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If you experience symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), you are not alone. The majority of women in the U.S. experience at least one symptom of PMS, which usually occurs anywhere from less than 2 weeks to 1 week before their period begins. One of the many pesky and common symptoms of PMS is food cravings. While this symptom is infamously well-known in association with PMS, you may still be wondering why these cravings occur. Understanding the mechanisms behind the cravings may help you combat them.
Women's bodies are in constant fluctuation due to their menstrual cycle. Various hormones and chemical changes occur in the body during different stages of the cycle. Drastic spikes or drops of certain hormones are believed to be correlated with the cravings associated with PMS. Whether you crave sugar, fat and/or simple carbohydrates depends on the levels of these hormones in your body.
Blood sugar levels may also be affiliated with cravings and levels of irritability during PMS. Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, causes drops in blood sugar after eating.
Your PMS food cravings are a way for your body to combat the drastic hormonal changes occurring in your body. However, they are only temporary fixes until you experience a crash and another craving just a few hours after eating the "craving food". The best way to cope with PMS cravings is to maintain proper nutrition, which will help minimize cravings. This includes:
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