Helping her manage PMS

How To Recognize the Symptoms of PMS & Tips To Manage It!

Your preteen or teenage daughter has most likely heard the term PMS, but she may not know what it is or how it could affect her once she gets her period. It's a bit of a good news/bad news situation. On the one hand, PMS can bring pain and discomfort and on the other there are many things you can do to alleviate the symptoms.

Here's a quick factsheet about Premenstrual Syndrome. Below you'll find useful topics and practical information for talking to your daughter about PMS. You can use it as a loose 'script' or just as a conversation starter.

Well known but not popular: PMS

You’ve probably heard of PMS or ‘premenstrual syndrome’ – it’s the combination of symptoms that some girls suffer from a week or so before their period. Symptoms can peak just before you come on your period but disappear during it. Some teenage girls can suffer badly from PMS, others are hardly affected.

The symptoms of PMS

What are the symptoms you can look out for? You may suffer from some or all of them, including:

  • Cramps
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Backaches.
  • Bloating
  • Mood swings
  • Mild depression
  • Changes in hair and skin

What causes PMS?

Doctors and scientists are still trying to find the exact cause of PMS. What they do know is that it is related to the way your body’s hormones change through your monthly cycle.

How can you tell if you’ve got PMS?

The best way to tell if you’ve got PMS is to keep a daily diary of symptoms for two or three months. Write down when you feel your symptoms (for example, getting pimples, feeling irritable and/or clumsy) and how severe they are.

Your doctor may want to rule out other conditions first before confirming you have PMS, as many symptoms of PMS are similar to those of other underlying conditions. They may ask you to have a physical or pelvic exam to rule out any gynaecological problems. Both you and your doctor will get helpful information from your body about whether you have PMS or not.

Another possibility: PMDD

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is more extreme than PMS, with sufferers experiencing severe depression symptoms, irritability and tension. If during the week or so before your period, you frequently find yourself feeling overwhelmed, tense, anxious; if you frequently cry or are constantly irritable and angry so that you cause conflict with other people, you may be suffering from PMDD.

The symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of PMS, but more exaggerated. They can include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Persistent sadness or depression
  • Extreme anger and anxiety
  • Decreased interest in usual activities
  • Sleeping much more or less than usual
  • Very low self-esteem
  • Extreme tension and irritability.

Consult your doctor if you think you could have PMDD.

Top 10 ways to treat PMS

Here are some tried and tested ways to beat those PMS blues:

  • Avoid salt, caffeine, sugary drinks and alcohol
  • Try to eat six small meals a day instead of three large ones. This may help keep your symptoms from getting out of control.
  • Get a full night’s sleep every night – even at weekends
  • Keep up with your sports – it’ll lift your mood and may make you sleep like a baby. Light stretching is also known for helping period pains and menstrual cramps.
  • Talk to your mom. She's been through it all before and can really help, so don't be embarrassed to chat with her.
  • Reduce your stress: take time out for yourself, listen to your favourite songs, go for a walk, or relax in the bath
  • If you’re suffering with cramps, ask a trusted adult if you can take some pain relief
  • Talk to your friends – they may be going through exactly the same thing you are
  • If all else fails, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Again, talk to your mom. If things are really getting on top of you, ask your school nurse or your family doctor for help.

Treating severe symptoms

If none of these remedies are helping, it’s time to go to your doctor. Take your cycle charts and tell them about any medications, you’re taking.

Learn about these 11 Yogasanas that help relieve PMS Symptoms here.

The PMS-busting diet

  • Try to eat lots of protein ( cheese, milk, eggs, daal, paneer, beans, chicken and fish)
  • You’ll also need complex carbohydrates (brown bread, pasta and cereals)
  • Don’t forget wholegrains – rotis/paranthas, oatmeal, – and calcium-rich foods like yogurt

Read useful health tips for women here.

Check out helpful daily health tips at Reward Me and stay fit every day.



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