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Premenstrual Syndrome: Signs and Symptoms


Here is a checklist of possible signs and symptoms of PMS:

  • Bloating and weight gain. Do your jeans feel tighter as your period approaches?
  • Tension, anxiety or crying spells. Do you find yourself overreacting to stress or setbacks? Do you have a short fuse just before your period?
  • Depression. Do you feel sad for no reason? Feeling sad or blue for a day or two can be normal, but feeling down for a longer period of time may be one symptom of clinical depression, a serious, but common mental health condition experienced by many teens, as well as adults. Depression causes other symptoms, too, such as feeling tired or sleeping all of the time, or not being able to sleep at all; over eating or not eating enough; feeling no joy in activities you used to enjoy a lot. Usually, when a person is depressed, you may experience several of these or related symptoms. If you are experiencing any one or more of these symptoms, don't wait or hesitate to speak with your parents and/or a health care professional.
  • Breast tenderness. Do your breasts hurt when touched? Does your bra feel uncomfortably tight?
  • Food cravings. Do you need chocolate, potato chips or other foods (particularly salty or sweet foods)?
  • Joint or muscle pain. Do you wake up feeling achy even though you haven't strained anything?
  • Nausea or vomiting. Does your stomach feel upset, even though you're not eating anything unusual?
  • Headache. Do you have a pattern of headaches in the premenstrual period?
  • Trouble with concentration. Is it harder to study or pay attention in class?
  • Fatigue. Do you feel tired early in the day? Do you feel exhausted when you get home?

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