Recognizing premenstrual symptoms and treating them
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has the potential to significantly disrupt daily life when menstruation arrives, possibly even causing temporary disability. This is why it is essential to be able to identify these symptoms and implement prevention or relief strategies. So you are in the right place. In this article, we guide you on what PMS is, we explain the symptoms and pain that you can feel and we give you our best advice to relieve and prevent these symptoms. Good reading !
Quick reminder, what is premenstrual syndrome?
What if we started with a little reminder of what premenstrual syndrome is?
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a set of physical and emotional symptoms that occur in some menstruating people during the premenstrual phase of their cycle , usually one to two weeks before their period, and which disappear after their period arrives. These symptoms can vary in intensity and nature from one woman to another.
It would concern 20 to 40% of women of childbearing age (🤯). And according to the Archives of Women's Mental Health , 61% of women of all ages have had mood-related symptoms during each menstrual cycle. We don't know if this surprises you as much as it does us, but these numbers are shocking!
Shocking, because this is a major problem for menstruating people, particularly in terms of public health. Just like other health issues that affect women, this subject remains relatively unknown because the causes are still unclear (which constitutes a real scourge).
This is why it is crucial to recognize the symptoms of PMS in order to find solutions to alleviate them.
👉If you think you suffer from PMS and are looking for a trusted doctor, browse our directory of health professionals recommended by our community (and by you) for their kindness and professionalism.
5 emotional symptoms of PMS
Does your mood change as your period approaches? Your morale is down, you are much more irritable, more sensitive... it may be due to premenstrual syndrome! Here are 5 most common symptoms:
It would find its origin in the hormonal fluctuations which characterize the premenstrual phase. Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels can intensify emotional reactivity, leading to heightened responses to habitual stimuli. This individual sensitivity to hormonal changes can make the person more likely to experience irritability during this time of the menstrual cycle .
The consequences of this irritability go beyond simple emotional reactions, they can affect social relationships. Interpersonal tensions can emerge, sometimes leading to conflicts.
Managing this irritability requires a holistic approach, incorporating stress management strategies, calming activities, and open communication to minimize the impact on overall emotional well-being. Understanding the origins of this irritability allows us to adopt preventive measures and encourage more empathetic responses from those around us. In cases of significant difficulties, consulting a healthcare professional can offer personalized advice for more effective management of PMS symptoms.
For reasons similar to those explaining irritability, fluctuations in hormonal levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, may play a role in the manifestation of anxiety. These hormonal variations can disrupt the chemical balance of the brain, impacting serotonin and thus contributing to anxiety symptoms.
Besides excessive worrying, PMS anxiety can also manifest in physical symptoms such as palpitations and muscle tension. It is important to note that, in some cases, the anxiety associated with PMS can also influence the menstrual cycle, sometimes delaying the arrival of periods. Individual sensitivity to these hormonal changes varies from woman to woman. Managing anxiety during this time may require a holistic approach, involving relaxation techniques, meditative practices, and, if necessary, consultation with a healthcare professional.
Disturbances in concentration are also a significant emotional symptom of PMS, again, due to hormonal variations (which seems to be the most likely cause of these symptoms).
For reasons similar to those explaining irritability and anxiety, fluctuations in hormonal levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, may play a role in these difficulties concentrating. These hormonal changes can also have repercussions on brain chemistry, notably impacting mental clarity and memory. Women may experience problems with focus, memory, and decision-making during this time. These difficulties concentrating can interfere with daily and work activities, sometimes leading to additional challenges.
Managing these concentration difficulties may involve strategies such as planning tasks effectively, taking regular breaks, and specific concentration techniques.
A feeling of despondency or depression (see suicidal thoughts):
Still due to fluctuating hormones, women can feel depressed before their period. The consequences of this feeling of despondency can go beyond simple sadness, profoundly affecting overall emotional well-being. It is essential to recognize that in some cases this depression can progress to suicidal thoughts, highlighting the importance of taking these symptoms seriously.
Managing this emotional dimension of PMS may require a multifaceted approach, involving psychological support, therapeutic interventions, or even medication in the most serious cases. In case of severe depressive feelings, it is imperative to seek professional assistance!
A changing mood:
Estrogen and progesterone levels experience significant changes, which impacts the regulation of serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to mood. This complex interaction can result in emotional transitions from sadness to euphoria, sometimes in unpredictable ways. Additionally, individual sensitivity to hormonal fluctuations also contributes to this diversity of experiences.
The consequences of these mood changes during menstruation are diverse. They can affect not only social relationships, sometimes generating tension, but also the general well-being of the person. Difficulties anticipating and managing these emotional variations can lead to emotional stress, making self-management more complex. Understanding these mechanisms provides a basis for developing coping strategies, such as stress management, social support, and open communication to minimize negative impacts on quality of life during the premenstrual period.
In the event of particularly severe symptoms, it is always recommended to consult a healthcare professional for appropriate advice!
✨ Gapianne is the partner of women's well-being. Our goal is to support you on all issues related to intimacy and your cycles.
So, if you suffer from PMS, in this case mood fluctuations, stress or depression, we recommend CBD oil 1500mg from the favorite brand, Équilibre. CBD has anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties, helping to alleviate the emotional and physical symptoms of PMS, such as irritability, anxiety, depression, and difficulty concentrating, but also pain!
Miyé’s “Hormonal Dysregulation” supplements are also a solution to consider. They regulate emotional (mood, sleep, stress) and physical (hot flashes, cramps, hormonal acne, irregular cycle) imbalances, linked to hormonal variations.
Finally, we have put together a special routine for mood disorders , designed especially for a happier menstrual cycle!
9 Physical Symptoms of PMS
Do you feel excessively tired? Do you have cramps that prevent you from making any movements? Do you sleep poorly and to top it off, do you have acne that appears as your period approaches? You may be suffering from physical symptoms of PMS. Here is a list of the 9 most common symptoms, which are often linked to each other:
Excessive fatigue is one of the most common physical symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Many women experience increased fatigue in the days leading up to their period. This feeling of weariness can be so intense that it can significantly impact the quality of daily life.
Women with PMS frequently report a decrease in their overall energy levels, difficulty concentrating, and a tendency to feel exhausted even after adequate rest. This fatigue can interfere with daily, professional and social activities, sometimes requiring adjustments in time management and personal expectations.
It is important to note that fatigue associated with PMS is not simply a consequence of menstruation itself, but rather a complex symptom influenced by various physiological and psychological factors. Taking measures such as adopting a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular physical activity, can help alleviate these symptoms and improve quality of life during this specific period of the menstrual cycle. A health professional can also help you get better, consider consulting.
✨ If you want a little boost to regain energy, you can supplement with vitamins! Vitamins B5, B6, B12 and vitamins C are superb for fighting fatigue. We really like the Even supplements , to take as a treatment!
Sleep disorders (insomnia or hypersomnia):
Sleep disturbances are also a common symptom. During the period before their period, many women report sleep problems, manifesting either as increased insomnia or unusual hypersomnia. These variations in sleep patterns can contribute significantly to the fatigue and general feeling of malaise associated with PMS.
Insomnia, characterized by difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakenings during the night, or shallow sleep, can be exacerbated by symptoms such as menstrual pain, bloating, and emotional irritability. On the other hand, some women may experience hypersomnia, characterized by a tendency to sleep longer than usual and feel persistent fatigue even after prolonged hours of sleep.
Establishing good sleep habits, such as maintaining a regular routine, creating an environment conducive to sleep, and avoiding stimulants before bed, can help alleviate these PMS-related sleep problems. In the event of persistent disturbances, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional to explore solutions tailored to each individual situation.
✨ A tip to prepare yourself for a good night's sleep is to consume CBD herbal tea every day in the evening. CBD is known for many benefits, including promoting sleep and sleeping better. The Ho Karan infusion is our favorite!
Headaches or migraines:
Headaches, including migraines, are also among the physical symptoms frequently reported by women during the premenstrual period. This form of headache can vary in intensity, from mild to severe, and can have a significant impact on the quality of life of affected women.
Some experts believe that the drop in estrogen levels that occurs just before menstruation can trigger inflammatory and neurological responses, contributing to headaches.
Migraines associated with PMS can be particularly debilitating, with symptoms including throbbing pain, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and sometimes vomiting. These migraines can occur a few days before the start of your period and persist during your period.
Managing PMS headaches can involve a variety of approaches, from taking pain medication to making lifestyle changes. It is essential to consult a health professional to obtain personalized advice and develop a treatment plan adapted to the severity of the symptoms.
Decreased sexual desire:
Low libido can affect women's intimate lives. This variation in sexual desire can be attributed to several factors, including hormonal fluctuations, emotional changes, and physical symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle.
In the premenstrual phase, some women may experience decreased sexual arousal, sometimes associated with increased sensitivity, physical discomfort, or emotional irritability. Physical symptoms such as abdominal pain, fatigue, and headaches can also contribute to decreased sexual desire. Additionally, emotional changes, such as irritability and increased sensitivity, can impact sex life by creating a climate less conducive to intimacy.
It is important to note that the drop in sexual desire associated with PMS is often temporary and disappears after the start of your period. However, if this symptom persists or significantly affects quality of life, it may be useful to discuss these concerns with a health professional who can explore appropriate solutions, whether through medical, psychotherapeutic or lifestyle approaches. life.
Cravings for sweet or salty foods:
Many women report an increased appetite, often accompanied by a marked preference for foods high in sugar or salt, in the days before their period.
Again, hormonal fluctuations are often associated with these specific cravings. These changes can influence neurotransmitters and chemical signals in the brain that regulate appetite and food preferences. As a result, women may feel an increased need to consume comfort foods such as sweets, chocolates, salty snacks, or other carbohydrate-rich foods.
These cravings may also be linked to emotional changes, as some women may seek to relieve stress, irritability, or mood fluctuations by satisfying specific food cravings.
Although these cravings are normally temporary and linked to the menstrual cycle, maintaining an overall dietary balance and favoring healthy food choices is essential to support overall health, even during the premenstrual period.
These cramps are usually called "menstrual pain" or "dysmenorrhea." They are caused by contractions of the uterus, which contracts to expel the uterine lining when a pregnancy has not occurred.
Premenstrual cramps are usually felt a few days before your period starts and may persist for the first few days of the menstrual cycle. Hormonal changes, particularly an increase in prostaglandins (chemicals involved in uterine contractions), are often associated with these cramps.
✨ Painful periods are a concern that matters a lot to us at Gapianne. Our e-shop is full of tip-top solutions for women suffering from pain related to their cycles.
For abdominal cramps, we strongly advise you to use a special massage oil for period pain. The one from the Nidéco brand is wonderful. Simply put a few drops on your stomach (or lower back) and massage it. You will see, your spasms will go away.
For those suffering from endometriosis, Equilibre's 20% CBD oil is made for you. We receive a lot of positive feedback from our customers! To try it is to adopt it, it can help you find an active life during your painful moments.
Finally, the new gem that we love here is the Bluetens device ! Thanks to electrostimulation, this medical device provides immediate relief from your pain.
Don't wait any longer to relieve your cramps.
Muscle pain, especially in the lower back:
These feelings of pain can, again, be attributed to hormonal fluctuations typical of the menstrual cycle or the contraction of the muscles of the uterus.
Premenstrual muscle pain can manifest as stiffness, tension, cramps or aches, often affecting areas such as the back (this is why you can have back pain when your period arrives), legs (feeling of heavy legs before and during menstruation) or abdomen.
Who has never felt a little bloated when their period approaches? Water retention is a common premenstrual symptom for many menstruators! Hormones (them again!) influence the functioning of the kidneys, which regulate water balance in the body. Additionally, hormonal variations can cause an increase in blood vessel permeability, causing water to pass from the blood vessels into the tissues. This is why we can feel a little bloated!
Swellings can be in the breasts, hands, feet, ankles and other parts of the body. This is why some people feel like they are gaining weight before their period.
Although water retention is normal and common as a premenstrual symptom, it is essential to maintain adequate hydration and adopt healthy lifestyle habits, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, to alleviate these symptoms. symptoms.
An acne breakout:
Acne breakouts are considered a premenstrual symptom because they usually occur in the days before your period starts, during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
During the luteal phase, levels of sex hormones, including progesterone, peak. This hormonal increase can stimulate the skin's oil glands, which can lead to increased sebum production. And as you probably already know, excess sebum can clog the pores of the skin, creating an environment conducive to the proliferation of bacteria and favoring the development of that famous acne!
✨ Hormonal acne can be very difficult to experience. There are many natural and healthy products that can help you. We are thinking in particular of the super hormonal anti-acne facial treatment from Oh My Periods . This gel is formulated with prebiotics, which helps rebalance and protect your skin.
You can also start a supplement treatment against hormonal imbalance. We really like those from Twenty Eight which help restore a healthy microbiota.
Hormonal fluctuations, the main culprits of PMS symptoms?
Hormonal fluctuations are believed to be the main cause of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) due to the changes that occur in sex hormone levels throughout the menstrual cycle.
During the follicular phase, which begins after menstruation, estrogen levels gradually increase, peaking just before ovulation. Then, after ovulation, the luteal phase begins, characterized by an increase in progesterone, which peaks before the start of menstruation. These hormonal fluctuations can affect various systems in the body, including the central nervous system, autonomic nervous system, immune system, and metabolism!
Additionally, complex interactions between hormones can influence neurotransmission, the inflammatory response, and other physiological processes that contribute to PMS symptoms. Hormones can also impact emotional well-being, by influencing serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation.
It is important to note that not all women experience the same symptoms equally intensely, and the severity of symptoms can vary from cycle to cycle. The exact mechanisms underlying PMS are not fully understood, but hormonal fluctuations play a central role in this complex process.
If your PMS is too uncomfortable and prevents you from living a “normal” life, consider getting help from a healthcare professional!