Premenstrual Stress (PMS): Understanding The Challenges And Solutions

Women of reproductive age are quite familiar with those difficult and hellish times that precede the menstruation cycle. The one or two weeks before menstruation is filled with certain emotional and physical issues and this is collectively known as pre-menstrual stress or premenstrual syndrome.

Read on more to know everything about premenstrual stress and how you can cope with these excruciating times!

What Is Premenstrual Syndrome?

Pre-menstrual stress is also known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It is a condition where certain physical and emotional symptoms occur one or two weeks before your period cycle begins.

Premenstrual Syndrome

The causes behind this haven’t been exactly identified. Still, the fluctuations in certain hormone levels in your body such as estrogen and progesterone can be one reason that causes these symptoms. 

Symptoms of Premenstrual Stress

There are both physical symptoms as well as psychological symptoms of PMS.

Symptoms of Premenstrual Stress

Some of the physical symptoms are:

  • Menstrual cramps or lower abdominal pain
  • Cravings for certain food items
  • Weight gain and bloating
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Pimple and acne breakouts
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen breasts
  • Headaches and oily skin

And some psychological symptoms characterized by Pre-menstrual stress are:

  • Increased irritability
  • Unwanted anger and frustration
  • Low mood and depression
  • Anxiety and mood swings
  • Difficulty in sleeping 
  • Social withdrawal
  • Lack of focus
  • Reduced libido

What is Premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD)?

Unlike PMS, women who suffer from Premenstrual dysmorphic disorder might have more severe symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and mood swings. It is characterized as a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). When you are suffering from Premenstrual dysmorphic disorder, you might experience symptoms from pre-menstrual stress as well as extreme cases of mental and emotional issues. Studies show that Premenstrual dysmorphic disorder can affect 10% of women of reproductive age.  Some of the symptoms of PMDD are:

  • Extreme anger and irritability
  • Anxiety and bouts of panic attacks
  • Depression which even leads to suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling overwhelmed or tense
  • Insomnia and headaches
  • Fatigue and being physically weak
  • Binge eating or large changes in appetite

Tips to Relieve Premenstrual Stress

By following certain healthy tips and techniques, you can get some sort of relief from pre-menstrual stress issues.

Tips to Relieve Premenstrual Stress

  1. Follow a healthy and balanced diet– Eating a healthy and balanced diet during pre-menstrual stress can help you relieve some of its symptoms. Include foods abundant in Calcium and Vitamin D. Avoid processed foods and added sugar.
  2. Go with exercise– Contrary to popular belief, exercise can relieve many of the symptoms associated with pre-menstrual stress. It can release endorphins, which are the happy hormones for your body, and can relieve symptoms like stress and anxiety. 
  3. Choose herbal remedies– You can consume herbal remedies for relieving the excruciating difficulties encountered during the pre-menstrual phase. Choose things like curcumin which has anti-inflammatory properties that can help you relieve muscle cramps and pain.
  4. Indulge in a hot and steamy bath- Heat can relax your muscle cramps and make your mind at ease. You can indulge in a long hot bath to relieve the symptoms of pre-menstrual stress.
  5. Try to get some quality sleep– Sleep is important for your body to function properly. Make sure you are tucking in early during your PMS times. It can give you enough relaxation and energy to tackle the next day. 
  6. Go for an orgasm–  Yes, you heard it right! Having sex during the pre-menstrual stress can help you relax and it can fill your brain with oxytocin, the hormones that bring pleasure and comfort. Sex can be a great way for your body to workout as well which can also uplift your moods during the Premenstrual stress times. 

The bottom line

On going through the article, it can be found that premenstrual stress is a reality and many women are suffering from this condition. It is also called Premenstrual syndrome aka pre-menstrual stress. These symptoms are characterized by certain emotional and physical changes one or two weeks before menstruation. By following a healthy diet and lifestyle, some of the difficulties during pre-menstrual stress can be relieved. 

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