Published On By Rachel Nall

Anxiety Before Period

Experiencing hormonal fluctuation around the menstrual cycle is a natural phenomenon. It could cause mood swings, breast tenderness, and irritation. You may also encounter anxiety before your period, but it gets overshadowed by physical symptoms like cramps and bloating.

Anxiety can manifest as excessive worrying, nervousness, or tension, impacting your emotional well-being during the premenstrual phase. This psychological distress is often intertwined with the hormonal changes that might occur throughout the menstrual cycle.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)  comes with a range of physical and psychiatric symptoms that could emerge during the luteal phase, which starts after ovulation.

Some mood swings are normal during this phase. However, severe symptoms could indicate a more severe condition known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). It may cause intense emotional and physical symptoms that could disrupt daily functioning.

Identifying the impact of hormonal changes on your mental health can guide you in seeking appropriate support and coping strategies.

Understanding the nuances of anxiety before your period is essential for proper management and care.

PMDD vs. PME

PMDD PME
Severe physical and emotional symptoms Worsening of preexisting mental health conditions
Begins during the luteal phase Exacerbation during the luteal phase of an existing mental health issue
Symptoms subside after the period starts Symptoms persist beyond the menstrual cycle
May include mood swings, irritability, and fatigue Can worsen conditions like generalized anxiety disorder or depression
  1. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder(PMDD)

    Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD, is a severe condition that shares symptomatic similarities with PMS. However, the exact cause of PMDD is not fully understood; fluctuations in hormone levels, including serotonin, are believed to play a role.

    According to the Office on Women's Health, serotonin levels fluctuate during the menstrual cycle. They may contribute to the development of anxiety and persistent depressive disorder symptoms in people with PMDD.

    The Anxiety and Depression Association mentions that people with PMDD have a higher chance of developing anxiety and depression.

    Symptoms of PMDD can manifest as:

    • Feeling overwhelmed
    • Depressed thoughts
    • Severe mood swings
    • Sensitivity to rejection
    • Heightened irritability and anger
    • Social withdrawal
    • Sudden tearfulness or sadness
  2. Premenstrual Exacerbation(PME)

    Premenstrual Exacerbation refers to the worsening of the symptoms of other existing mental health disorders. It usually starts in the luteal phase, from ovulation to the menstrual cycle.

    Premenstrual Exacerbation could negatively impact conditions like migraine, anxiety, and asthma. However, it is often difficult to distinguish between PME and PMDD.

Premenstrual Syndrome

PMS, or Premenstrual Syndrome, contains a range of physical and psychological symptoms that may affect a significant percentage of people with periods.

These symptoms could vary in severity, with some experiencing mild effects while others face more pronounced challenges, potentially indicating the presence of PMDD.

Psychological symptoms of PMS may manifest as irritability, mood swings, fatigue, changes in appetite, loss of interest in sex, and difficulties with memory or concentration.

People may also encounter swollen and tender breasts, constipation or diarrhea, cramping, bloating, headaches, backaches, and a decreased tolerance for light or noise during periods.

Causes Of Anxiety Before A Period

Hormonal imbalances, such as fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels, could contribute to anxiety symptoms.

External stressors like work pressure, relationship issues, or lifestyle changes may also exacerbate feelings of anxiety during this time. Understanding these causes is crucial in managing premenstrual anxiety effectively.

Causes of Anxiety Before a Period Description Impact
Hormonal Fluctuations Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels could affect neurotransmitters like serotonin, contributing to anxiety. Alters mood and emotional stability.
Psychological Stressors A hectic schedule with work stress, relationship issues, or lifestyle changes could intensify anxiety symptoms. Increases feelings of overwhelm and tension.
Lack of Self-Care Neglecting self-care practices like adequate rest, healthy nutrition, and relaxation techniques can heighten anxiety levels. Impacts overall health and resilience.

Things That Can Trigger Anxiety Before Periods

Understanding foods that could trigger anxiety is essential. There are certain things that should be avoided one or two weeks before periods.

  • Alcohol
  • Salt
  • Fatty foods
  • Sugar
  • Junk food
  • Sweetened beverages
  • Foods high in carbohydrates and sodium

How To Prevent Anxiety Before Period?

People can take proactive steps to help alleviate premenstrual syndrome symptoms and improve their overall health.

  • Tracking anxious feelings in a diary or app could assist in identifying lifestyle patterns or triggers behind PMS symptoms.
  • Establishing a regular sleep schedule and enhancing the sleep environment may promote better sleep quality, assisting in overall mood regulation and reducing anxiety.
  • Regular exercise, such as dancing or walking, can boost circulation and oxygen intake, contributing to a healthy life.
  • Combining restorative yoga into a routine could induce calmness and reduce anxiety levels.
  • Avoiding stimulants like caffeine can prevent Exacerbation of anxiety symptoms, such as heart racing or panic-like sensations.
  • You can also consider supplements like magnesium and vitamin B6 for hormonal balance, which may also be beneficial for controlling hormone-related mood swings.
  • L-theanine, found in green tea, is known to promote relaxation without inducing drowsiness, offering a natural way to manage anxiety.
  • Consuming vitamin B-6 and calcium could provide optimal nutrition for your health while decreasing PMS's psychological and physical symptoms.

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What Are The Remedies Options?

  1. Home Remedies

    • Build a sleep schedule
    • Engage in aerobic exercises
    • Practice yoga and breathing exercises
    • Limit your alcohol, caffeine, and salt intake
    • Perform meditation
  2. Medical Treatments

    You can seek additional medical treatments and therapies if home remedies and lifestyle changes have not effectively alleviated symptoms of anxiety related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

    Here are some common medical treatments for managing anxiety associated with PMS:

    1. Hormonal Birth Control: These methods, such as oral contraceptives, patches, or hormonal intrauterine devices, can help regulate hormone levels and alleviate symptoms of anxiety. It may help deal with hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle.
    2. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: SSRIs are a set of medications that can help overcome symptoms of anxiety and mood disturbances. It may help treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) by regulating serotonin levels in the brain.
    3. Antianxiety Medications: Medications specifically targeting anxiety, such as benzodiazepines, may be prescribed to manage severe anxiety symptoms before menstruation. These medications could help reduce feelings of panic, worry, and tension associated with premenstrual anxiety.

When To Contact A Doctor?

Seeking suggestions from a healthcare professional is advised if anxiety or other symptoms associated with PMS or PMDD significantly impact daily activities and health. It is vital to prioritize the mental health condition and seek help when needed.

  1. Persistent Symptoms: If anxiety symptoms persist despite trying home remedies or if they worsen over time.
  2. Interference with Daily Life: If anxiety related to PMS or PMDD interferes with your daily life, such as affecting your work, relationships, or overall health,
  3. Treatment Adjustment: If you have been diagnosed with PMS, PMDD, or anxiety disorders and find that your current treatment plan is no longer as effective. It is the best time to contact your doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can Anxiety Before a Period Be a Sign of a More Serious Underlying Condition?
    Anxiety before a period could sometimes signal underlying health concerns. It could indicate Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). It's important to monitor your symptoms and look for medical advice if anxiety significantly impacts daily life.
  2. Are There Any Specific Dietary Recommendations to Help Alleviate Anxiety Before a Period?
    Include foods rich in complex carbs, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B6 to alleviate anxiety before the period. Limit your caffeine and sugar intake. Maintain a balanced diet to support hormonal balance and emotional health.
  3. How Does the Environment and Surrounding Factors Contribute to Anxiety Before Menstruation?
    Stressors, social interactions, and lifestyle habits may impact anxiety levels before menstruation. Understanding these external elements and implementing coping strategies like stress management techniques might help alleviate anxiety during this time.
  4. Are Any Alternative Remedies Effective in Managing Anxiety Before a Period?
    Options like acupuncture, herbal supplements like green tea, mindfulness practices, and dietary adjustments can complement traditional treatments for managing anxiety before a period.
  5. Is There a Relationship Between Period Anxiety and Other Mental Health Conditions?
    The relationship between anxiety before a period and other mental health conditions, such as depression or bipolar disorder, can be complex. Understanding personal experiences and seeking professional evaluation can provide tailored support and treatment options.

Conclusion

Feeling anxiety and mood swings before the period is common among women. Hormonal changes are the culprits for this rollercoaster of emotions you deal with every month during your menstrual cycle.

However, mild anxiety and symptoms like bloating can be resolved by making a few lifestyle alterations. Severe and persistent anxiety that hinders your daily activity could be a sign of PMDD.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they will worsen your anxiety symptoms during periods. A healthy diet that includes berries, whole grains, and lean meat may support various aspects of your fitness, including emotional health.

Consult with your gynecologist about your symptoms. They may assist you in identifying the underlying reason for your anxiety and suggest treatment accordingly.

Disclaimer
  • The information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this article.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • It is recommended to consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before trying any tips.

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