-related symptoms include:
- Mood swings alternating sadness and anger
And the physical symptoms are
- Breast tenderness
- Appetite changes with food cravings
A more severe form of PMS is known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which occurs in a smaller number of women.
The exact cause of PMS is unknown but it is believed to be related to interactions between sex hormones and brain chemicals (neurotransmitters). The most helpful diagnostic tool for PMS is a menstrual diary.
Tips on controlling PMS
- Eat complex carbohydrates (such as whole grains and whole-grain breads, pasta and cereals), fibre and protein. Cut back on sugar and fat.
- Avoid salt a few days before your period to reduce bloating and fluid retention
- Cut back on caffeine – less irritable and eases breast soreness
- Cut out alcohol – it’ll make you feel more depressed
- Try eating up to 6 small meals a day instead of 3 larger ones
- Get aerobic exercise. Work up to 30 minutes, 4 to 6 times a week
- Get plenty of sleep – about 8 hours a night
- Keep to a regular schedule of meals, bedtime and exercise.
- Try to schedule stressful events for the week after your period.