PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, is something that most women experience. And a lot of research has been done on this topic, and most surveys have shown that most women experience PMS symptoms for about 6 days out of each month. And most commonly, it’s 4 days leading up to the beginning of the period and for the first 2 to 3 days of the actual period. PMS can definitely affect you physically and emotionally. Physically, you might feel more bloated, you might have breast tenderness, be a little bit dizzy, or have headaches, and for sure, you may have cramps once your period starts. And sometimes you experience a little bit nausea, and this might be due to the fact that you have food cravings, and we tend to overeat when we have PMS. And if you eat a lot of food, or especially salty foods, then this can cause you to have some stomach discomfort. Emotional side effects can include irritability, you’re just not quite yourself, things set you off more easily, maybe you feel a little bit of anxiety, or maybe you’re just more sad than usual. All of these things can be normal, and so one of the first questions you should ask yourself if you’re just not feeling like yourself is, “What time of the month is it?” If you’re in that window where it’s a few days before your period or the first few days of, then it may very well be PMS. However, if you’re experiencing these things so severely that it’s affecting your ability to function, or if these things persist past the point when they really should in your cycle (you experience them at other points in your cycle), then I suggest talking with your doctor about it. And after asking more specific questions and taking their knowledge of your health history into account, they’ll be able to give you tailored information and advice about what the most probable cause is and whether treatment is necessary or not. If they determine that your symptoms are indeed due to PMS, unfortunately there’s no cure for it, but there are some things that you can do to help. Exercising throughout your cycle (the whole time, during your period and during the rest of the month) is recommended. This is good for your emotional and physical well-being. Find ways to relax. This is going to be different for everyone. Maybe you’ll want to schedule some time each month where you just go off and do something by yourself that you enjoy for even if it’s just a half hour. That can make a difference, and really recharge your battery, and make it easier to face the day when you’re experiencing PMS. If bloating is a big problem, avoid overeating, and overindulging, and all of those foods that sound so tempting. And avoid super salty foods, because those will all contribute to bloating. If you have more questions in the future for me, feel free to ask them on our Intermountain Moms Facebook and Instagram pages, and recommend us to your friends and family too.