Type C (Carbohydrate or Cravings)
Some experts theorize that cravings may be an attempt by women to self-regulate the mood changes that accompany PMS. As women consume carbohydrates, they increase serotonin, which helps regulate mood and appetite. In other words, chocolate and French fries may improve the depression, tension, anger, confusion, sadness, and fatigue associated with PMS by altering brain chemicals.
Sometimes the symptoms of PMS are actually mimicking symptoms of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Eating a carbohydrate-heavy meal or snack, such as a candy bar, causes blood sugar to rise. But those carbohydrates burn off quickly, and the person crashes. In an effort to raise energy levels once again, the person reaches for another carbohydrate-heavy food, thus precipitating another sugar rush, followed by its inevitable crash. This yo-yo pattern of highs and lows can lead to mood swings, headaches, and more cravings.
Low blood sugar has a number of symptoms that can be mistaken for PMS, such as:
Coldness or clamminess
One way to eliminate the highs and lows associated with both conditions is to eat several small meals (between five and six), rather than three large meals, to stave off hunger over the course of the day.
There is no such thing as a Type C PMS for conventional experts. Symptoms such as food cravings and appetite changes considered affective symptoms, part of the group of symptoms impact mood. However, physicians do suggest diet (including such as vitamin B6 and magnesium) or lifestyle changes a first course of action in treating PMS. Type C PMS is a term alternative medicine, and suggested treatment may consist of dietary changes, but also of herbs such as dandelion, burdock, and milk thistle.