Unhealthy habits that can make PMS worse

Try to avoid habits that may make premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms worse.

  • Avoid alcohol, at least during your premenstrual days. Alcohol is a depressant and may increase negative feelings.
  • Do not smoke, or if you smoke, quit.
  • Eliminate or reduce caffeine in your diet, at least during your premenstrual days.
  • Reduce chocolate in your diet, at least during your premenstrual days.
  • Reduce salt in your diet.

The role of caffeine in PMS is not clear. It appears that women who have significant PMS symptoms tend to drink more beverages containing caffeine than women who do not have PMS symptoms. However, a cause-and-effect relationship has not been established.

Some women report less breast tenderness after reducing caffeine. To see whether reducing your caffeine intake will decrease your PMS symptoms, try limiting how much caffeine you consume, for two to three menstrual cycles.

Last Updated: June 19, 2008

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