The onset of menstruation can be a testing time for most girls, and can lead to many changes. If your teen daughter seem too upset after her first period, and complains of severe abdominal cramps during her periods, then she may have PMS (Pre Menstrual Syndrome). But before you go see a doctor, consider reading this post. Because here, MomJunction has put together some important information on PMS in teens, and how you can help.
What Is PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome)?
Teens often experience PMS before and during the onset of the menstrual cycle. Some common complains teens typically have include abdominal cramps, mood swings, irritability, tender breasts, and depression. The signs usually appear the week before the period starts and persists for 5-7 days. The symptoms of PMS can affect your teen’s physical and emotional conditions, but the intensity varies for every girl (1).
[ Read: Common Teenage Girl Problems ]
Causes Of PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome) In Teens:
Some of the possible causes of PMS in girls are:
Due to hormonal change in teenage years, the chemicals produced in your teen’s ovaries send negative signals to her brain. The hormonal level changes during her entire menstrual cycle and your teen experiences irritability and mood swings.
2. Brain Chemistry:
The level of Serotonin keeps changing throughout your teen’s menstrual cycle and makes her feel sad and can trigger depression.
3. Mineral and Vitamin Deficiencies:
Researchers conclude that lack of certain vital minerals or vitamins such as calcium, magnesium, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin D makes your teen suffer from PMS (2).
Symptoms Of PMS In Teenagers:
PMS is an unpredictable condition and can lead to many symptoms, which include:
1. Emotional Symptoms:
- Anxiety- When your teen starts to get excessively worried about her life including studies, exams, appearance, etc. She becomes so anxious that she cannot sleep during nights and feels restless.
- Irritability- Your teen starts snapping family members or close friends for stupid matters.
- Anger- She loses her temper quickly and yells at others.
- Tension- She feels tensed before her exams or other competitive events in her life.
- Fatigue-She easily gets tired and does not feel energetic to participate in tiring sports or games.
- Depression- Feels low and sad throughout the days.
- Mood swings- She becomes easily happy, sad or irritated at the same point of time.
- Forgetfulness- Your teen cannot remember simple things like the name of friends or contact numbers.
- Difficulty concentrating- She cannot focus on her regular activities like project or homework.
- Restlessness- She feels restless all the time and acts fussy more often.
- Social withdrawal- Loses interest in interacting with friends and tries to spend most of the time alone.
- Over-sensitivity- Your teen reacts to small issues.
- Crying spells- Your teen tends to react negatively.
[ Read: Emotional Problems In Teenagers ]
2. Physical Symptoms:
- Breast tenderness- Your teen’s breast become puffy, and she may also experience mild pain.
- Abdominal bloating- It is one of the commonest symptoms of PMS and your teen may suffer from bloating and gas.
- Increased appetite- Your teen has the urge of eating more than usual.
- Swollen ankles or fingers- Your teen’s angles and fingers may look a bit puffy as the fluid retention capacity changes.
- Food cravings- Your teen may have cravings for certain food items like meat, chocolate or salty foods.
- Constipation- Difficulty passing bowel movement smoothly.
- Headache- Your teen suffers from persistent headaches that last for more than 3-4 hours.
- Weight gain- Your teen tends to gain extra pounds before her period.
- Acne- Your teen suffers from acne that makes her look ugly.
- Stomach upset- Feeling of throwing up
- Palpitations- Faster pounding of heart that makes your teen nervous or excited.
- Joint aches- Experiences severe pain in elbows, knee, ankles, and wrists.
- Increased thirst- Your teen feels more thirsty and dry most of the time during the menstruation days.
- Changes in sleep pattern- Unable to sleep comfortably (3).
Treating PMS In Teens:
In most of the cases, lifestyle changes may help your teen recover from the PMS symptoms. But when the severity of symptom becomes high, your teen might need medications like:
Doctors may often recommend your teen to take SSRIs like Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft to overcome the psychiatric symptoms.
2. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs):
Your teen can also intake Ibuprofen or Naproxen to ease the severe abdominal cramps.
When limiting salt intake or exercising does not help your teen recover from bloating or swelling, doctors may advise her to take a diuretic like Spironolactone.
4. Hormonal Contraceptives:
The birth control pills stop ovulation and provide relief from PMS symptoms (4).
Tips To Help Your Teen Cope Up With PMS:
There are certain lifestyle and dietary changes that may help your teen deal with the uncomfortable symptoms of PMS:
1. Dietary Changes:
- Your teen needs to intake whole grains rich in carbohydrates like high fiber cereals, brown rice, pasta, oatmeal, and whole grain breads.
- It is advisable to limit the intake of high fat or sugary foods, as it can worsen the symptoms of PMS.
- Your teen needs to limit her intake of high sodium foods, as they help control bloating and lower the fluid retention capacity of the body. Some typical foods to avoid include canned soups, chips, pizza, and hotdogs.
- During menstruation, your teen should consume a generous amount of fluids to overcome dehydration.
- Restrict your teen from drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee or dark chocolate, as these foods can quickly make her irritable and depressed.
- Doctors advise teen girls to consume small meals at regular intervals. It helps restore her energy level and satisfies the appetite.
- Your teen needs to consume calcium-rich foods like milk, egg, or soy milk, as they fight PMS symptoms.
2. Lifestyle Changes:
- Your teen should practice simple exercises like dancing, jump ropes, or running.
- Your teen should get restful sleep for about 8-9 hours every night.
- Your teen should always stick to a fixed routine like the meal, and bedtimes.
- Your teen should avoid consuming alcohol during this phase.
Did your daughter suffer from PMS? How did you help her cope with the symptoms? Share your valuable tips with other mommies here!
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