About PMS

  • What is PMS?

    Many women have cramps along with their periods. The pain can range from mild to very painful, and it can vary from month to month how much they hurt and how long they last. Many—but not all—women also experience PMS (premenstrual syndrome). PMS is the name of the group of symptoms that start around 7 to 14 days before your period begins and usually stop very soon after your period starts. No one knows for sure what causes PMS, but it seems to be linked to the changes in hormone levels that happen during your menstrual cycle. If you experience PMS, you may experience one, some, or many different symptoms. Some months your PMS may be worse than others or you may have no PMS symptoms at all.

  • What are the possible symptoms of PMS?

    • Acne
    • Feeling anxious
    • Bloated (swollen) stomach
    • Headaches
    • Constipation
    • Joint pain
    • Crying spells
    • Mood swings
    • Depression
    • Tender breasts
    • Hard time focusing
    • Hunger
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Feeling tense
    • Swollen hands, feet
    • Feeling crabby
    • Being tired
    • Hard time handling stress

  • What can I do to minimize PMS?

    You may have heard that vitamins and other pills such as vitamin B6, vitamin E, magnesium, manganese and tryptophan can help relieve PMS. There has not been enough research done on these vitamins to know if they really help, and they may even hurt you. Talk to your doctor if you are thinking about trying any of these.

    Every woman is different when it comes to PMS. But here are some tips that may help:

    • Eat complex carbohydrates (found in whole grain breads, pasta and cereals), fiber and protein
    • Eat less sugar and fat
    • Stay away from salt the few days before your period (to reduce bloating)
    • Drink less caffeine (found in soda, tea and coffee) to feel less crabby and help ease breast soreness
    • Eat small frequent meals each day rather than big ones
    • Make sure you are getting the exercise teens need: 30 minutes of exercise, 4 to 6 times a week
    • Make sure to get about 8 hours of sleep at night
    • Keep a regular schedule for exercise, meals, and bedtime