Hey girl, feeling a bit off this week? We know all too well that PMS is a BIG mood! You can’t help but yawn your way through the days; which mainly consist of battling random cravings for chocolate, popcorn and cheese toasties. Your breasts are kinda sore, and an actual pimple party has just broken out on your face (yikes). You find yourself ovary-acting so much, that you’re not even emotionally equipped to deal with the sound of someone chewing loudly right now. Girl, we get it – PMS can be a major pain!
So, what exactly is PMS and what causes it?
PMS, or ‘premenstrual syndrome’, is a combination of physical and emotional symptoms that many girls experience in the lead up to their period. PMS is a totally natural part of being a menstruating girl! It starts around 1 – 2 weeks before your period, and usually ends as your period begins. While the exact cause of PMS is unknown, stress levels, physical and mental health, weight, genetics and lifestyle factors can be contributors.
Okay, so what are the signs and symptoms of PMS?
PMS is super complex and can change from month-to-month, and affect each of us in different ways. From PMS mood swings to PMS cramps, girls experience a large range of symptoms! What’s normal for you, girlfriend, mightn’t be exactly what your bestie experiences! With all this in mind, most of us will notice at least one of the following signs each month:
Physical signs of PMS:
- Bloating, around your stomach or face
- Increased hunger and cravings (you’ll accept no less than 2 blocks of chocolate!)
- Cramps in your lower abdomen
- Tender/sore breasts
- Muscle aches, headaches and joint pains
- Swelling in your hands or feet
- Pimples and breakouts
- Weight gain
- Constipation and/or diarrhea
Emotional/behavioural signs of PMS:
- Feeling sad or depressed
- Crying over little things (has The Notebook ALWAYS been this beautiful!?)
- Mood swings and irritability
- Difficulty sleeping
- Finding it hard to be around people
- Feeling overwhelmed, out of control or angry
- Feeling tired and forgetful
- Loss of mental focus
What about PMDD? What is the difference between PMS vs PMDD?
Premenstrual Syndrome is totes normal, temporary and usually no major cause for concern! However, if you’re experiencing symptoms that are SO severe that they are seriously affecting your day-to-day life and mental health, you could be suffering from a debilitating form of PMS, called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Around 3-8% of menstruating women suffer from PMDD, and it often requires treatment with medication (like anti-depressants or hormonal medication), as well as lifestyle changes. PMS and period health concerns are always best discussed with a professional – so, if you think you might be experiencing PMDD, it’s best to book in a chat with your GP!
Okay, so what PMS treatments are out there?
Feed a cold, starve a fever… give PMS anything it wants! All jokes aside, rest assured that there are TONNES of ways to help alleviate the symptoms you’re experiencing. So, before you go ahead and down a second block of chocolate, cry about it and proceed to grab a third; try to give some of these ideas a whirl:
- Heat packs: The perfect thing for cramps! Heat can help your muscles relax and increase blood flow to the sore parts of your bod.
- Yoga poses: Get your zen on! Yoga can help relieve PMS symptoms, increase circulation and create a peaceful frame of mind. Our top three picks are seated twist, standing forward fold and cobra. Namaste sister!
- Exercise: A light walk or jog can do absolute wonders for clearing your head!
- Herbs: Before you reach for the Panadol, try adding some herbs to your tea or food. For instance, ginger root is great for PMS and lower back pain; fennel seed can be good for pain, nausea and fatigue; and cinnamon can also help with pain. Regularly incorporating herbs into your diet is the way to go!
- Essential oils: Beautiful and calming scents have the potential to make PMS less of a pain, for sure! Invest in an oil diffuser and create relaxing vibes with blends of lavender, orange, frankincense, mandarin, geranium… really, the list is endless.
- Netflix and naps: When all else fails, cosy up and binge the latest season of The Bold Type!
Ladies, while PMS is totally normal, if physical or emotional symptoms persist and are interfering with daily activities & your mental health, please consult with a doctor or contact Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 beyondblue.org.au
Love, Libra x
Anything else? Asaleo Care makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional, medical or other health professional advice.