The Annoyance that is PMS
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology defines premenstrual syndrome as “The cyclic occurrence of symptoms that are sufficiently severe to interfere with some aspects of life, and that appear to have a consistent and predictable relationship to the menses (menstrual period).”
To which you just said, “Duh.” Or if you’re currently dealing with PMS, your verbiage may have been far more colorful.
For every woman, the period before your period, with its fluctuating hormone levels, can be trying for both you and everyone around you. The mood swings. The quick anger. The food cravings. All of it.
At Women’s Health Medical Group, as women we know exactly what you’re going through. And if your PMS is severe enough, we can provide various treatment options to help you get through it without either punching your partner or using a whole box of Kleenex!
What are the symptoms of PMS?
While there are many symptoms of PMS, they vary from woman to woman. Plus, the severity of the symptoms can vary from month to month. These are some common PMS symptoms:
- Breast tenderness
- Weight gain
- Trouble concentrating
- Food cravings
- Mood swings
How do we diagnose PMS?
At Women’s Health Medical Group, we first want to make sure your problem is PMS and not something that can show similar symptoms, such as thyroid disease. We often will test your thyroid to rule that out. We may have you keep a diary of symptoms. Then we’ll systematically rule out other conditions such as depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
How we help you with your PMS
The goal of our PMS treatment is to reduce the impact of it.
- Education — We may have you keep a symptom diary. This will help you understand that how you feel is directly related to your cycles. Coping skills in other areas of life can help with your PMS. If your anxiety, irritability, or depression is severe, we may opt for counseling or medication.
- Nutrition — Diet can play a role in the severity of your PMS symptoms. Reducing the amount of caffeine, salt, and sugar may relieve symptoms. Certain vitamins have proven important: vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium. Complex carbohydrates can be helpful.
- Exercise — As with most areas of life, exercise is helpful, especially aerobic exercise for PMS.
- Medications — Pain relievers, obviously help with backaches and cramps. In cases of severe depression, we may prescribe antidepressants. For some patients, oral contraceptives have proven effective in mitigating some of the impact of PMS.
If you’re struggling with PMS to the point that it is affecting your life, please call the team at Women’s Health Medical Group, (817) 346-5336, and let’s see how we can help.