How To Manage PMS Mood Swings?
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a collection of physical and emotional symptoms that start a week or so before your period. It makes some people feel moodier than usual and others bloated and achy. Ovulation happens in the midway of your cycle. The movement of estrogen and progesterone causes both physical and emotional symptoms because of which your body releases an egg, causing estrogen and progesterone levels to let down. Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels also effect serotonin levels.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your mood, sleep cycle, and appetite. Low levels of serotonin are linked to feelings of sadness, irritability, trouble sleeping and unusual food cravings, these are the common PMS symptoms. Experts aren’t sure about the exact cause of PMS, but it’s likely linked to hormonal fluctuations that happen during the second half of the menstrual cycle.
Hormonal birth control methods like the pill or patch, can help with bloating, tender breasts, and other physical PMS symptoms. For some people, they can also help with emotional symptoms, including mood swings. But for others, it can make mood swings worse. If you go in this path, you might have to try out different types of birth control before you find a method that works for you.
PMS can also cause mood swings in the weeks leading up to their period. Mood swings involve a sudden, unexplained change in mood. You might wake up in a great mood but find yourself becoming angry and irritable an hour or two later for no reason. Other emotional symptoms of PMS can include:
How To Manage Mood Swings?
Start keeping a track of your menstrual cycle and your emotions throughout its different stages. This will help you confirm that your mood swings are indeed linked to your cycle. Knowing there’s a reason you’re feeling extra moody can also help keep things in perspective and offer some validation. You can also make out a chart to track your menstrual cycle. Across the top, write the day of the month (1 to31). List your symptoms down the left side of the page. Put an X in the box next to the symptoms you experience every day. Note whether each symptom is mild, moderate, or severe.
Having a detailed log of your last few cycles is also handy if you want to bring up your symptoms with your doctor. There’s still some stigma around PMS. Having a note of your symptoms might help you feel more confident about bringing them up.
To track mood swings, make a note when you experience any of these symptoms:
- Sudden & unexplained changes in your mood
- Poor sleep or too much sleep
- Low energy
- Trouble in concentrating
- lack of interest in your daily activities
A couple of vitamins may help relieve PMS-related mood swings. In a recent study researchers found that a calcium supplement helped with PMS-related feelings of sadness, irritability, and anxiety. There are many foods which are good sources of calcium, like:
You can also take a daily supplement containing 1,200 mg of calcium. It can take about three menstrual cycles to see any symptom improvement while taking calcium. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t see results right away.
Vitamin B-6 also help with PMS symptoms. The following foods can are rich in vitamin B-6. Vitamin B-6 also comes in supplement form. You can take 100 mg a day (don’t take more than 100 mg).
- Fortified cereals
Will my PMS symptoms get better as I age?
The symptoms of PMS can appear any time between puberty and menopause, but the most common age for it to start to become a problem is during the late 20s to early 30s. Symptoms of PMS may get worse with age and stress, although the underlying causes are not well understood. Probably not until you reach menopause. In some women, symptoms of PMS worsen with age and stress. Even women who have had hysterectomies can have PMS if at least one functional ovary is left intact following the hysterectomy. Once you reach menopause, your PMS symptoms will end with the end of menstruation.
There are several lifestyle factors that play a role or help in PMS symptoms:
- Nutrition: Large amounts of sugar, fat, and salt can all create devastation on your mood. You don’t need to cut them out completely, but try to balance out these foods with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This will help keep you full throughout the day and help avoid drops in blood sugar, which can make you irritable. Try to resist the junk food cravings that can come with PMS
- Stress: Uncontrolled stress can worsen mood swings. Use deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga to calm both your mind and body, especially when you feel PMS symptoms.
- Exercise: Try to be active for at least 30 minutes every day. Even a daily walk through your neighborhood can help with feelings of sadness, irritability, and anxiety.
- Sleep: Not getting enough sleep can kill your mood if you’re weeks away from your period. Try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night, especially in the week or two leading up to your period.
- For many people, PMS is a frustrating monthly torture. However, there are several supplements that may help with both your physical and emotional symptoms.
- Many supplements actually become more effective over time, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t notice immediate results. Some may take 3 to 6 months to work.