Have you ever experienced that time of the month where everything/everyone seems to tick you off and trigger your temper? When you suddenly snap at your friends or your family without even provocation from them? When you feel like craving for something sweet or munching up an extra slice of pizza? Well, girls and women are all too familiar with this, especially a few days before “THAT” time of the month–a girl’s period. And those who know you well enough are quick to avoid your bad side because they do know that you’re having the PMS thing, and voila, PMS provides you with an excuse and get away with you acting cranky on certain days.
What exactly is PMS? PMS or Premenstrual symptoms is fairly common among ovulating women during childbearing years. 7-14 days before the onset of your period, hormonal changes occur in a woman’s body, thereby triggering a set of physical and emotional symptoms. Though the exact cause of this condition is unknown, it is believed to be related to a combination of hormonal changes/imbalances, nutrition and psychological factors, but among these 3, researchers believe that the hormones estrogen and progesterone which plays a big part in the menstrual cycle interact with some brain chemicals or neurotransmitters that contribute to the PMS symptoms.
It triggers a variety of symptoms among women, some experiencing it worse than others. These symptoms may/ may not include: low back pain, headache, fatigue, breast tenderness/painful breasts, mood swings, cravings for certain food, depression, and sometimes even nausea and vomiting. No single exact treatment is known to cure PMS. All you can do is anticipate that every month, these symptoms may or may not occur, so you have to learn ways on how to cope with them once you start to feel PMS kicking in.
- Keep a menstrual diary. List down the usual length of your cycle, your anticipated dates of having a period, the symptoms you experience as well as their severity. This will help you in identifying patterns in your cycle so that you can plan the best treatment once the symptoms appear.
- Reduce stress. Instead, promote rest periods and utilize relaxation techniques once you start PMS-ing. Having adequate sleep not only helps your body relax, it also replenishes your energy–voila, instant mood changer! Stress only aggravates the symptoms of PMS, making you feel worse, so avoid it as much as possible.
- When you experience pain or cramps, you can take over the counter prescriptions of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug). These are effective for pain and cramps during red days. However, before opting for meds, try exercise first. Exercise helps in reducing and relieving tension, and enhances your mood.
- For breast tenderness and pain, wear loose clothing or you can wear a supportive bra during your premenstrual days.
- Have a support group available, if possible. PMS is never a good excuse when you get extra cranky on certain days of the month, but at least, you can tell those persons closest to you to extend their patience a little during “that” time of the month. Having someone or a few close to you as support person eases some of your worry when you feel like losing control because of hormonal changes that time of the month.You can never prevent PMS from happening.
As long as you are ovulating and in your childbearing years, you always experience such symptoms every month, only that, on varying severity for some people. What you do is learn and practice ways of reducing the effects of these symptoms in your daily routines, making you cope better with PMS.
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