Top 5 common symptoms of PMS, why they happen, and what you can do about them

Since PMS affects almost every menstruator, you will likely have some sort of experience with PMS symptoms

Woman experiencing PMS symptoms (concept)
Photo by Austin Guevara from Pexels

PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome is a condition that affects the day-to-day lives of women during the days before and during her menstrual cycle that can affect her emotions, physical health, and how she behaves.

For each woman, PMS can feel very different and manifest in a variety of fashions, but overall it is a very common condition and its symptoms affect more than 90% of menstruators. So it is important to understand these symptoms, why they happen, and what you can do about them.

What happens to your body when you’re PMSing?

PMS generally commences between 5-10 days before menstruation and typically fades away once bleeding begins. The shifts in hormone levels cause these changes in the body, levels of estrogen and progesterone increase during certain times of the month, and this increase in hormones can cause anxiety, stress, irritability, gloominess, and all kinds of mood swings.

When your hormones are going all over the place, your emotions go through a similar spiral. Serotonin levels also tend to affect mood. Serotonin is a chemical in your brain that affects your mood swings, thoughts, and emotions. The sugar levels in your brain may also affect your PMS. Glutamate is the level of sugars found in your brain and when they spike, you’re riding that sugar high, think about the relief after you eat that chocolate bar you’ve craved, but then when the sugar levels go low, your emotions do the same. But don’t worry, there are ways to counter these ups and downs.

How does PMS affect your mood?

Since PMS affects almost every menstruator, you will likely have some sort of experience with PMS symptoms. But if your physical pain, emotional wellness, and other symptoms start to affect your daily life, or if your symptoms just won’t go away throughout the month, make sure to see a doctor to check-in for any gynecological problems or to help you better understand your cycle. A small number of menstruators with PMS have disabling symptoms that don’t allow them to live their lives, this is called a premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD. PMDD symptoms can include depression, mood swings, feeling overwhelmed, and difficulty concentrating.

Symptoms tend to recur every month, but the emotions may change with each cycle depending on what is going on around you.

Here are the top 5 common symptoms of PMS:

  1. Emotional Stress. This is the feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with the pressures of your surroundings. Stresses tend to be both internal and external and can be triggered at this time of the month.
  2. Anxiety. This is a feeling of worry, unease, or nervousness that can percolate around an event or something in someone’s life.
  3. Irritability. This could be those hangry feelings or any easily annoyed or angry emotions that come up during your cycle.
  4. Cramps. Cramps are the painful contraction of muscles or just one muscle that are the throbbing of the lower abdomen. The scientific name for them is dysmenorrhea and they typically occur right before or during a woman’s menstrual period.
  5. Headaches. This continued pain in the head occurs in the days leading up to bleeding during the menstrual cycle. Headaches are one of the most common symptoms of PMS but are easily treatable with ibuprofen.

So what can you do to prevent these symptoms?

For cramps and headaches, there is an easy way to help ease the physical discomfort during that time of the month. Take ibuprofen or Midol (see the dosing instructions on the bottles) to feel relief from those sore muscles. If the pain is still there and severe, make sure to consult with your doctor.

There’s new science for helping the emotional side of PMS

A new supplement, Jubilance for PMS, is now on the market that helps menstruators tackle their emotional symptoms. The supplement, taken once daily, aims to help regulate the glutamate (sugar levels) in the menstruator’s brain so they’re not experiencing the sort of sugar highs and crashes.

When taken once a day, every day, Jubilance for PMS helped to improve gloominess in PMS by 54%, anxiety by 51%, stress by 35%, and irritability by 18%. There is now science to help you control those mood swings!

To learn more about Jubilance and see if it’s right for you, visit to find out more.

Know that you’re not alone, PMS affects almost every menstruator so seek out the help you need from your friends, this article, and make sure to consult with your doctor before you try any new supplement regimen.

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