When it comes to knowing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome , you don’t need a doctor to tell you what to look out for when you’re knee-deep in the middle of awful premenstrual symptoms. From your cramping stomach muscles to debilitating exhaustion and irritability, it can often seem like there’s no light at the end of the PMS tunnel.
So what exactly is premenstrual syndrome– and what are the symptoms? How do you know when your symptoms are completely normal; and how do you know when to call in a doctor for help?
Just think of this article as your how-to guide to managing the PMS symptoms.
What is PMS?
Unfortunately, PMS, or Premenstrual Syndrome, is a natural part of a woman’s menstrual cycle. The average menstrual cycle lasts for 28 days, in which an egg is shed from the ovaries and attached to the uterine walls. When the egg is left unfertilized, the uterus sheds the unused specimen in favor of a newly released egg. The egg is typically shed over the course of three to five days, which results in what’s known as a period.
The blood experienced during a woman’s period is a direct result of the uterus shedding its uterine walls. Before the egg is attached to the uterine wall, it’s coated in a thick layer of blood and nutrients, which will help any fertilized egg grow into a healthy fetus. As an unfertilized egg has no need for a nutrient-laden uterine layer, the body sheds it along with the egg, resulting in the heavy to moderate flow experienced during a period. The body then replaces the old uterine wall with a new layer in anticipation of a future fertilized egg.
In order to shed the unfertilized egg and the uterine layers, the muscles of the uterus seizing up; this helps the uterus to “shake off” the uterine layer so that it can receive a new egg from the ovaries. This seizing motion is directly responsible for the painful cramping and muscle aches that many women experience during their menstrual cycle.
While this process might seem like a relatively simple one, the body experiences an increased fluctuation in hormonal levels. In the middle of a woman’s menstrual cycle, the body amps up its hormone levels in anticipation of pregnancy; however, when the menstrual cycle is near its end and the egg remains unfertilized, the body’s hormone levels considerably drop. This fluctuation in hormone levels directly results in many of the PMS symptoms that women experience throughout their menstrual cycle.
So what exactly are the symptoms of PMS?
The gamut of PMS symptoms can run from mild to moderate, and can include several of the 150 “official” symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Severe premenstrual symptoms are often signs of hormonal problems or underlying diseases and conditions, and should always be treated by a doctor.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more common PMS physical symptoms:
Symptoms of PMS aren’t just limited to the physical; in fact, many PMS symptoms manifest as emotional and mental symptoms. These are commonly experienced as anxiety, depression, anger, irritability, moodiness, withdrawal, the inability to concentrate, and much more.
Symptoms that Require a Doctor
While the above symptoms are common for most menstruating women, there are some symptoms of PMS that require the attention of a medical professional.
Millions of women are afflicted by PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), which is a serious medical diagnosis that requires advanced medication to control.
If you’ve experienced any of the following symptoms of PMS during your menstrual cycle, make an appointment with your doctor immediately:
- You’re so depressed that you can’t get out of bed in the mornings, or do the activities that usually bring you joy
- You’re experiencing overwhelming feelings of guilt, anxiety and shame
- You feel as though you’ve lost control over your life
- You’ve lashed out physically at your partner or children, or have felt extreme aggression towards friends, family members and colleagues
- You’ve experienced debilitating migraine headaches
- You’ve experienced extreme mood swings
- And more symptoms.
If you’ve dealt with any of these symptoms – with or without the common physical symptoms of PMS – then contact a medical professional to determine whether or not you’re suffering from PMDD.
Are Your Symptoms Normal?
Many women often wonder if their PMS symptoms are normal; however, there’s no “normal” scale where you can compare your premenstrual symptoms. Some women experience little to no PMS symptoms throughout the course of their menstrual cycle, while other women experience such painful periods that they often have to miss work or school just to cope.
What’s important to remember is what’s normal for you. If you often experience breast tenderness and cramps during your period, then this is “normal” for you; therefore, any change in these symptoms of PMS should be seen by a medical professional. Of course, keep in mind that birth control or medication could interfere with your PMS or even create new symptoms altogether.
If you’re suffering from painful symptoms of PMS, you don’t have to go through it alone. If you feel as though medical professionals have been ineffectually treating your PMS symptoms, or worse, brushing them off altogether, then it’s time to take your symptoms of PMS into your own hands.
When it comes to treating your PMS once and for all, it’s time to call on Period Vitamin, the ultimate answer to your PMS woes. Period Vitamin is an all-natural supplement that’s especially formulated to tackle the most common symptoms of PMS. From cramping, bloating and weight gain to irritability and mood swings, Period Vitamin will restore balance and vitality to your life again.