A young woman holds a yoga mat in a park and sips a green smoothie

Dealing With PMS? Here's What You Can Do

You can probably anticipate when your time of the month is approaching by the not-so-desirable signs of PMS that precede it. Whether you experience headaches, bloating, cramps, mood swings, irritability, or one of the several other symptoms, don’t despair! We’ve got some tips and tricks to help you conquer your cycle.

Quench Your Thirst

Staying hydrated is essential, and you need to be picky about what you put in your body. Drinking plenty of water can help alleviate cramps and bloating while sipping caffeinated beverages, sugary drinks, or alcohol can make the symptoms of PMS worse.

Get Moving

Exercise produces endorphins, which keep you feeling happy, reduce stress, and decrease the amount of pain you feel. Whether you usually experience mood swings, cramps, or irritability, working out can be an effective method for managing symptoms. Find an activity you enjoy, such as jogging, swimming, or dancing, so it doesn’t feel like a chore.

Eat Around the Clock

Large meals can cause your blood sugar to fluctuate, which might result in irritability, mood swings, or other undesirable symptoms. Opt for several small meals throughout the day to keep your blood sugar steady. When you do eat, go for nutritious foods and avoid simple carbs or anything loaded with sugar or salt, as these are more likely to cause blood sugar swings, bloating, and cramps.

Get Your Beauty Sleep

You’ve probably experienced the grumpiness that follows a sleepless night. Combine that with the existing irritability and mood swings that accompany PMS and you’re in for a long, frustrating day. Getting at least eight hours of sleep a night is essential for staying upbeat during PMS, and it’s especially important since you’re going to want to limit your caffeine intake (which can make your symptoms worse).  

Talk It Out

Let’s face it: PMS can leave you feeling depressed or anxious. Find a trusted friend or family member who can help you talk through your emotions. Having a companion can help you feel accepted and better able to handle whatever mood swings PMS sends your way.

If it feels like PMS is controlling your life, schedule an appointment with your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group OB/GYN. Our experienced team can review your symptoms, determine whether you may have premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and find a solution tailored to your specific needs.

Sources:
Healthline | PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)
Very Well Health| How to Reduce PMS Symptoms
Everyday Health | Mood Swings: PMS and Your Emotional Health
CNN | Why endorphins (and exercise) make you happy