PMS Types: What You Need To Know

Rosalie Mountain

Gang, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with PMS – far too familiar. It’s the chocolate-craving, mood-swinging, surprise-crying curse of the menstrual cycle. But did you know there are different PMS types? Because the demented clutch of symptoms plaguing you aren’t just random. Trust us on this one, it’s worth it.

Did you know we can differentiate between PMS types?

Well, believe it or not, it’s actually a thing. And there are four PMS types to choose from. Say hello to: PMS-C, PMS-H, PMS-A, and PMS-D. Yes, they are fancy acronyms, but they’re so much more than that. And knowing which of the PMS types you enter the ring with every month can help you pack a better punch when battling your symptoms. And who doesn’t want that?

What is PMS?

We’ve all been there. Laughing that turns to crying. Blistering, explosive, inexplicable rage. The sudden, unbearable itchiness of every piece of clothing. And then there’s the regular oh-crap-am-I-pregnant panic. Until the penny drops. The bloody, bloody penny. Yup, it’s your period.

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome is that combination of symptoms that occur during the Luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. And that’s all about ovulation and preparing your body for a possible bun. So, really, PMS depends more on when you finish ovulating rather than when your period starts. Typically, though, you can expect your period just a few days after the worst of this menstrual tyrant.

PMS symptoms

We all have a unique combination of PMS symptoms, and they can vary from month to month. That said, the most common symptoms include:

  • Mood Swings
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Disturbed Sleep
  • Headaches
  • Cravings or increased appetite
  • Bloating
  • Acne/Dry Skin
  • Breast tenderness

Aren’t we lucky? Because literally bleeding for three to eight days a month just isn’t enough fun, right?

PMS types: The Four Horsemen of the Premenstrual period

Although we tend to recognize PMS as any combination of the above, symptoms can also be grouped into four different PMS types. Unfortunately, each type comes with its own set of challenges. It might even make the day you get your period seem like a relief! Luckily, though, narrowing down which kind of PMS hits you could help identify potential causes and manage your symptoms better.

PMS types: C for Cravings

Cookies. Ice Cream. Cookie dough ice cream. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s SUGAR! If you’re a PMS-C kinda gal, then feeling full is a pipe dream three days a month. And that’s because this PMS type comes with cravings for carbohydrates and sweets, along with an increased appetite in general.

So if you’ve ever found yourself knee-deep in a tub of Ben and Jerry’s, with no idea how you got there, this could be the answer. That said, for those with this PMS type, cravings really feel like a big problem. They might feel out of control or unable to function without a sweet treat. PMS-C is also typically associated with:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting

What causes it?

Well, here’s the thing. Low blood sugar may well be the cause of PMS-C. But, it could also be a symptom. And low blood sugar leaves you crying out for sugary goodness. So too, does the other possible cause: Low serotonin levels. Because ice cream makes everyone happier… For a while anyway.

And here’s why that might be an issue. PMS-C, according to some research, can affect the way your body handles sugar. Which means that during your PMS, that large amount of sugary, carby deliciousness could be casing higher Insulin levels as your body struggles to deal with it all.

Our old friends Estrogen and Progesterone, which are all over the place during your Luteal phase could be the culprits here. In conjunction with Insulin, the aforementioned hormones also help control your blood sugar. So it’s no surprise that it can also be a bit of a rollercoaster, and it’s all part of your cycle.

One more thing, gang. There’s also a link between Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and a decreased ability to lower blood sugar, so it might be worth having that checked out.

What can help?

A balanced diet

Yes, we say this all the time. But if you’re living with PMS-C, it could make all the difference. So here are some things to bear in mind:

  • Reducing your alcohol, chocolate, and caffeine intake is a good idea. All three can increase your cravings, so ditching them could lower your total cravings in the long run.
  • Make sure you’re getting enough protein and healthy fats, including lean meat and oily fish, as well as complex carbohydrates, found in vegetables and whole grains. They’ll help keep your blood sugar where it should be.
  • Eating less sugary or processed food the rest of the month can help balance your blood sugar in the long term. Which means if you do eat some PMS-related junk, it may not cause as much of an issue.
  • If you’re minded, reach out to a dietician or healthcare type and work out a diet plan that works for your whole body, all month.


These could also help with your PMS-C symptoms, as they can improve emotional symptoms and sleep issues:

  • Magnesium
  • Essential Fatty Acids
  • Vitamin B-complex
  • Vitamin B6
  • Evening Primrose Oil


We know — no one feels like moving much at this time of the month, but hear us out. Because it really can help.

  • Getting regular exercise can help manage blood sugar levels and fend off fatigue
  • Exercise contributes to general mental well-being and helps us feel good, increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine!
  • Remember, it doesn’t have to be a sweaty HIIT bootcamp. Yoga, a gentle walk, and Tai Chi are equally effective and much less grunty.

PMS types: H for Hyperhydration

Wait, isn’t hydration good? Yes! In fact, it’s one thing that might actually help this PMS type! Hyper-hydration, however, is another story. People who relate to PSM-H may experience:

  • Intense and prolonged bloating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Weight gain
  • Swollen face, hands, feet, and ankles
  • Uncomfortable feelings of heaviness

What causes it?

If you’re anything like us, a shameless trouser unbuttoning is normal, and let’s face it, necessary at some point during your cycle. But extensive and uncomfortable bloating during PMS can be a sign of increased water retention, and it can be really, really uncomfortable. And here’s what might be causing that trouser shrinkage:

What can help?

If you’re living with PMS-H, there are some specific and targeted solutions to help rid you of that excess liquid:

Diet (yes, again)

  • Add Phytoestrogen-rich foods like legumes, soy, broccoli, and nuts and seeds to your day. They can help by preventing Estrogen from building up in your system.
  • Eat Magnesium-rich foods like whole grains, leafy vegetables, and dark chocolate. But it has to be dark chocolate, gang. For serious.
  • Get all cheffy and experiment with different herbs and spices to keep the flavor, and ditch the salt! We wholeheartedly recommend Ras el hanout — it’s amazing. And try reduced salt products if you’re going ready-made.


These wonder vitamins and minerals can all help reduce bloating:

  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B-complex
  • Vitamin B6

Reducing stress

Now, we know that’s much easier said than done. But these small changes really do add up!

  • Take short, regular breaks from work and other stressful environments. Read, take a bath, a walk, bake a cake or smash up some plates. Whatever works for you.
  • Practice mindfulness and breathwork.
  • Invest in a good sleep routine. Seriously, sleep is so important.
  • Reach out for help if things get too much. You do not have to suffer alone.

Hormone health

Knowing whether you have excess Estrogen can be invaluable for all sorts of things. But that goes double when it comes to managing your PMS symptoms.

  • Track your hormones to get a better picture of your hormone health. May we recommend the Hormona app for this exact thing? You can track symptoms and cycles and build a detailed picture of your individual hormone health.
  • Talk to a healthcare type if you’re concerned about the risks associated with high Estrogen levels.
  • Get to know what healthy hormones look like for you – everyone is different, and what works for you might not work for the person standing next to you. And the more we tell the medical profession that, the closer we get to them actually listening.

PMS types: A for Anxiety

Yup. Just when we thought the physical symptoms were bad enough, PMS-A comes along to remind us just how emotionally draining the whole thing can be. If you’re someone who primarily suffers from this PMS type, you may well relate to the following:

  • Feeling nervous, flighty, skittish
  • Weepiness
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Fearfulness
  • Irritability

What causes it?

PMS-A is typically associated with, wouldn’t you know it, a hormone imbalance. An excess of Estrogen combines with a Progesterone deficiency in the perfect storm of heightened anxiety and a decreased ability to regulate your nerves. But here’s the really fun bit, gang. If you already suffer from anxiety, PMS may make your symptoms even worse.

What can help?

Anxiety can be debilitating. With everything you deal with in a month, what you don’t need is extra stress making it all a bit too much. And while you might just live with your emotional symptoms during PMS, because that’s just what we do, you don’t have to. There are things you can do to reduce that anxiety. Especially if there are underlying hormone imbalances at play!


  • Like with PMS-H, foods rich in Phytoestrogens like legumes, soy foods, and beans can help if Estrogen excess is the root cause.
  • Likewise, eating a well-balanced diet can promote general hormone health.
  • Some studies show a Mediterranean diet can contribute to optimal hormone levels. That’s thanks to its tendency toward healthy fats, including Olive Oil, and the less food associated with higher Estrogen, like red meat.

Hormone health

Yes, it’s time for another shameless plug, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea. The more knowledge you have of your hormones, the better equipped you are to deal with all they throw at you. And here’s how to do that:

  • Track your hormone fluctuations with Hormona! You’ll be able to see when the anxiety hits, and what other symptoms it’s associated with.
  • Keep a detailed record of all your symptoms. That way you’ll know exactly how your cycle influences them. We can help with that too!

Mental health

Even if your anxiety is due to hormone imbalance, taking care of your mental health is a big part of managing your symptoms. So here are some things that can help you do that:

  • Explore mindfulness, yoga, and grounding techniques that can help with anxiety.
  • Reach out to friends, family, or someone you’re comfortable opening up to.
  • Keep healthy habits to promote general mental well-being, get a good night’s sleep, and treat yourself now and then.
  • There’s lots of mental health support out there, so please talk to a healthcare type to explore what options work best for you.

PMS types: D for Depression

The D word. It’s scary. And daunting. And it’s so prevalent, it’s one of the specific PMS types. So if you struggle to get out of bed during a certain time of the month, no matter how much you want to, this is for you. The symptoms most associated with PMS type-D are:

  • Depression (duh)
  • Crying
  • Losing motivation
  • Confusion and brain fog
  • Forgetfulness

What causes it?

In contrast to PMS-A, PMS-D is thought to be related to low Estrogen levels. This imbalance between Estrogen and Progesterone can make for some real funky moods, and is seen in lots of reproductive depression. However, as with PMS-A, pre-existing depression or mood disorders can be exacerbated by PMS, making the symptoms even more unbearable.

What can help?

Hormone health

Yes, we know we’re starting t sound like a broken record right now, but that’s okay. Because that’s how important tracking your hormones can be. So, yes, you now get yet another reminder about the Hormona app!

  • Check and track your hormone levels and fluctuations.
  • Track your symptoms, and their regularity, and watch patterns develop.
  • If your Estrogen is significantly low, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD, could be on the table. Or you might be somewhere in Menopause. Hormone replacement therapy can help increase your Estrogen levels and reduce your depression. This, though, requires care and advice from a specialist.


Good nutrition can actually work wonders for low Estrogen:

  • Flaxseeds, legumes, soybeans, cruciferous vegetables, pumpkin, and sesame seeds — those conveniently delicious Phytoestrogens again — help with regulating Estrogen in the body.
  • Ensure you’re eating the right amount for your body and doing healthy amounts of exercise. Eating disorders and extreme exercise have both been linked to lower Estrogen, so, please make sure you’re eating well.
  • A balanced diet contributes to happy hormones overall. Everything your system needs can be found in food and supplements and if you get it right, you’ll feel great.


These supplements for PMS-D can help with mood and sleep issues:

  • Magnesium
  • Essential Fatty Acids
  • Vitamin B-complex
  • Vitamin B6
  • Evening Primrose Oil

So, you know about PMS types. What now?

Right, so now you know. Or… Maybe you don’t. Symptoms can vary massively from person to person, and you might not always connect the dots between the way you’re feeling and PMS. The four PMS types are collections of symptoms that often occur together and might indicate an underlying problem or hormone imbalance.

You might also experience a collection of symptoms covering one, two, or all of the PMS types. One thing’s for sure about PMS — it’s never simple. But, tracking your symptoms and working out your personal PMS journey is a good start to combatting that monthly nightmare.

If, though, your PMS symptoms are affecting your quality of life in any way whatsoever, please talk to a healthcare type.

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment, and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Posted By  : Rosalie Mountain

Rosalie Mountain

Rosalie Mountain