What to Do When PMS Becomes a Serious Quality-of-Life Issue

Most women are familiar with the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Mild-to-moderate bloating, moodiness, and headaches are to be expected in the week or two before your period. However, for some women, these symptoms are so severe, they disrupt daily life and work.

If you find PMS to be so severe, you cancel activities, miss work or school, or just can’t function, it’s time to take action. At Abundant Life Healthcare, Marc Jean-Gilles, MD and the rest of our team can help you manage PMS. Read on to learn strategies to implement to feel better every month.

About PMS

PMS occurs usually right after ovulation and before your period begins. It likely results from the falling estrogen and progesterone levels that result because you aren’t pregnant. In the few days after menstruation, you start to feel better because your hormone levels begin to rise yet again.

Most women get PMS at some point in their life, but a small percentage experience PMS symptoms so severe that it disrupts their very existence. In these cases, it may be premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD. PMDD usually occurs in women with high levels of stress and a family or personal history of depression. PMDD describes depression associated with your menstrual cycle.

Severe PMS symptoms

Some physical and emotional discomfort is to be expected the week or two before your period. But serious PMS isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s debilitating. Symptoms include:

If you think you may have PMDD, consult our office. We can help you cope with the serious depression and disabling symptoms associated with PMDD.

Even if you aren’t diagnosed with PMDD, you still deserve help dealing with life-disrupting PMS symptoms. Hormonal birth control pills can help reduce PMS and even PMDD symptoms in some women. You may also appreciate a little relief from over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or aspirin. We may also

You may also benefit from simple self-care strategies. Avoid making plans for big events or trying to meet pressure-laden deadlines just before your period.  

Exercise regularly, all month long, which helps ease fatigue and depression associated with PMS. Adequate sleep is also key in helping regulate your mood and concentration levels. Quit smoking, as the habit seems to contribute to the severity of PMS symptoms.

Your diet also plays a role in how you experience PMS. The majority of your diet should be made up of healthy foods, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats and protein. Minimizing caffeine intake and excessive amounts of added sugar and salt lessens the effects of bloating.

As you move through menopause, severe PMS symptoms ease, but may be replaced with their own set of symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and poor vaginal lubrication. Dr. Jean-Gilles can help with this transition, too.

If you’re ready to take charge of PMS and not let your period run your life, consult with Abundant Life Healthcare. Call the office, or schedule an appointment using this website.

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