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PMS Mood Swings: Why They Happen and How to Ease the Symptoms

Most women of childbearing age undergo mood changes during premenstrual period. The highest incidence occurs among women in their late 20s to early 30s. If you are one of them - keep reading to find the treatment (if there is any).

The exact etiology of PMS and PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) is unknown but is likely multifactorial and includes both physiologic and psychological causes. Numerous studies have suggested that although women with PMS and PMDD have normal levels of estrogen and progesterone, they may have an abnormal response to normal hormonal changes.

The premenstrual syndrome has a number of symptoms: headache, weight gain, bloating, breast tenderness, mood fluctuation, restlessness, irritability, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and a feeling of being out of control. These symptoms may occur in the 2 weeks prior to menstruation and there must be at least a 7-day symptom-free interval in the first half of the menstrual cycle. Symptoms must occur in at least two consecutive cycles for the diagnosis to be made. 

About 75% of women suffer from some recurrent PMS symptoms. 

Premenstrual syndrome affects a lot of women, those that have reached the age of potential childbearing. This syndrome is known to cause emotional stress and depression to women. PMS typically starts to manifest itself around the fourteenth till the twenty fourth day after ovulation. 

Let’s take a look at the symptoms.

  • Irritability

Affected women gets irritated over little things around her. This situation occurs when a woman have a bad eyes for everything around her. Such women find it hard to appreciate others at this time.

  • Depression

Getting down and depressed is a common emotional symptom of this syndrome. PMS can also cause women to become addicted to drinks, drugs, etc. The use of antidepressants (such as SSRI’s) can help to reduce the effect of this syndrome.

  • Nervousness

Women can get nervous over little things that come their way. Such women may become really stressed out at all times.  Relaxation will be a great remedy to this. Those who love listening to music can add their recovery with a good music at all times.

  • Anxiety

PMS and anxiety is common, getting pretty anxious at all time can be very serious. Women anticipating for their menstrual cycle with fear have a higher tendency of getting emotionally derailed. The PMS anxiety treatment is relaxing at all times.

  • Crying

This is usually a result of serious pain in the abdomen area. 

  • Anger

This symptom makes women loose it all. Getting angry over little things with oneself or people around can be really disturbing. Relaxation and listening to music will surely help with this. In some cases, behavioral therapy can be needed.

Although there is no control measure yet for this syndrome, there are series of ways through which mood swings can be managed. 

The ways through which premenstrual syndrome can be managed are listed below.

What you take affects the intensity of the premenstrual syndrome you have. Eating foods low in sugar rather than food high in carbohydrates can help to reduce the effect of the syndrome. The sugar level of carbohydrates affects premenstrual syndrome greatly and it must be watched.

Most women crave for what they love most during their menstrual period. Having the ability to eat healthy can help a lot at this point of time. It is advisable to always add magnesium to your diet. Also, eating six small meals as compared to three heavy meals can help to maintain the body's sugar level. Eating magnesium rich food which can help to ease mood swings and regulate serotonin during the menstrual period. 

Avoidance of drinks rich in caffeine and alcohol can help to manage PMS mood swing. Alcohol is a depressant and must be avoided during this period to keep yourself on the right track. Caffeine can cause an increase in anxiety, nervousness and insomnia which are symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

Exercising your body is a good idea during this difficult period of time. Having proper exercise can help to stretch out muscles and on the other hand allowing flow of oxygen through the muscles. Also, exercise can help to release endorphin to boost sleep and make you feel happier.

Moreover, exercising can also help to improve symptoms of premenstrual symptoms such as depression and anxiety. 

Resting can help to relax your body at all time. Sleeping for at least five hours daily always help to increase your body metabolism. Premenstrual syndrome can be managed by sleeping either in the day or at night. Sleeping well can go a long way in helping to ease the effect of the premenstrual syndrome. 

During premenstrual syndrome period, it is advisable to engage in activities that can help to regulate the defining content of the body. Activities like walking in the sun, exercising daily and lots more can help to reduce the level of serotonin in the human body. Apart from this, it keeps you relaxed and comfortable at all times. Relaxation can help to keep your body active making it easier to cope during the period of menstruation. 

Stress is a major factor which can affect people having the premenstrual syndrome. It is important to engage in various activities that can help to reduce the effect of stress exposure. Women with this syndrome can watch movies at leisure and do things that gives them pleasure always. Women should always find the best possible ways to reduce their risk and exposure to environmental and work stress. Going on trips or lively gatherings with friends and family can also help greatly.

Premenstrual syndrome mood swings can last for an average of eighteen to twenty days. Since it usually sets in around the fourteenth day of the cycle and extends till around the seventh day after menstruation. The mood swings lasts for about fourteen days and reduce drastically after the completion of the menstrual cycle. 

The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have demonstrated clear efficacy in treating both the physical and mood symptoms of these disorders. Prozac (fluoxetine) has been approved by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of PMDD. Other drugs in this category, including Celexa (citalopram), Paxil (paroxetine), and Zoloft (sertraline), have also been shown to be effective. 

In most cases, home treatment will help to reduce PMS symptoms. However, if your PMS symptoms have lasted for more than two weeks, it is advisable to visit your doctor to avoid any complications. 


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