The thought of getting closer to my period is like, “Oh, here we go again.”
Some girls and women have an unremarkable period experience while others suffer – their experience ranging from distinct discomfort to definite pain.
I’ve had some girlfriends say that they experience cramps and nausea. I’ve experienced terrible cramps – sometimes my legs would go a bit numb; I’d have back pain and my feet would hurt.
Then we get the days that we get right before our monthly cycle kicks in and that is referred to as premenstrual syndrome.
What is premenstrual syndrome?
According to WebMd, “PMS is a group of changes that can affect you on many levels. They can be physical, emotional, or behavioural. The changes come one-to-two weeks before your period.”
Symptoms of PMS
Because we are all different, we would all experience different symptoms of PMS. These are some of the signs:
- Bloated tummy
- Swollen hands and feet
- Weight gain
- Constipation or diarrhoea
You may also suffer from emotional signs such as mood swings, anxiety, depression, struggling to fall asleep, not wanting to be around people, feeling overwhelmed, or experience angry outbursts – I have to admit that that does in fact happen to me.
How can I manage my PMS?
As with all health-related issues there are a few things that could help to make our PMS journey a bit smoother:
- Eat healthily
- Exercise often
- Cut out caffeine, salt, sugar and alcohol
- Have a regular sleep routine
- Drink plenty of water
- You can even get over-the-counter medication if your symptoms are excessive. If it does get too painful then it’s best to see your local doctor.
My own personal experience of managing PMS is that I tend to steer clear of diary. I drink less coffee and more tea, and sometimes I may not even be in the mood to eat; it really varies from person to person. I also tend to drink more warm water to help ease the cramps and headaches that I sometimes experience.
According to Healthline, “PMS is a very common concern. Nearly 48 percent of women who are of reproductive age experience PMS, and for about 20 percent of them, symptoms are severe enough to affect their regular routine.”
There is no conclusive evidence as to why women experience PMS, however researchers have suggested that the cyclical changes in hormones, chemical changes in the brain, existing mental conditions and lifestyle factors may have a role to play respectively.
Some people may suggest that PMS isn’t a real condition, however, PMS is real – I can attest to that, and it can even disrupt daily life for some women. It can cause physical pain and discomfort and emotional changes.
Luckily in most instances the signs and symptoms of PMS will disappear four days after the start of your period.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
Unfortunately, there are a small amount of women who have an onslaught of severe PMS every single month and it is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
According to MayoClinic, PMDD signs and symptoms are quite severe and include depression, mood swings, anger, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, difficulty concentrating, irritability and tension.
Being a female is sometimes tough, right? But we get through it, we’re stronger than we think we are. From me to you, I hope your next cycle is smooth sailing; if not, rest well and take it as easy as you can.
Read more here on how to do deal with your insecurities.
Tell us: Have you ever experienced PMS or is this your first time hearing of it?