What is it?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) describes the symptoms that occur around the time of your period. Usually in the few days before you start bleeding, and finishing during your period. PMS is also known as premenstrual tension (PMT) – they mean the same thing.

What are the symptoms?

There are three main types of symptoms; physical, psychological, and emotional. Physical symptoms can include:

  • Tender breasts.
  • Backache.
  • Abdominal pain or swelling.
  • A bloated feeling in your tummy.
  • Weight gain.
  • Swollen ankles.
  • Headaches.

Psychological and emotional symptoms can include:

  • Irritability.
  • Mood swings.
  • Having a short temper.
  • Lack of confidence.
  • Heightened emotions (such as crying for no reason).
  • Feeling aggressive.
  • Having poor concentration.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Feeling more tired than usual.

Many women experience premenstrual symptoms, especially those between their 20s and 40s. PMS often improves after the menopause. Although the causes of PMS are unknown, it is thought to be linked to changing hormone levels.

What to expect?

You can try the following things:

  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Include more dark green vegetables, fresh fruits, yogurt and salads in your diet.
  • Drink more water to facilitate easy discharge of toxins from the body.
  • Stay active. Go for brisk walks or jogs in fresh open air.
  • Indulge in positive thinking. Enrol in stress management classes. Practise yoga and meditation.
  • Spend time with family. Participate in your hobbies.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Cut back on caffeine and alcohol in the two weeks before menstruation.
  • Make sure you get enough sleep.

If your symptoms are worrying you, seek GP consult.

Think you might have Premenstrual tension syndrome?

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Think you might have Premenstrual tension syndrome?