Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a condition that affects three in four women of reproductive age. PMS is characterized by physical and emotional symptoms that occur in the days leading up to menstruation.
Some of the most common PMS symptoms include bloating, breast tenderness, mood swings, fatigue, irritability, and food cravings. These symptoms can be disruptive to daily life for a lot of women, especially if severe. Menstruation happens monthly, and if you struggle with PMS symptoms on a regular basis, you may be able to benefit from medical help.
Let’s talk about some important things you should know about premenstrual syndrome and where you can get support and treatment to help manage it.
Why Do Women Experience PMS?
Research suggests that PMS symptoms women experience may be related to changes in hormone levels at the end of their cycle, just before they menstruate. In the week or two before your period, your body undergoes hormonal fluctuations, particularly concerning estrogen and progesterone. Hormone levels drop, affecting serotonin levels, which causes you to experience PMS symptoms. Insufficient serotonin causes mood swings, food cravings, trouble sleeping, and depression. How disruptive your PMS symptoms are may be exacerbated by other factors such as stress, an unhealthy diet, and a lack of sleep.
What Can Be Done About Premenstrual Syndrome?
It’s important for women who experience PMS-related symptoms to speak with a medical professional, as this is something they do not have to deal with on a monthly basis. With lifestyle changes combined with medication for pain, regulating hormone levels, as well as those that block the reuptake of serotonin, normal levels can be maintained during the time in your cycle when you need it most. Supplementation may also benefit women with severe PMS symptoms. Furthermore, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is also useful in helping recognize patterns of thinking that can contribute to some PMS symptoms.
Keeping track of your menstrual cycle using an app you can download to your phone can help you identify when you’re most likely going through PMS, so you can better prepare yourself for it and successfully intervene.
What Are the Signs of Severe PMS?
It’s important to recognize the signs of severe PMS, so you can get the help you need. Below are some signs of PMS that can benefit from treatment:
- Intense Mood Swings: Severe PMS can cause extreme mood swings, ranging from feeling overly emotional to sudden outbursts of anger or irritability. These changes in mood can occur suddenly and without warning, making managing your emotions difficult.
- Debilitating Physical Pain: Many women with severe PMS experience intense physical pain during this time, which can be debilitating. If you find that your cramps and migraines last for days and prevent you from studying or doing your job, why not seek help?
- Sleep Problems: Difficulty sleeping is another common symptom associated with severe premenstrual syndrome, and this type of problem can become chronic if not managed. Insomnia can cause fatigue and lower your immunity. Sleep problems can be managed by lifestyle changes, medication, and relaxation techniques personalized to you by a medical professional.
- Intense Food Cravings: Severe cases of PMS often involve strong cravings for certain foods, especially those high in sugar, fat, and salt. If occurring regularly, this can impact your long-term health and increase your risk for certain chronic diseases.
- Anxiety and Depression: Hormone imbalances before your period can cause anxiety or depression, and for some, the mental disturbance can be severe, causing an increase in negative thoughts and feelings. If not properly managed, this could lead to more serious mental health issues over time.
Treatment for Premenstrual Syndrome Show Low Family Clinic
If you believe you have severe PMS symptoms or would like to have a better handle on them, Show Low Family Clinic is here to help. We offer private and confidential primary care services, including for women with premenstrual syndrome.
Our caring and compassionate medical professionals, headed by Sharon Zell, a certified family nurse practitioner, can determine what treatment plan can best help you. We treat women with many forms of hormone problems, from premenstrual syndrome to postpartum depression.
Show Low Family Clinic serves patients in Arizona and Washington. We build lasting relationships with our patients and have your best interests at heart. Call us today at (928) 251-2914 to arrange your visit or request your appointment online.