Many women know the feeling of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) before their monthly periods starts. You may feel gloomy and irritable and also have abdominal cramps and bloating. PMS is normal and usually does not cause you to miss school or work. Most women can take an over-the-counter medication for PMS and go on without incident. However, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is altogether different, encompassing all the symptoms of PMS and more.
PMDD Causes Serious Debilitating Symptoms
While the symptoms of PMS may make you feel bad enough to curl up in bed and stay there until they pass, the symptoms of PMDD can cause symptoms severe enough to cause interruptions in daily social and occupational situations. PMDD is diagnosed only when the following symptoms create serious issues with daily functioning:
- Sadness, depression, high anxiety
- Irritability, emotionally-charged anger and aggression
- Loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities
- Difficulty concentrating
- Headaches, body aches, and severe joint pain
- Anxious feelings of being out of control and overwhelmed
- Remarkable fatigue and lethargy
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
In addition to the above symptoms, you may also experience tender, sore breasts and unusual cravings. Some women suffering with PMDD crave sweets like chocolate and will binge on it in the week before their menstrual cycle actually starts.
The Steps Your Doctor May Take For Successful Diagnosis Of PMDD
Your doctor may order some diagnostic tests for ruling out other conditions that have symptoms similar to those of PMDD. Conditions like perimenopause, menopause, disorders of the thyroid and anemia all carry symptoms similar to those of PMDD. Your health care provider may order diagnostic tests like blood counts (CBC) and thyroid functioning tests. Discuss any questions or concerns you may have about diagnostic testing and what you need to do to be prepared for them with your doctor.
Your Treatment Options For PMDD
If you are diagnosed with PMDD, your physician may recommend you taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen for pain like aching and headaches. You may also be prescribed an anti-anxiety medication as well. You might also benefit from some alternative treatments like muscle massage, light therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Managing PMDD can be done and it can make life a lot easier for you in the weeks before your period each month.
Taking control of your body and how it reacts to various issues is an important aspect of reaching your optimum level of good health. Learn more about PMDD by visiting a medical professional like George L Stankevych, MD and find out how you can stop your evil twin from taking over your life once every month.