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PMS and PMDD

Recent studies show that PMS and PMDD aren’t just excuses but medical conditions that can have an impact on a woman’s daily life.

What is PMS?

PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, is a group of symptoms linked to the menstrual cycle. Though the length of time PMS occurs depends on the woman, the symptoms usually occur one to two weeks before menstruation begins. Some of the most common symptoms for PMS include:

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Irritability and mood swings

  • Headaches and backaches

  • Trouble with concentration

  • Anxiety and depression

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, about 85 percent of women show at least one of these symptoms before menstruation. However, one in 20 women can suffer with a severe form of PMS, also known as PMDD.

What is PMDD?

As previously stated, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of PMS. The symptoms are similar to PMS, but are severe enough to interfere with work, social activities and relationships. PMDD is diagnosed by a physician if erratic mood swings, anger, fatigue, insomnia, tension and lack of interest in usual activities occur a week before and after menstruation.

Treating PMDD & PMS

Though the exact cause of PMDD and PMS isn’t known, the effects can be minimized by certain lifestyle changes such as:

  • Exercising

  • Medications, such as hormone-based birth controls and anti-depressants

  • Counseling

If you feel that your PMS or PMDD is impacting your daily life, consult your physician about treatment options.

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