Isn’t it funny how every month is a whole new adventure in PMS-land? I wonder why my PMS symptoms vary from month to month. Here’s what I’ve discovered…
Isn’t it funny how every month is a whole new adventure in PMS-land?
Last month, I would cry at the drop of a hat. The month before, I could have eaten the entire dollar menu at each of the four fast-food restaurants within a mile of my house.
Three months ago, my face broke out like a teenager’s and I was filled with rage. Then, this month, I was completely fine. My period was almost a surprise.
There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the emotional and physical tumult that is PMS – or is there?
10 Factors that Can Cause Different PMS Symptoms Every Month
To solve this mystery, I kept a PMS diary, which helped me uncover the following 10 factors that could cause PMS symptoms to vary from cycle to cycle.
Not surprisingly, stress can play a big role in how pronounced your PMS symptoms can become.
If you’re having trouble at work, trouble at home, or trouble at every turn in the weeks between your cycle, you may count on more severe PMS than usual.
On the other hand, if you manage to keep your stress at a manageable level, you’re likely to have milder PMS – or maybe none at all.
So watch your stress level. Try to tame it before it gets bigger than you can handle.
For me, meditation is one of the best ways to counter daily stress. It gives me some breathing room from the daily challenges of life and creates a sense of equanimity and peacefulness. If you don’t have a meditation practice, consider starting one. Even a few minutes a day can make a noticeable difference.
Of course, there are other ways to destress, such as journaling, gardening, going for a walk, or taking a nice warm bath. The key is to find what works for you and to make time for it.
The little time you spend on these activities can help you avoid hours or even days of misery dealing with PMS. Which would you rather choose?
Sleep is extremely important to our wellbeing – be it physical health, mental clarity, emotional balance, or our hormone/cycle harmony.
If I don’t get a good night’s sleep, I can be cranky and short-fused. And I’m more likely to overreact to people’s comments and behaviors, and have one of those you-lose-I-lose PMS episodes.
So, make sure you get enough sleep and take frequent breaks when you catch yourself on the verge of a PMS outbreak. Here are some tips on how to improve the quality of your sleep.
I find that the more physical and strenuous the activity, the more endorphins my body releases, and the better I feel. It’s no wonder that aerobic exercise has been cited as one of the best PMS remedies.
So, make sure you get physical on a regular basis. But don’t overdo it. Over-exercise can make you tired, which may worsen PMS symptoms.
Moderation is the key. Check out my 4 guidelines to a balanced exercise routine.
When I get busy, I sometimes skip meals or just grab a quick bite of something (that’s convenient and fast). This poor choice often makes me pay the price of having worse PMS symptoms.
We are what we eat. Our body needs a regular input of energy to function properly. When we overeat, under eat, or eat foods that are not nutritious enough, our hormones will be out of whack, and our PMS symptoms are likely to be all over the place.
Make sure you supply your body with nutritious foods every 4 hours or so. It helps to balance your blood sugar levels and build a stable foundation for a harmonious cycle.
I also notice that my PMS symptoms can be better or worse depending on how I take care of myself during menstruation. When I manage to get good rest, eat well, allow myself to process my feelings, and set intentions for the coming cycle, I tend to have less or milder PMS.
This makes sense. Menstruation is a time of purging. As the uterus gets rid of the old endometrial lining, we’re also releasing thoughts and feelings that occur during the previous cycle. This helps clear space – physically, mentally and emotionally – for a new cycle to begin.
If we resist this natural process of letting go, the old stuff (stagnant blood and unprocessed emotions) get held up inside. Meaning they’ll be carried on to the next cycle, manifesting as various PMS symptoms.
6. Mental Fitness
When I’m inspired – working to achieve my goals, learning something new or engaging in interesting projects, I tend to have fewer PMS symptoms. Or should I say I’m more likely to overcome them, because something bigger is pulling me up instead of PMS dragging me down.
So when you catch your mind dwelling on troubling thoughts, find a good book to read or listen to an uplifting podcast. Feed your brain with good, nourishing foods, just as you would to your body.
When you channel your mental energy toward something more constructive, you won’t get too fixated on those unpleasant feelings or bodily sensations, making them less important in the overall scheme of your life.
7. Unresolved Emotional Issues
This brings us to the next point, the emotional factors. Do you find yourself more emotional in one cycle than another? Do your dominant feelings change from cycle to cycle? For example, in one cycle you might feel sad, while in another cycle you’re angry.
Well, this depends on what emotions are brought up to the surface.
We all have conflicting needs and desires and unresolved emotional issues that have not yet been completely dealt with. It may be a feeling of abandonment, guilt, shame, grief, repressed anger from childhood, or other events from the past.
These feelings get buried deep down into our psyche as we go about our daily business. But when triggered, they can erupt like a volcano, taking us (and those around us) by surprise.
These challenging emotions can be difficult to deal with, but are necessary for our growth. Because when they show up, they give us an opportunity to look at them, understand them, and heal them.
So PMS is not all bad. It can be a blessing in disguise if we learn to see it for what it is and use it as a catalyst for healing and growth. Read how various emotions affect your menstruation and emotional causes of menstrual problems + affirmations to healing them.
8. Environmental Energies
Do you find that some cycles are just more difficult than others and you don’t know why? For example, you may feel out of sorts or face obstacles at every turn no matter what you do?
This is surely the case for me. So, I’ve been wondering if there’s some invisible energy that’s affecting me without my knowing it.
Maybe it’s the energy of the planets, the moon and the stars, of the changing seasons and tides, of the people in our country and city, and of those closest to us. Those energies can affect us in subtle and profound ways – even though we may not be able to pinpoint or articulate them.
I think it’s helpful to recognize this possibility and develop an awareness of these subtler influences. Though we may not be able to change what’s outside of us, perhaps we can find ways to protect our own energy field through some kind of spiritual practice (prayer, meditation, yoga, chanting, dance, etc.)
When we build up our immunity (physically, mentally, and spiritually), we can more easily shield ourselves from those negative influences. For your inspiration, check out 10 simple ways to honor your menstrual cycles.
9. Health Constitution
Even though there are over 150 PMS symptoms under the sun, we tend to have a few of them regularly. These clusters of symptoms reveal something about our health constitution (the areas that we need to pay some special attention to).
10. Hormone Imbalance
To find a cure for PMS, I’ve been studying hormones for almost a decade. It’s such a fun topic to explore during my leisure time (I’m half joking and half serious, by the way).
From what I’ve learned, PMS is a manifestation of the imbalance between estrogen and progesterone (specifically estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency).
Depending on how these two hormones play out with each other (along with what else is going on in our lives), we may have different PMS symptoms every month.
So to have PMS-free cycles, it helps to look inside and address the underlying hormonal imbalances. Luckily, I’ve made it simple for you. Here is what you can do:
- Understand the causes of estrogen dominance and the reasons for progesterone deficiency. When you understand the causes, you are half way through to find the right solutions.
- Learn how to lower estrogen dominance and boost progesterone naturally. When you balance these two hormones, you’ll see a noticeable improvement in your PMS symptoms.
I used to have horrific PMS symptoms that turned my life upside down. With these tips, I’m now mostly PMS free. Even during the months when PMS symptoms flare up unexpectedly, I see what they are and know just how to take care of them. In other words, PMS has stopped running (and ruining) my life.
If I can heal myself, so can you. Learn what I’ve learned to make your journey easier.
P.S. I encourage you to keep a PMS diary. Try these tips and monitor how they affect your PMS symptoms from cycle to cycle. Once you nail down the factors that affect you, you’ll also have the tools to keep PMS at bay – and away.
Reduce Estrogen Dominance
Liver Cleanse Detox and Repair Formula (support liver functions)
Dim Plus (improve estrogen metabolism)
Chasteberry (proven to help treat low progesterone and regulate menstrual cycles in more than 60 years of clinical research, including 5 randomized trials)
Vitamin B6 (one of the best vitamins to boost progesterone)
Progesterone Cream (bio-identical hormonal support)
Support Adrenal and Thyroid Functions
Adrenal Health Daily Support (promote overall hormone balance)
Thyroid Support Complex (support energy and metabolism)
Once Daily Organic Whole Food Vitamin Supplement (provide essential nutrients for health and hormone balance)
Liquid Iron (support healthy blood)
The Hormone Cure, by Dr. Sara Gottfried
Cooking for Hormone Balance, by Magdalena Wszelaki