Not long ago, PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, was treated as a joke, minimizing the significant effect it had on the lives and health of millions of women. However, research indicated that the hormonal changes women experience throughout their menstrual cycles had real effects, and PMS was a treatable condition. A more severe form of the condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) can also occur and responds to specific types of treatment.
At South Lake OB/GYN and Advanced Surgery in Clermont, women’s health is our top priority. Our medical staff provides a range of services for preventative treatment, gynecology, obstetrics and even advanced surgery. If you or your daughter is suffering from PMS or PMDD, South Lake OB/GYN may be able to help. Contact us today to schedule your appointment, and we can help offer treatment solutions for your symptoms.
Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a collection of symptoms that occur 1 to 2 weeks before a woman’s menstrual period. Medical experts believe that up to 85 percent of women experience PMS at one time or another. The causes of PMS are not well known, but they are believed to be reactions to hormonal changes in the body and changes in brain chemicals, as a result of these hormonal changes. Stress and emotional problems may make PMS worse. Physical symptoms include:
- Joint Pain
- Increased appetite
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
- Trouble with concentration
- Breast tenderness
- Sleep problems
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, the more severe form of PMS, affects 3 to 8 percent of women and can be a debilitating condition that disrupts women’s work lives and impacts their relationships. A combination of physical, psychological and environmental factors all appear to cause the disorder.
As with PMS, a woman may experience both physical and emotional symptoms, but these are much more severe than ordinary PMS. Women may feel so ill and anxious that they are unable to function in everyday activities. The patient may require a variety of treatment options to manage symptoms.
Treatments for PMS
PMS can be treated with a combination of lifestyle changes, medication and alternative therapies:
- Regular exercise can help to reduce the severity of PMS symptoms.
- Eating healthy foods and reducing the amount of salt, sugar, caffeine and alcohol can also have a beneficial effect.
- Increasing your amount of sleep can also be helpful.
- Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen can reduce physical discomfort.
- Taking birth control pills stop ovulation and often reduce the symptoms of PMS.
- Taking vitamin and mineral supplements such as folic acid, calcium with vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin E can help to reduce symptoms.
Treatments for PMDD
The severe form of PMS requires additional types of treatment, including:
- Antidepressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors change the amount of serotonin in the brain and help to improve symptoms.
- Certain types of birth control, such as drospirenone and ethinyl estadiol are used to treat PMDD.
- Individual counseling, group counseling and stress management techniques can also help to reduce severe symptoms.