Helping You Handle PMS

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology defines premenstrual syndrome as “The cyclic occurrence of symptoms that are sufficiently severe to interfere with some aspects of life, and that appear consistent and predictable relationship to the menses (menstrual period).”

To which you just said, “Thanks for the enlightenment. Duh.”

The period before your period, with its fluctuating hormone levels, can be trying for both you and everyone around you. Husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends — everyone can be on guard and hiding all sharp objects!

At Women’s Care of Beverly Hills, we know exactly what you’re going through. And, while PMS is unfortunately a part of our lives, if yours is severe enough, we can provide various treatment options to help you get through it without purposefully running anyone over with your car!

What are the symptoms of PMS?

While there are many symptoms of PMS, they vary from woman to woman. You probably have your own personal greatest PMS hits list. Also, they can vary from month to month.

These are some common PMS symptoms:

  • Bloating
  • Headaches/backaches
  • Breast tenderness
  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • Aggression
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Food cravings
  • Irritability
  • Weepiness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

How do we diagnose PMS?

It’s important to verify that your symptoms are PMS related. At Women’s Care of Beverly Hills we use various methods to make sure you are suffering from PMS and not a problem with some similar symptoms such as thyroid disease. We often will test your thyroid to rule that out. We may have you keep a diary of symptoms. Then we’ll systematically rule out other conditions such as depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

How we help you with your PMS

The goal of our PMS treatment is to reduce the impact of it. At Women’s Care of Beverly Hills, we find that helping you modify your behavior can really help. Here are some of our PMS treatment strategies.

  • Exercise — As with most areas of life, exercise is helpful, especially aerobic exercise for PMS.
  • Education — We may have you keep a symptom diary. This will help you understand that how you feel is directly related to your cycles. Coping skills in other areas of life can help with your PMS. If your anxiety, irritability, or depression is severe, we may opt for counseling or medication.
  • Nutrition — Diet can play a role in the severity of your PMS symptoms. Reducing the amount of caffeine, salt, and sugar may relieve symptoms. Certain vitamins have proven important: vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium. Complex carbohydrates can be helpful.
  • Medications — Pain relievers, obviously help with backaches and cramps. In cases of severe depression, we may prescribe antidepressants. For some patients, oral contraceptives have proven effective in mitigating some of the impact of PMS.

If you’re struggling PMS to the point that it is affecting your life, please call us at the Women’s Care of Beverly Hills, 310-657-1600.

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