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What is PMS? PMS is Premenstrual syndrome. It is a combination of physical and emotional symptoms that many women get after ovulation and before the start of their menstrual period. Researchers think that PMS happens in the days after ovulation because estrogen and progesterone levels begin falling dramatically if you are not pregnant. PMS symptoms go away within a few days after a woman’s period starts as hormone levels begin rising again. [1]


1 / What causes PMS?

Scientific research hasn’t led to a conclusive cause of PMS, or an explanation for why some people experience it more severely than others. However, there are a few different theories:

  • Cyclical changes in hormones: Many experts believe PMS happens in response to changing levels of the hormones - estrogen and progesterone.

  • Chemical changes in the brain: The neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine have several important functions in the body, including helping regulate mood, emotions, and behavior.

  • Existing mental health conditions: Living with a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety, could raise your chances of experiencing PMS or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a more severe form of PMS. A family history of PMS, bipolar disorder, or depression, including postpartum depression, can also increase this risk.

  • Lifestyle factors: Certain habits might affect the severity of your PMS symptoms. Potential lifestyle factors that could worsen PMS symptoms include: smoking; eating a lot of foods high in fat, sugar, and salt; a lack of regular physical activity; a lack of quality sleep. [2]


2 / What are the symptoms of PMS?

The list of potential signs and symptoms for premenstrual syndrome is long, but most women only experience a few of these problems:

Emotional and behavioral signs and symptoms:

  • Tension or anxiety

  • Depressed mood

  • Crying spells

  • Mood swings and irritability or anger

  • Appetite changes and food cravings

  • Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)

  • Social withdrawal

  • Poor concentration

  • Change in libido

Physical signs and symptoms:

  • Joint or muscle pain

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

  • Weight gain related to fluid retention

  • Abdominal bloating

  • Breast tenderness

  • Acne flare-ups

  • Constipation or diarrhea

  • Alcohol intolerance [3]


3 / Is there a cure or treatment for PMS?

There’s no cure for PMS, but there are steps you can take to ease your symptoms (always consult a health care professional before taking any medications, exercising, and/or making any diet changes):

  • Drink plenty of fluids to ease abdominal bloating. This includes herbal teas, like red raspberry leaf or chamomile, which may ease cramping.

  • Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

  • Consider cutting back on sugar, salt, caffeine, and alcohol, especially if you’re particularly sensitive to their effects.

  • Ask a healthcare professional about trying supplements like folic acid, vitamin B-6, calcium, and magnesium to help reduce cramps and mood symptoms.

  • Try getting more vitamin D via natural light, food, or supplements.

  • Aim to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to help relieve fatigue and improve overall well-being.

  • Try to get at least half an hour of physical activity each day, if you’re able. Exercise can not only help relieve bloating and cramping, but it can also help ease anxiety and depression symptoms.

  • Set aside time each day for self-care, which might include exercise, relaxation, time to yourself for hobbies, or time for social interaction.

  • Over-the-counter medications and treatments can also help reduce physical PMS symptoms (again talk to your health care practitioner before taking any medications). Options include: pain relievers, like ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen, for head and muscle aches or stomach cramping, diuretics to help relieve bloating and sore or tender breasts, heat wraps or heating pads on your abdomen to relieve cramps. [4]

PMS Related Products

Check out the products here that Strong and Femme offer that may aid in lowering symptoms of PMS.

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