Many women don’t realize that there is even a difference! Each month, as that time rolls around, we suffer from the standard bloating, cramping, and irritation. Some of us may experience depression or anxiety. Although it may seem normal and your friends may tell you they go through the same thing, if your symptoms are more severe, you may have PMDD.
Premenstrual Syndrome can occur one to two weeks before a woman’s period and on average lasts 6 days. Symptoms often include acne breakouts, mood changes, tiredness, and tender breasts. Usually these symptoms resolve around the time bleeding starts and can be easily treated with simple remedies like applying a heating pad, oils, or taking chasteberry tea.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a more severe form of PMS but with greater psychological impact. A woman suffering from PMDD can have, in addition to PMS symptoms, severe depression, irritability, and tension. PMDD only affects a small percentage of women, and only during the menstruation years. No exact cause for it has been found, but worsened effects have been linked to factors such as alcohol or substance abuse, thyroid disorders, lack of exercise, being overweight, or having a mother with the same condition.
A mild form of depression can be present during PMS. You may feel tired and have a lack of motivation. You may also feel a bit more emotional and cry every time you see the pet adoption commercial! However, PMDD is much more severe. A woman may experience panic attacks, insomnia, trouble concentrating, thoughts of suicide, and a feeling of being out of control.
There is no set test or exam that can determine if you have PMDD. The best method of diagnosis is to keep a journal and track your symptoms. This can be followed up with a full physical, thyroid testing, and a psychiatric exam to rule out any other potential ailments.
Once it’s determined that you are suffering from PMDD, the best first step is to opt for a healthier lifestyle. Make sure you’re eating regular and healthy meals, getting plenty of exercise, and managing your sleep. This helps keep your digestion regulated, exercise releases endorphins for pain relief, and good rest gives your body the energy it needs to fight off symptoms.
In addition to lifestyle changes, a doctor may prescribe a variety of medications for relief. However, there are many natural remedies for PMS and PMDD symptoms that are less abrasive to your natural cycle and have far less side effects. For example, one such product known as Scarlet. It is an all natural tonic made from Chasteberry and Wild Yam.
These two herbs are among the best for hormone regulation. They both directly influence the pituitary gland which is in control of how your hormones are released. Birth control is a common treatment for menstrual discomfort. However, it inhibits fertility and has side effects like dry skin and nausea. Whereas Chasteberry is beneficial for healthy skin, improves fertility, and eases stomach trouble. Wild Yam is beneficial in that it increases sex drive, when birth control decreases it. It also improves bone health, regulates cholesterol, and reduces cramps, hot flashes, and muscle spasms.
If you have been suffering from what seem to be more severe symptoms of PMS, you may actually be suffering from PMDD.
Make an appointment for a check up, as an early diagnosis is always helpful and with much more information available now there’s always natural remedies to improve your health!