The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) occur during the last (luteal) phase of the menstrual cycle, which starts after ovulation, about 14 to 28 of a woman’s monthly cycle.
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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects a high percentage of women of childbearing age, with many women feeling mood changes in the days prior to menstruation. Some women experience monthly menstrual symptoms like anger, irritability, and mood swings. However, severe PMS can be emotionally devastating for some women. Fortunately, treating PMS with medication and lifestyle changes can help women control mood changes and other emotional complications.
In some cases, PMS can cause overwhelming mood swings ranging from anger explosions, to crying spells and anxiety attacks, then back to a stable emotional state — all in one day.
Some symptoms of PMS include:
Managing PMS symptoms
Lifestyle changes can help some women manage PMS symptoms. For others with severe PMS, medications may be required. The following PMS treatment options can help stabilize mood swings and improve a woman’s emotional health in the weeks before menstruation:
- Exercise: Aerobic exercises such as running, swimming, bicycling, or walking can boost moods and mend depression. According to research, the feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins may help thwart some of the hormone changes that may cause severe PMS.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine: Resisting the urge to take alcohol, caffeine, and sweets for two weeks before your period may help your mood because caffeine can increase nervousness and insomnia. Reducing your intake of alcohol may also be helpful because alcohol acts as a depressant.
- According to research, antidepressants called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that change serotonin levels in the brain have been shown to be helpful for women with severe symptoms of PMS.
- Calcium supplements: These supplements helps ease mood changes according to several studies.
- Small, frequent meals: Some women who eat small meals throughout the day rather than two or three big meals report not having any symptoms of PMS. A meal high in carbohydrates, can cause blood sugar swings, which could worsen PMS. Low blood sugar may contribute to crying spells and irritability that are often seen in women with severe PMS. Try to eat six small meals a day to keep your blood sugar levels steady.
- Stress management. Stress can aggravate PMS symptoms, finding ways to ease stress can help treat PMS. Try relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga.
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