Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
What is Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)?
PMS is the symptoms women can experience days or weeks prior to their period. Most women experience some symptoms before their period but it can considerably vary in severity. The exact cause of PMS is not known but it may be due to changes in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle. A small number of women can experience very severe symptoms of PMS known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).
Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS sub types are based on the most prominent and severe presenting symptoms. These can range from psychological to physical:
PMS-A (Anxiety) – the most common type, includes anxiety often alongside irritability and mood swings. Usually a result of estrogen dominance (high ratio estrogen:progesterone). May result in slightly shorter cycles.
PMS-C (Cravings) – involves food cravings, particularly simple carbohydrates and refined sugars. Creates blood sugar imbalances, which result in tiredness and difficulty concentrating, and can further affect your sex hormones.
PMS-H (Hyperhydration) – related to high levels of water retention, bloating and breast tenderness. Also related to an excess of estrogen.
PMS-D (Depression) – the least common type but more serious, associated with symptoms of depression such as low mood, tearfulness, insomnia and social withdrawal. Usually caused by very low levels of estrogen and high progesterone. May result in slightly longer menstrual cycles.