PMS, or pre-menstrual syndrome, is a set of conditions which some women experience prior to menstruation. It is also sometimes called pre-menstrual tension (PMT). A lot of women experience PMS on a regular basis, and it normally starts 5-10 days before the start of the menses. In general, PMS stops just right before or at the start of the menstruation.
There are a lot of symptoms associated with PMS - and when I say a lot, I mean a lot. Currently, there are over 200 symptoms that have been identified! Perhaps the most common symptoms are tension, irritability, and unhappiness. In addition to these, a lot of women also report mood swings, feeling fatigued, being overly sensitive, and even insomnia. On the physical side, PMS brings with it bloating, cramping, a sensitive stomach, and headaches.
If you are prone to PMS, a change in lifestyle may benefit you. Engaging in more exercise has been proven to help lessen the symptoms of PMS. The endorphins that physical activity releases helps with the mood swings and other emotional symptoms. It is also said that exercise helps in reducing cramping.
A change in diet may also help. Try eating more complex carbohydrates and getting more calcium in your body. However, you might want to avoid saturated fats, alcohol, salt, and food that is high in sugar. If you cannot totally avoid these, lessening your intake will help.
Alternatively, birth control pills have been shown to lessen the symptoms of PMS. There are many accounts of women who have stopped experiencing PMS once they started taking the pill.