Do you find that once a month, your face transforms into a minefield of acne (pimples), or you battle headaches, bloating, nausea - or even all of these at once? 

Your hormones could take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride, making you cry over a picture of a baby in one second, to provoking you to pick up a fight with your sibling for finishing off the last of the cookies in another. 

And speaking of food, you may also find yourself binge-eating tubs of ice cream. In simple words, this is because of PMS.

What is PMS?

PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome is a monthly gift from Mother Nature, between your ovulation and your period. It is a group of changes that happen before your monthly period. 

PMS looks and feels different for every woman, but there are some usual suspects when it comes to the symptoms. 

Periods or menstruation is the monthly release of blood from the lining of your uterus [where a baby (foetus) develops in your body], through your vagina. 

Ovulation is when a mature egg is released from your ovaries (the primary female reproductive organs).

Symptoms or Effects of PMS

PMS is that gift you wish you could return but are stuck with. Even women who track their cycle closely, are still caught off-guard when an emotional outburst springs up out of nowhere. 

Loved ones, including friends and family, often fall victim to the side-effects of PMS, with many women tending to take out their emotions on those closest to them. 

Symptoms most often include mood swings, food cravings, fatigue, tender or painful breasts, irritability, and depression.

While most women experience mild symptoms of PMS, some are more vulnerable than others. There are many proactive steps or tricks which can help you lessen, if not eliminate the symptoms and side-effects of PMS.

7 Tricks to Reduce the Effects of Premenstrual Syndrome

1. Sweat out your PMS! Sliding in some kind of regular exercise or yoga into your routine is a tried and tested way to pump you with endorphins, your happy, feel-good hormones. 

The release of endorphins helps to improve your mood and reduce the symptoms of PMS. 

2. Cut out the caffeine. Skip your morning coffee and grab a fruit juice or smoothie instead. 

Nourishing yourself with vitamins is a great way to indulge in some self-care, as caffeine has been proven to aggravate PMS symptoms.

Caffeine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and triggers the release of adrenaline. This means that too many cups of coffee can leave you feeling nervous, jittery, and anxious.

3. Get your beauty sleep. It’s natural to feel tired, exhausted, and zombie-like before your period. 

Getting those 8 hours of sleep will help you feel more well-rested, so you can wake up refreshed in time before your next emotional breakdown makes an appearance. 

4. Don’t get high (intoxicated) when you’re low. Although this goes without saying, smoking cigarettes or having a drink or two will only make your symptoms worse. 

Alcohol increases PMS risk by altering the level of testosterone and estrogen hormones in your body.

5. Try supplements for relief from PMS symptoms. Supplements that contain Omega 3, ginseng (a popular herbal plant) and evening primrose, when taken on a regular basis, are your best line of defence against many PMS symptoms, like cramps and mood swings. 

The anti inflammatory properties of these supplements help to stabilise your hormones and make you feel more like your normal self.

6. Turn to your friends and family. Too many relationships have fallen victim to PMS. You might want to have a heart to heart conversation with your partner or loved ones and explain how PMS affects you.

This will help them understand you better. It will help them be there for you when you need them the most, or even help them leave you alone if that is what you want. 

7. Consult your doctor. If nothing works, and you still feel overwhelmed by the symptoms of PMS, it might be a good idea to consult your doctor.

While these are some insights and tips, no one knows your symptoms, cycle, and what works for you as well as you do. 

Remember to take good care of yourself, show yourself some extra love and kindness, and practice all the self-care you need to sail through PMS.

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.