Essential guide to PMS in teens

12/05/2020 — By Hannah Mepham

Essential guide to PMS in teens

This guide helps you understand what premenstrual tension (PMS/PMT) is and how to cope with it. We have some tips on how you use your diet to get your PMS under control.

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What is PMS/PMT?

PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome, whilst PMT stands for premenstrual tension.

They are both pretty much the same thing: the physical and emotional changes which you go through in the time leading up to your period.

PMT (also known as PMS) is something which affects lots of teenage girls. In fact, around 80% of the female population are thought to have it to some degree, with around 30% saying that it significantly affects their life and 5 to 10% having really severe symptoms.

Women of all ages can suffer from PMS as long as they are having periods. So we better stop dreading it and work out a way to deal with it.

Some girls will only be affected for a couple of days a month, whilst others have to put up with it for around a fortnight. However, what everyone with PMS has in common is the sudden drop off in symptoms when their period starts.

What are the symptoms of PMS?

The main symptoms of PMS in teens include:

  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Loss of confidence
  • Feeling down
  • Poor concentration
  • Tiredness
  • Bloating
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches

Some of these are emotional, like irritability and feeling down, whilst others are physical effects, such as bloating.

What causes PMS?

Scientists aren’t sure what causes PMS but it seems that it is to do with a hormonal imbalance in the second half of your cycle.

Can I do anything about it?

PMS can be a real problem for girls who have more severe symptoms, as it can be disruptive in all aspects of life; with your friends, family and at school.

Quite a few people with bad PMS have found that their symptoms can be eased by changing their eating habits. See our tips for easing PMS.

Some teenagers get PMS a little, whilst others get it a lot. Either way, it isn’t much fun and it would be nice to get it under control – both for you and the benefit of everyone around you.

The first step for getting your PMS under control is realising that you have it. Admit it, you are a woman and you have periods and you get PMS. Lots of women have no idea that their moodiness is occurring at the same time each month so aren’t able to do anything about it .

If you aren’t sure whether you have PMS, try keeping a mood diary. Mark down how you felt on which days for three months or so and see if you feel the same on the days leading up to your period.

Tips for easing PMS

Most people think there isn’t much you can do about PMS, but they’re wrong! Changing your diet to include certain vitamins, vegetables and other foods can help to combat some of the symptoms of PMS naturally so it is definitely worth giving some of these tips a go.

When you start to feel the onset of PMS symptoms, change your eating habits so that you eat little and often – perhaps a small meal or snack every three hours.

Try to balance your blood-sugar levels, eat healthy and balanced though, eating junk food won’t help and avoid sugar-laden junk food.

Eat a balanced diet rich in leafy greens and fruit, eggs, fish, lean meat, nuts and pulses, while sugar and salt should be avoided. Alcohol is also best avoided if you suffer from PMS.


As well as changing the pattern of when you eat, you may also wish to concentrate on including some of the following in your diet:

  • Vitamin B6 supplements. This will help your body to make the ‘happy hormones’ also known as endorphins.
  • Magnesium supplements. A magnesium deficiency has been linked with PMS-type symptoms so there’s no harm in topping up.
  • Eat lots of calcium-rich foods, such as yoghurt, broccoli, leafy greens and sardines. Calcium has been shown to help with a range of PMS symptoms.
  • Chasteberry – also known as agnus castus – supplements. This has been found to help a lot of women with not only PMS but also helping keep periods regular. It is also rumoured to help with acne

Do check the dosage instructions for any supplements you decide to take because it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

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