The 10 Most Common PMS Symptoms

Apr 2, 2019

Dr. Ashley Margeson

Dr. Ashley Margeson



When I first met Sam, she listed on her intake form (in big bold letters might I add) PERIOD PROBLEMS. Ever since she could remember her periods would be heavy, crampy, achey and headachey; but she would experience PMS symptoms for up to 2 weeks before the start of her period. That meant that she was only left with about 1 week a month that she was feeling like a semi-normal human being.

We sat down together for that first hour and talked about what PMS actually was, understanding her hormonal shifts that were plaguing her and set a plan in place to help improve her Quality of Life. Within 1 cycle her symptoms had decreased 30%, by the second cycle 60% and from there we were on a roll.

This conversation though, got me thinking about how many of us women just don’t understand (or know!) what PMS actually is.

What is PMS? 

PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome, and it is a combination of emotional, physical, psychological and mood changes that occur after ovulation and ending with the start of a period. It’s incredibly common, with approximately 90% of women experiencing some sort of PMS in their lifetime. 20-40% of women will experience PMS so severe that it keeps them home from work, school or leads them to down a half a bottle of Advil as they continue to get sh*t down (yes – I see you). These symptoms also tend to be most severe from the late 20’s to 30’s – right in the middle of starting careers, families and being out on your own.

What are the symptoms of PMS?

The most common PMS symptoms are:
Breast Tenderness (mastalgia)
Appetite Changes (food cravings)
Constipation, followed by loose stools during your period
Crying Spells
Insomnia (trouble falling asleep)

Not every woman experiences all of those PMS symptoms, but many can fluctuate throughout the 5-7 days before the period. Sometimes even anger, irritability and extreme anxiety can be at play, leading to a syndrome known as PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).

Interestingly so, the medical community has no clear research showing one particular cause of PMS or PMDD. We do know that hormonal fluctuations impact neurotransmitters; and it’s the constant change of those levels, as well as a genetic history and overall health that truly impact PMS.

So if you’re tired of PMS-ing, download my free Hormone Optimization Manual (link below!) – you shouldn’t actually experience PMS… and that much we do know. 

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