Premenstrual symptoms are the physical and emotional changes that some people experience before their menstrual period. These symptoms can vary from mild to severe, and can include mood swings, acne, bloating, breast pain, depression, anxiety, headache, joint pain, irritability, hunger, and food cravings 123.
The exact cause of premenstrual symptoms is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to the natural fluctuations of hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone, and a brain chemical called serotonin, which affects mood 123. These changes can affect the way the body responds to stress, inflammation, and pain.
Premenstrual symptoms can be managed by making some lifestyle changes, such as reducing salt and caffeine intake, drinking plenty of fluids, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and practicing relaxation techniques 123. Some people may also benefit from taking pain relievers, antidepressants, diuretics, or hormonal contraceptives, under the guidance of a health care provider 123.
If you have severe or persistent premenstrual symptoms that interfere with your daily functioning or relationships, you may have a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which requires medical attention 23. You can talk to your doctor or a mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment options.