PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome is a blend of physical and emotional symptoms that pair together to make the luteal phase of a woman’s cycle particularly difficult. Some of the physical symptoms may include bloating, swelling or tenderness of the breast, acne, muscle tension, constipation, and cramping. The emotional symptoms often include an increase of anxiety, irritability, fatigue, insomnia, dysphoria or a feeling of unhappiness, and sensitivity. Women may also notice a decrease in libido, and a desire to withdraw from their day-to-day life due to the nature of these uncomfortable symptoms.
Risk factors that elevate a woman’s chance of experiencing PMS to a notable degree include: age, family history of PMS, diets that hold vitamin and mineral deficiencies, history of anxiety and depression in the past, and environments of high stress.
To manage PMS, there are several avenues of medical and emotional support that can offset these detrimental effects. Healthy diets high in Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Calcium may be helpful; as well as regular exercise that alleviates muscular discomfort and increases endorphins that boost mood and manage pain. Counseling provides helpful information on how to implement self-care and protect your relationships during this challenging time. Reducing sugar, caffeine and sodium help reduce bloating and physical discomfort. At times, a low-dose SSRI is helpful during the luteal phase to minimize daily disruption. Various minerals, supplements and over the counter pain medications are considered helpful in relieving symptoms.
Talk to your physician for more ways to diagnose and manage your PMS today.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a disorder that affect between 3-8% of women during their menstruating age. While many of the symptoms are similar to PMS, the differentiating factor is severity. Women with PMDD observe severe irritability, depression, mood swings, and dysphoria. A percentage of women with this disorder will also experience hopelessness or suicidal ideation. But have hope, reaching out to professionals such as your physician and counselor can start you on a road to relief.
If you suspect you may be suffering from PMDD, five or more of the following symptoms should be experienced including one emotional or mood-related symptom.
- Disinterest in daily activities and relationships
- Fatigue or low energy
- Feeling of sadness or hopelessness, possible suicidal thoughts
- Feelings of tension or anxiety
- Feeling out of control
- Food cravings or binge eating
- Mood swings marked by periods of tearfulness
- Panic attack
- Persistent irritability or anger that affects other people
- Physical symptoms, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain
- Problems sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
Charting your symptoms, severity, and longevity, as well as noting your cycle days can help with diagnosis as well. Medical management with Birth Control or a low-dose Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor during the days leading into menstruation can help manage the hormonal fluctuations that may contribute to this disorder. Counseling can also help preserve your well-being, relationships as well as minimize feelings of depression or irritability. Other Lifestyle changes such as diet, supplements, and exercise have proven to minimize the challenges of PMDD as well.
Don’t wait! Talk to your physician today to start managing your PMDD.