PMS & PMDD Mood Swings
8 Tips for Natural Control of PMS & PMDD Mood Swings
When Marci, a 34 year-old single professional woman, came in for an appointment seeking natural relief from her PMS moods, she explained that she'd been having hormonal mood swings and "mood swings before my period" for most of the past year. The more we delved into her symptoms, the more it became clear that Marci's overall PMS mood, not just her premenstrual mood swings, was a big factor in her PMS problems.
As she talked, she realized that she felt an overall depressed mood before her period, but that the sudden and unpredictable bouts of sadness, anger, and PMS irritability bothered her most. Towards the end of our appointment, she told me, "No doctor has ever asked me such detailed questions or listened to me so carefully before. I think maybe my period mood swings aren't my only PMS problem. I really want to work on my overall PMS mood."
PMS mood swings are called labile mood, a fluctuation of mood, by doctors, and is one of the most common and troublesome PMS symptoms. You may notice alternating depression and anger, or feeling suddenly unable to control your tension and anxiety, or even feeling sad and tearful for no apparent reason. The bottom line is that for days or weeks before your period, you may feel that your moods and behavior are out of your own control. These premenstrual mood swings usually happen against a background of an overall depressed, anxious, or tense mood.
How To Control Mood Swings
- Follow our PMS Balance Diet, including the modifications for hypoglycemia. Whether or not you've ever been diagnosed with hypoglycemia or blood sugar problems, your blood sugar and mood go up and down together. Hormonal fluctuations occur naturally in all women before their period, but they are usually much more severe in women with PMS, and they are another factor that aggravates mood swings and blood sugar fluctuations. By following our PMS Balance Diet for hypoglycemia, you'll bring those blood sugar swings under control, making your mood more stable and calm. We recommend you try to maintain blood sugar balance all month long rather than just before your period. Natural PMS symptom relief is easier to achieve when you take care of yourself throughout the month.
- Get those essential omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3s help keep your brain healthy, supporting a healthy, stable mood. The most potent source of these omega-3s is from supplements like our PMS Comfort Omega-3, but we recommend you include regular cold-water fish like salmon, halibut, and sardines in your diet as well. There are also omega-3s in flaxseed and walnuts—though these vegetarian sources don't have all the advantages of fish oil. Our seven-day PMS Balance Diet healthy eating plan can give you some ideas of how to incorporate cold-water fatty fish, flax, and walnuts into your diet.
- Cut out caffeine: You know caffeine gives you an energy rush, but there's another side to that jolt: your mood and energy go down just as quickly as they went up. Caffeine drinks can actually cause mood swings, because caffeine (and sugar) amplify your blood sugar and hormone swings. When you have that caffeine buzz, you're more likely to become irritated and angry; when the caffeine wears off, your blood sugar plummets and you're more likely to feel dejected and depressed—which can make you more irritable and angry. Women with PMS and PMDD are often exquisitely sensitive to caffeine, so that even small amounts make PMS and PMDD symptoms worse. Coffee, tea, chocolate, and so-called energy drinks are the most common sources of caffeine. If you have PMS, PMDD, or PMS mood swings, we recommend you try laying off the caffeine for a few months to see how you feel. At the very least, cut back, switch to decaf, or try switching to tea or green tea, which have less caffeine and more healthy antioxidants. And if you have a chocolate craving, try our healthy, decision, and easy-to-prepare dark cocoa balls.
- Avoid alcohol before your period: Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, similar to a sedative, and can depress your mood. If you struggle with premenstrual mood swings, PMS depression, and/or PMDD, alcohol may not be a good fit for you, even if at the time drinking helps you feel less anxious. We recommend you steer clear of alcohol, or minimize the amount you drink, beginning at ovulation (usually 15 days before your period.)
- Cultivate calmness and serenity: Practice letting go of feelings (they come and go anyway), by consciously taking deep, slow breaths rather than reacting. Though we know it's not easy, give it a try. Some women count to ten; ask themselves whether this situation will matter to them in a month; or try to imagine themselves in a relaxed setting. These strategies won't succeed in keeping you on an even keel every time, or all the time: you'll still have occasions where you may react, but with practice you'll notice that you get better at maintaining your equanimity. Many women use prayer or meditation to create a sense of deeper meaning and awareness in their life, and feel that this helps them to put smaller annoyances and troubles in their proper perspective.
- Get some exercise: Whether it's simple depression, PMS symptoms, or premenstrual mood swings, you can't go wrong being physically active. It helps relieve your stress, and that results in a more even mood.
- Proper nutritional balance and herbal hormone balance: Our natural PMS relief supplement programs work synergistically with your healthy diet and lifestyle to help bring about natural premenstrual relief.
- Support and guidance: Don't forget, we're here to support you in your journey towards natural health and symptom relief. Our site is chock full of resources to help you become educated and empowered, from our free symptoms quiz, to success stories, healthy recipes, and our blog.
Real, Natural Relief—So You Can Feel Great All Month Long
PMS and PMDD misery aren't always taken seriously enough by doctors, family, and
friends. At PMS Comfort, our whole purpose is to empower and educate you about premenstrual
symptoms, and to provide real, natural relief so that you can feel great all month
long. Our all-natural doctor-designed programs are based on decades of experience
helping thousands of women recover from what you've been going through. Our Herbal
Relief formula, when combined with our diet and lifestyle guidance, addresses more
than just your symptoms—it can help bring your body and mind back into balance,
and help you get and stay healthy. Plus, we're here to support you, every step of
To learn more about your PMS and PMDD symptoms, take the
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- PMS Irritability
When PMS irritability is a problem, little things don't seem so little anymore, and your reactions to people and events can be out out of proportion.
- Women's Hormonal PMS Anxiety
Anxiety and tension are at the root of PMS and PMDD. Read about our five tips to feel more calm and balanced.
- What to Eat for Hypoglycemia: PMS & PMDD Balance Diet
Hypoglycemia and blood sugar imbalances are one of the most common health problems in all people, including women with PMS and PMDD.