PMS: Fact or Fiction?

So what is PMS really? Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a cluster of physical, behavioral, and emotional changes that occur in the time before menstruation and recur with most or all menstrual cycles and may affect women’s normal life depending on its severity. About 3 in 4 women experience symptoms of PMS at some point in their lifetime. PMS is surrounded by a lot of myths. But what does research say about the PMS? What is a PMS fact and what is fiction?

PMS is all about bad moods.”

Fiction – Despite the cultural and societal baggage around the negativity of the premenstrual experience emphasized by the media, new research is challenging the belief that the premenstrual phase causes moodiness in all women. Researchers have noted that most studies on PMS suffer from major methodological errors. In most PMS studies, women are asked about their mood but are only given a list of negative options which limits how we look at PMS to the cultural and societal common knowledge. A recent review of all the evidence on the link between PMS and negative mood noted that only 15% of studies on PMS have evidence linking PMS to bad moods. The conclusion? The PMS experience is not the same for all women.

You feel fat during your period.

Fiction – Fat is not a feeling. You can’t suddenly feel an increase in body fat simply because body fat does not increase that quickly. “Feeling fat” is an expression that you probably commonly use to refer to symptoms of physical or emotional discomfort such as bloating, fullness, feeling unhappy with your body, irritated, insecure, etc. Feelings are temporary and your body is not the problem. Knowing the difference is important.

PMS worsens as you age.

Fact - Research has shown that PMS symptoms worsen for many women as they get older, peaking in severity in your late 30s and 40s. This makes plenty of sense, considering many women in their late 30s and 40s are in perimenopause, the transition to menopause during which your hormone levels fluctuate and drop significantly.

There is nothing you can do about your PMS.

Fiction – Aerobic exercise, healthy foods, and certain vitamins and minerals such as calcium and vitamin B6 have all been shown to ease PMS symptoms such a cramps, irritability, bloating, anxiety, fatigue, cravings, and low mood. Research also found mixed results for magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids, but the evidence is too inconclusive to recommend these supplements as relievers of PMS symptoms. Finally connect with a Valeo Health Coach & learn more about how you can manage your PMS symptoms.