The emotional and psychological symptoms of PMS may include:
The physical symptoms may include:
PMS isn’t easy to diagnose and shouldn’t be confused with dysmenorrhea, or painful cramps in the lower abdomen that can occur at the start of each month’s period.
Since PMS has such a wide variety of symptoms, you may want to keep a journal to record your symptoms, their severity, and when they appear and disappear. This journal will help you see a pattern connected with your menstrual cycle and rule out depression or another mood disorder.
PMS can have a significant impact on your life. Emotional changes, such as unpredictable mood swings, are particularly disruptive. You may feel extremely frustrated at your inability to control your emotions and reactions during this time. PMS can also affect your relationships. Difficulty concentrating or even taking time off to cope with your physical and psychological symptoms can affect your work or studies.
Healthy lifestyle choices are the best treatment for PMS.
If these healthy lifestyle choices fail to alleviate your PMS symptoms, your doctor may prescribe medication. If you are prescribed medication, the most problematic symptoms should be addressed first, as each drug relieves only one or a few symptoms at a time. Your doctor or pharmacist can recommend the most appropriate treatment for you based on your overall health and needs. Your reaction to medication may be different from someone else’s, and you may have to try more than one drug before you feel better.
Contraceptives and some antidepressants can be used to treat PMS.
Some women use vitamin supplements such as magnesium or calcium or natural health products such as evening primrose oil to treat their PMS symptoms. However, the effectiveness of these products has not been scientifically proven. These products can also cause side effects and interact with certain medications. Talk to your pharmacist before using them.