Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a condition experienced by nearly all menstruating women. Symptoms include bloating, fatigue, and mood swings for three to five days before their period begins. For some women, however, these symptoms are more severe and can disrupt their daily lives. They may have a condition known as premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD). Like PMS, PMDD is present in women of menstruating age, but symptoms include severe pain, depression, and difficulty concentrating, and they can last up to 14 days.
Gynecologists’ Tips to Manage PMDD
1. Get Properly Diagnosed
A large number of PMDD cases are self-diagnosed. However, because many of the symptoms—including severe cramps, intense irritability, headaches, and hot flashes—are present in other conditions, such as endometriosis and menopause, it is important to get properly diagnosed. Make an appointment with your gynecologist and describe your symptoms. They will be able to determine if you are indeed living with PMDD and can develop a treatment plan.
2. Clean Up Your Diet
Although it may not be able to definitively cure your condition, maintaining a clean diet can ease some of your symptoms. Cut back on sugary and fried foods, especially on the days leading up to your period. Instead, opt for nutrient- and fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which reduce bloating and breast tenderness.
3. Stay Active
Exercising is probably the last thing you want to do when you are feeling bloated or fatigued, but it can help reduce muscle cramps. Additionally, maintaining a regular exercise regimen has been shown to increase energy and boost mood. Best of all, you don’t need an intense workout to reap all of the benefits. Just 10 to 15 minutes each day of light stretching or brisk walking can help ease your PMDD symptoms.
4. Rest Properly
Symptoms such as fatigue and irritability are intensified by a lack of sleep. Try to get six to eight hours each evening to give your body and mind the opportunity to rest properly. If getting this much sleep is difficult for you, try to schedule a midday nap to catch some extra z’s.
5. Consider Medical Interventions
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your gynecologist may recommend medical interventions, such as birth control. Birth control helps to balance hormone levels, which can reduce many of your PMDD symptoms. Other medical interventions can include anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications.
If you are experiencing PMDD symptoms and would like to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist, contact OB-GYN Associates by calling (808) 946-5238. For more information on the services offered by this women’s health clinic, visit their website today.