Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

It is estimated that premenstrual syndrome affects up to 75 percent of women during their childbearing years. Approximately one to two weeks before a woman begins her menstrual cycle she may experience a wide range of uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms. These symptoms generally disappear when menstruation begins. Typical symptoms of PMS include: feelings of gaseousness, bloating, constipation, joint pain, acne, fatigue, headache, breast tenderness, food cravings, forgetfulness, mood swings, irritability and emotional sensitivity.

The first step in treating these symptoms is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Making dietary changes, getting adequate sleep and adding regular exercise into your daily routine are all ways to alleviate symptoms.

If, after making these lifestyle changes, your symptoms persist, medical treatment may be necessary to manage the emotional and physical discomfort associated with PMS.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

A small percentage of women experience premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a condition characterized by feeling of severe depression and irritability in the days prior to menstruation. This disorder affects approximately three to eight percent of women in their childbearing years.

Women with PMDD may suffer from extreme anxiety and depression, fatigue, lack of interest in daily activities, binge eating and sleep irregularities. Factors that may contribute to this condition include alcohol use, caffeine consumption, overweight or obesity and lack of exercise. There also appears to be a genetic or hereditary component to this condition. Again, as with Premenstrual Syndrome, making healthy lifestyle changes can alleviate the symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, but medical treatment also may be requiredwill be your first step towards treating these symptoms.

At the Kaplan Center our physicians have years of experience treating patients with chronic conditions like premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, that can impact your quality of life, and we completely reject the notion that “you just have to live with it.”

At your first visit, your Kaplan Center physician will take time to explore the specific nature of your symptoms, and the overall status of your health. You’ll also be asked about therapies and medications you have tried in the past, and what has and hasn’t worked for you. Your physician may also want to look at any possible hormone imbalances that may be contributing to your symptoms.

Your physician will then spend time talking with you about your diagnosis and working with you to create a multi-dimensional treatment plan that address your PMS and any possible underlying or co-existing conditions that may be causing or aggravating your symptoms.

We’re here for you, and we want to help. Our goal is to return you to optimal health as soon as possible.

Please call (703) 532-4892 to schedule an appointment, or for more information please click here.


 

Fact Sheet: Top Questions About Your Menstrual Cycle U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Woman’s Health
Publication: Menstruation, menopause, and mental health U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Woman’s Health
Resource tool: PMS Symptom Tracker U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Woman’s Health
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