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  • You Get Nausea Before Your Period But You Are Definitely Not Pregnant. What Is It?

    Hormones may be the culprit, too.
    by Jocelyn Valle .
You Get Nausea Before Your Period But You Are Definitely Not Pregnant. What Is It?
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  • Editor’s Note: This article is intended for information purposes only. It does not substitute a doctor. It is vital to always consult a medically trained professional for advice that suits your needs best.

    If you know your period is coming, then suddenly you're having dizzy spells and feel like throwing up, you may think you're experiencing morning sickness. But it could also be premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that gives you nausea and other symptoms.

    What is PMS?

    PMS is a set of symptoms that many women experience about a week or two before their period, according to experts from the Office on Women's Health of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

    The experts add that more than 90% of women say they experience premenstrual symptoms. For some women, these symptoms may be so severe that they have to miss work or school, while others get by with milder symptoms. A lot women in their 30s have found to be likely to have PMS.

    On the other hand, experts from the Mayo Clinic point out that there are "no unique physical findings or lab tests" to positively diagnose PMS. But they also say that if a particular symptom is part of your predictable premenstrual pattern, then your doctor may attribute that to PMS.

    Nausea with PMS

    Experts make it clear that the exact causes of PMS have not been ascertained by research. But they believe that changes in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle may have something to do with it. That's why symptoms, like nausea with PMS, can be similar with morning sickness in pregnancy. (Read here on the key differences between the two conditions.)


    Nausea is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as "a stomach distress with distaste for food and an urge to vomit." It is not a disease but a symptom of many varying conditions, according to the experts. It also doesn't necessarily involve vomiting, which is another symptom.

    Simply put, nausea is that uneasiness in your stomach and vomiting is the actual emptying of stomach contents through the mouth. Nausea and vomiting may occur separately or together, point out by the experts. (Read here for more about nausea.)

    Symptoms of PMS

    Aside from nausea, according to federal experts in women's health in the U.S., there are a host of other symptoms that you may experience. Keep in mind that PMS symptoms vary from woman to woman and can change throughout their reproductive years.

    The physical symptoms include:

    • Swollen or tender breasts
    • Constipation or diarrhea
    • Bloating or a gassy feeling
    • Cramping
    • Headache or backache
    • Clumsiness
    • Lower tolerance for noise or light

    The emotional or mental symptoms include:

    • Irritability or hostile behavior
    • Feeling tired
    • Sleep problems (sleeping too much or too little)
    • Appetite changes or food cravings
    • Trouble with concentration or memory
    • Tension or anxiety
    • Depression, feelings of sadness, or crying spells
    • Mood swings
    • Less interest in sex

    Treatment for PMS

    If you have mild PMS symptoms, you may get by with adequate rest until you feel better. But if your symptoms get worse, you can try some home remedies and changes in your lifestyle to make you feel better.

    Improve your diet

    Instead of having three square meals a day, try going for smaller but more frequent meals daily. This will lessen your bloating and sensation of fullness. You should also cut down on salt to avoid fluid retention, which can drag you and your spirits down.

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    Resist the temptation of eating chips and go for fruits and veggies instead. While you're at it, avoid caffeine and alcohol as well.

    Be more active

    Exercise can help you snap out of your lethargy, and make this part of your daily routine. You'll feel good not just during PMS but even after your period. (Try this seven-minute workout for busy parents.)

    Manage stress

    The feeling of heaviness in your body, mind, and spirit can worsen your PMS syptoms. So to help you manage your stress, try out some breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. This way, you'll also get adequate sleep.

    Keep a journal

    In your journal, you can list down the possible triggers for your PMS symptoms, then you can avoid those.

    Take vitamin supplements

    Calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, and vitamin B-6 have all been reported to soothe symptoms, like nausea with PMS. But, according to experts, evidence is limited or lacking. Still such supplements offer benefits for overall health.

    What other parents are reading

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