9 Surprising Things Making Your PMS Worse

Mad Anxiety

If you have a history of depression or anxiety, your imbalanced hormones can make your PMS routinely worse—the extreme of which is known as PMDD. But even without chronic concerns, if the stars align against you and throw an anxiety-inducing situation in your lap right before your period, you’re more likely to feel depression, anxiety, and general, uncontrollably emotional feelings that are already wrapped up in PMS—but worse, says Dr. Ross. “If you feel more emotionally fragile, you may not handle the one to two weeks leading up to your period as well as you would during less stressful times.” (Related: Try This Guided Meditation the Next Time You Feel Overwhelmed with Anxiety

Too Much Caffeine

“Caffeine is considered a vasoconstrictor which decreases blood flow to organs,” explains Dr. Prince. Two main ways this manifests: constricted blood vessels in the GI tract make you bloated and not enough blood to the heart will skyrocket your heart rate and induce anxiety. Stick to your usual shot count to avoid unpleasant side effects.

Sneaking In a Cigarette

Cigarettes affect your hormone levels, which can exacerbate PMS symptoms, says Dr. Prince. And you don’t have to be a chain-smoker to feel the effects; even just one or two slip-up smokes to relieve stress or when you’re out drinking count, too.

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