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Why You Feel All the Feelings During Your Period

Your period makes you crave sweet or salty foods, feel bloated and crampy, but also experience a range of emotions and mood swings.

It’s not abnormal to feel an extreme desire to stay in bed all day, and other symptoms can include depression and hopelessness. But you will also find an increase in appetite (and start craving chocolates and cakes for breakfast) and could become tearful, irritable, or even feel anxious or scared. The reason for this is all explainable and completely normal; hormone levels rise and fall during menstruation, in particular estrogen, causing a mix of physical and emotional symptoms.

Psychiatrist Dr. Julie Holland told Bustle that estrogen affects the levels of serotonin, causing them to drop several days before your period. This could be “the basis of many PMS symptoms.” She reveals that “low levels of serotonin are implicated in depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder," adding that individuals also have less tolerance for pain and are sensitive to criticism.

Premenstrual syndrome (or PMS, as it’s often referred to) affects many women of childbearing age and results in a buildup of emotions in the days or even weeks leading up to your period (as much as a week or two in advance), and for around a day or two after menstruation starts. According to Everyday Health, for some, these symptoms can be “emotionally debilitating” and their symptoms are much worse than the average mood swings and occasional crying spells.

The publication notes that a small percentage of women, up to 8 percent, can suffer from a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which results in several symptoms, but the foremost is severe depression and irritability, which is experienced a week or two before a woman's period starts.

The good news is these symptoms can be managed with medication and a change in lifestyle, which includes regular exercise, smaller meals more frequently and fewer carbs, avoiding sweets and alcohol and taking calcium supplements.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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