Do Men Get PMS?
Do Men Get PMS?
When men feel moody, unmotivated, and blue, is it PMS? If your boyfriend or fiancé seems particularly irritable before your period, does that mean he is PMS-ing along with you? Is there really such a thing as irritable male syndrome?
The truth is, mood swings in guys, along with depression, feeling "blah," and many of the symptoms that women experience as part of PMS are just as common in men. But do men actually get PMS? The answer to that is a resounding "No." PMS is premenstrual syndrome, a condition that occurs in concert with, and in relation to the hormone fluctuation of the monthly menstrual cycle.
The menstrual cycle exists primarily to prepare the uterus, and an egg, or ovum, for fertilization. PMS is a result of an imbalance in women's hormones, and it always occurs in the few days prior to, and in severe cases, few weeks before the period. So while men may get symptoms that appear similar to PMS, they don't actually have PMS.
Premenstrual syndrome is a whole complex of symptoms that occur as a result of female hormonal imbalance—not just mood swings and irritability. Men never get monthly cramps or bloating or headaches or food cravings that occur cyclically each month, and their emotional symptoms aren't a result of hormonal changes meant to prepare an egg for fertilization!
But men do have other cycles in their lives, and there are many factors that can influence both men's and women's moods and sense of well-being. Since men don't enjoy feeling blue and moody and irritable any more than women do—and women certainly don't appreciate it when men feel that way!—a bigger question than "Do men PMS?" might be, "What can men do to feel better?" As you might have imagined, we have an answer for that.
What Influences Men's Moods?
You may be surprised to learn that some of the factors that influence men's moods are very similar to those that affect a woman's mood. Men who eat a poor-quality diet full of refined sugars and unhealthy fats, too much alcohol and caffeine, and not enough fiber, vitamins and minerals, are simply more likely to feel cross and irritable. This is just as true for women as for men, however, and men and women alike too rarely recognize the intimate connection between food and mood!
Apart from poor overall diet quality, factors such as blood sugar imbalance and inadequate exercise can make it hard for anyone to feel their best, and relying on caffeine and energy drinks or bars to maintain your energy level or mood never works in the long run. That's why a holistic health program that addresses the cause of these problems, and that supports overall wellness, is always part of the optimal solution, no matter the symptom.
Some other factors can affect men's moods, too: social stresses, including work and financial pressures; and the emotional suppression, or macho culture, which is expected of men in this society.
What Can a Guy Do About Irritability and Moodiness?
Men can almost always feel more energetic, motivated, and confident by following these five simple lifestyle hints:
- Blood sugar balance food plan: Both men and woman can experience improved energy and mood when they eat for better blood sugar balance. This means avoiding all refined sugars, especially before lunch; having some protein with each meal and snack; and always eating breakfast, the most important meal of the day—and a breakfast that contains protein. Oh, and don't forget: drinking too much alcohol throws your blood sugar out of balance.
- Regular exercise: It's amazing how effective physical activity can be for improving mood. Exercise is also the number-one stress reliever, and it can work wonders for energy level and motivation, too.
- Proper micro-nutrition: Vitamins and minerals are just as essential for men as for women, and many men don't get enough vitamin B6 and magnesium from their diets to support healthy mood. And men need calcium, too!
- Plenty of fruits and vegetables: In our experience, too many guys load up on starches and convenience foods and meats, and don't get enough veggies, fruits, whole grains, beans, and nuts. Unfortunately for us all, tomato sauce on pizza doesn't count as a veggie or fruit! A healthy diet includes plenty of vegetables daily, along with fruits, whole grains, and beans, too, if possible.
- Healthy emotional balance: We've noticed it's very difficult for many men to break suboptimal dietary habits. Well, changing one's diet is kid stuff compared to addressing and changing emotional patterns. In our culture, we tend to expect men to show little to no emotion, and to be quite stoic overall. This takes a toll, though, because men aren't robots. Macho culture is so pervasive that it is almost "invisible," and those beliefs are ingrained in men from a very young age. For many men, the understanding that emotions are acceptable and not threatening can free up a lot of physical and mental energy that had been required to maintain a "tough" exterior, and expressing them in a healthy balanced manner results in better physical and emotional health.
So while men don't PMS, they do have the same types of moods and feelings that women have. And men can feel better, and live a healthier life, by adopting a healthy lifestyle that supports overall well-being, as well as balanced emotions.
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