The exact cause of PMS is not known. Hormone changes occur in all women around their period. Overall health, daily habits, and other factors may make some more sensitive to these changes.
PMS may cause:
- Mood swings
- Low self-esteem
- Having a hard time concentrating
- Sleep problems
- Appetite changes, such as sugar and/or salt cravings or overeating
- Weight gain
- Breast swelling and tenderness
- Belly upset
- Muscle pain
There is no one treatment that will cure PMS. Steps may help to ease symptoms. Options include:
Stress can trigger PMS and make symptoms worse. Certain habits and tools can help to ease the effect of stress . Relaxation techniques such as music or deep breathing may help. Massage and hot baths may also help reduce tension in the body.
Diet and Exercise
Diets high in salt, sugar, and caffeine may make PMS worse. Large meals may also increase discomfort. Diet should focus on healthy foods. This includes plenty of fruits and vegetables and healthy proteins. Plan for small, frequent meals throughout the day.
Exercise may also help to decrease symptoms. It should occur on a regular basis not just during period.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals that may reduce PMS symptoms include:
- Vitamin E may reduce breast tenderness
- Calcium may decrease bloating, depression, and aches
- Magnesium may decrease pain and fluid retention and improve mood
- Manganese may help control symptoms of menstrual pain
The doctor may recommend medicine for some symptoms. Options include:
- Diuretics—to reduce bloating and fluid build up
- Pain relievers
- Birth control pills—to reduce physical symptoms
- Antidepressants—to reduce emotional symptoms
Some symptoms may not be eased with medicine. Therapy can help you better cope with them. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one common option. It may help to reduce frustrations and discomfort.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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