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PMS vs. PMDD: What is the difference and how to manage both?



  Do you have PMS or PMDD?

PMS and PMDD symptoms affect many women in the days and weeks prior to their period.


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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) are two conditions that make life difficult for many women every month before their period. And although many women have a form of PMS, sometimes the symptoms can be severe enough to affect your quality of life. If you can relate to the latter, understanding what qualifies as a PMDD can be helpful in understanding your symptoms and finding relief.

Read on to learn more about the difference between PMS and PMDD and how to alleviate the symptoms.

What is PMS? Patterns of physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms that occurred one to two weeks earlier and disappeared with the onset of menstruation, "said Dr. Jessica Shepherd, gynecologist, to CNET." PMS is common and affects 30-80% of women of childbearing age, "Shepherd said.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can include a wide variety of signs and symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings and fatigue, irritability and depression, and it is estimated that up to 3 in 4 Women in menstruation are suffering from PMS.

The cause of PMS is typically attributed to hormonal imbalances or changes in the hormones that occur in the body before a period.Changes also occur chemically in the brain, which causes many mood-related symptoms

PMS can also cause many physical symptoms, such as muscle ache include bloating, bloating, acne and digestive problems such as constipation and diarrhea.

] What is PMDD?

"Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a more severe form of premenstrual syndrome and is characterized by significant premenstrual mood disorders, often with more pronounced mood responsiveness and irritability," said Dr. Shepherd. "The mood disorders lead to significant social impairments."

If your symptoms that lead to your period tend to put you in the background for days and keep you away from work or school, or prevent you from doing things you normally want to do Symptoms may require further treatment.

To be classified as a PMDD, according to the Mayo Clinic, there must be at least one of several different symptoms. "In PMDD, however, at least one of these emotional symptoms and behavioral symptoms stands out: sadness or hopelessness, anxiety or tension, extreme mood swings, extreme irritability or anger."

The relationship between PMDD and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression

Since mood and behavioral symptoms are among the causes of PMDD, it makes sense to link them to mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. According to Mayo Clinic, it is common for someone who is already suffering from depression or anxiety to also suffer from PMDD. In fact, the hormonal changes that naturally occur before a period in the body may possibly aggravate the symptoms of mood disorders. This is important if you have a diagnosed condition such as anxiety or depression.

It is important to note this with a PMDD diagnosis; the mood and behavioral symptoms need to occur only about two weeks before your period. Dr. In an article for Harvard Medical School, Andrea Chisholm emphasizes the importance of recording the time of onset of your symptoms and the time they ask your doctor to make a diagnosis. If your symptoms persist over an extended period of time or throughout the month, you may still be suffering from PMS or PMDD. However, you may also need to be aware of mood disorders such as anxiety or depression.

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With period tracking apps like Clue, you can track your cycle and all PMS or PMDD Symptoms.


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What can you do to manage PMS or PMDD?

One action to manage your symptoms is to first track your cycle with an app or smartwatch. "Tracking cycles can help by knowing when moods change and finding ways to change those mood changes," Dr. Shepherd. With various period tracking apps like My Flo and Clue, you can track not only the days of your cycle, but also important symptoms and mood changes.

In addition to tracking your symptoms, you can also use diet, lifestyle, and exercise to relieve symptoms. Some diet changes that can help include eating smaller, more frequent meals, limiting salty foods, and trying to incorporate more complex carbohydrates (such as fruits and vegetables over processed carbohydrates like bread or pasta). You can also eat more calcium-rich foods as it has been proven that calcium relieves PMS symptoms. Limiting alcohol and caffeine can also be helpful.

Regular exercise may also be helpful for overall health, as well as for preventing and managing symptoms such as fatigue and feelings of depression. In addition to exercise and nutrition, you can also work to control stress and get more sleep to relieve your symptoms.

If lifestyle interventions do not help, doctors can use a variety of treatments or medications to help. Some medications commonly used to treat PMS and PMDD include antidepressants, NSAIDs, diuretics, and hormonal contraceptives. "There is a strong theory that the fluctuations in the estrogen and progesterone circuits have significant effects on central neurotransmission, particularly on serotonergic, noradrenergic and dopaminergic signaling pathways, which is important as there are certain drugs that regulate these signaling pathways and possibly minimize mood swings can." Said Dr. Shepherd.

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When should you see a doctor?

"If a person believes they have PMS or PMDD, it's important to talk to a doctor so that other diagnoses can be ruled out," Dr. Shepherd. If you suspect that you have PMDD, PMS, or mood symptoms that occur during your period (or any time of the month), it is best to see a doctor so that you can get the right diagnosis and treatment ,

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be considered as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have questions about a disease or health goals.


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