Anxiety, moodiness, crying spells, food cravings, acne breakouts — they’re all symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, a condition that affects as many as three-quarters of women at some point in their lifetimes. Although unpleasant, these symptoms can typically be weathered until they finally pass.
For a small percentage of women, PMS mood-related symptoms are so severe they can interfere with daily living. These women suffer from a more serious form of PMS called premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD.
As a leading medical practice in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Grassroots Healthcare offers comprehensive women’s health services, including treatments for women suffering from both PMS and PMDD. If you think you might have PMDD, read on to learn more about the disorder and how to deal with it.
PMS and PMDD share many of the same “symptoms:”
The primary difference between these two conditions is the severity of the symptoms women experience. Women suffering from PMDD may find the symptoms they experience are so severe, they make it hard — or even impossible — to carry out even simple, everyday tasks. They may find themselves awash in extreme feelings that are difficult to process and hard to handle, feelings that can interfere with work, school, and social relationships.
For instance, while feeling a little sad or down is common in PMS, a woman who suffers from PMDD may have deeper feelings of sadness and even hopelessness — akin to symptoms associated with clinical depression. Some women may lose interest in work or social activities, two other symptoms PMDD has in common with clinical depression.
PMDD can also cause feelings of anxiety or tension, leaving you feeling panicked or “on edge” all the time. Some women with PMDD are more likely to have feelings of irritability or outright anger. Even small disagreements can seem magnified and unjust, and you might even find yourself starting arguments more often.
Because PMDD symptoms can be so severe, it’s essential to get treatment to help you deal with them successfully. Without treatment, women with PMDD may find themselves suffering from persistent feelings of hopelessness and depression, as well as developing work or relationship problems.
Changes in hormone levels that occur throughout the menstrual cycle are thought to play a role in both PMS and PMDD. However, some studies show these changes are similar even in women who don’t have either PMS or PMDD. Researchers think some women may be more predisposed to the effects of hormone fluctuations, which means they experience the effects much more acutely. To be effective, PMDD treatment needs to be tailored to each woman individually.
The team at Grassroots Healthcare takes a holistic approach to treating women with PMDD. Prior to any treatment, you’ll have a medical exam and you may have blood work or other lab tests to rule out other problems that could be causing the same symptoms. Lab tests can also be used to check your hormone levels and to identify nutritional deficiencies that could be contributing to your symptoms.
Depending on your needs, our team may prescribe supplements or hormone therapy. Behavioral counseling may be helpful, along with medications to help stabilize your brain chemistry. Because PMDD affects every woman differently, our team will work with you to create a treatment plan that’s just right for your needs.
PMDD symptoms are chronic and severe — so severe, they can take a major toll on your quality of life. If you think you may have PMDD, don’t put off getting care. Call Grassroots Healthcare or use our online form and schedule your office visit today.