What is PMS?
Previously known as Pre Menstrual Tension, it is now a recognised syndrome so it’s better known as PMS (Pre Menstrual Syndrome). So, not only do girls have to contend with periods, but some of us also experience the PMS, a combination of physical and emotional ailments. PMS usually starts about a week before your period is due, and hormone changes during your cycle are mainly to blame. The severity of PMS varies, but the good news is that once you start bleeding, all symptoms generally disappear. It’s therefore advisable to keep a diary of your symptoms to work out if its actually PMS you’re suffering from.
What are the signs?
The good news is up to 50% of girls don’t experience PMS at all. If you suffer the following up to two weeks prior to your period, then you may have PMS…
The Emotional Signs:
Mood Swings: One minute you’re in great form, cracking jokes and having a laugh, the next you’re in floods… and then you’re giggling again. Your little brother reckons your possessed by the devil and your dad just leaves the room every time you enter it.
Cravings: You find yourself eating an entire packed of Hobnobs or six tubes of Pringles… in one go. Hey, they were calling your name!
Clumsiness: Eh, who put that table there? You just can’t stop bumping into things. What’s up with that?!
Forgetfulness: You run up to your bedroom to get something, and when you get there, you can’t for the life of you remember what it was or why you’re up there.
Anxiety: You find yourself stressing out about the conversation you had with that guy you fancy, or about something small and insignificant that happened earlier that day.
Irritability: When your (poor) mum asks a completely innocent question like, ‘Oh, have you seen the car keys?’ you launch into a tired about the 10 reasons why you wouldn’t have anything to do with losing the keys, in fact, you’re not even old enough to drive.
Depression: You feel really really sad and hopeless, with no explanation.
Restlessness: You can’t sit still or concentrate on anything for long.
Over-sensitivity: Someone only has to glance in your direction and you accuse them on picking on you. And then you start to cry again.
Low self-image and social withdrawal: You really don’t like the way you look, so there is NO way you can go to that party on Saturday!
The Physical Signs:
Swollen belly: It might feel a little fuller and harder than usual, but it will go down in time.
Breast swelling and tenderness: They feel so sore it’s not funny, and whether you look at it as a positive or negative, sorry, the increase in size ain’t permanent!
Tight, swollen fingers and toes: Yep, even the toes are affected. Sigh, such fun.
Headache: You love music but not when it feels like there’s a marching band in your head.
Constipation: You may be a bit, eh, irregular and that’s why you should load up on the whole grains.
Spots: You could play join the dots on your normally far more flawless complexion.
Palpitations: Your heart is racing and it’s not your crush that’s sending it fluttering.
Nausea: For no reason, you feel like you could and possibly will lose your breakfast. Ick.
Aches: Your whole body feels like it’s been taken over by an 80-year-old granny who’s just done a spot of break dancing.
Sleep: Your sleep pattern is all over the place and counting sheep is so not helping, neither is spending all night on your phone.
Thirst: You feel like you’ve run the mini-marathon by the amount of fluids you’re knocking back.
If you’re PMS is getting in the way of your life, talk to a parent, guardian or doctor about getting some help.