Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a collection of physical and emotional symptoms that start a week or so before your period. It makes some people feel moodier than usual and others bloated and achy.
For some people, PMS can also cause mood swings in the weeks leading up to their period. Mood swings involve a sudden, unexplained change in mood. You might wake up in a great mood but find yourself becoming angry and irritable an hour or two later for no reason.
Other emotional symptoms of PMS can include:
Your mood is critical to what you do and how you do it. It can affect everything from what you choose to eat for breakfast to how you interact with your partner.
So, why do your emotions run wild as a result of your menstrual cycle?
Why does it happens?
Experts aren’t sure about the exact cause of PMS, but it’s likely linked to hormonal fluctuations that happen during the second half of the menstrual cycle.
Ovulation happens about halfway through your cycle. During this time, your body releases an egg, causing estrogen and progesterone levels to drop. A shift in these hormones can lead to both physical and emotional symptoms.
Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels also influence serotonin levels. This is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your mood, sleep cycle, and appetite. Low levels of serotonin are linked to feelings of sadness and irritability, in addition to trouble sleeping and unusual food cravings — all common PMS symptoms.
Mood swings are one of the most severe PMS symptoms.
How to manage mood swing prior to period?
There are several potential treatment and management options for people dealing with mood swings prior to their period. Some common options include the following:
Keeping a mood diary
People can try keeping a record of their mood swings and when they occur during the menstrual cycle. This can help a person recognize the hormonal causes of their mood swings, and anticipate them happening.
You can track your cycle and symptoms using a period-tracking app on your phone. Look for one that allows you to add your own symptoms.
You can also print out a chart or make your own. Across the top, write the day of the month (1 through 31). List your symptoms down the left side of the page. Put an X in the box next to the symptoms you experience each day. Note whether each symptom is mild, moderate, or severe.
To track mood swings, make a note when you experience any of these symptoms:
- sudden, unexplained changes in your mood
- crying spells
- poor sleep or too much sleep
- trouble concentrating
lack of interest in your daily activities
- low energy