It’s common to feel a little “off” before your period. But what if your premenstrual symptoms are especially bothersome — or even debilitating?
Understanding the reasons behind your “bad PMS” may reveal important information about your overall health and help you find promising solutions.
Our expert team of medical providers at Arundel Medical Group, Inc., located in Glen Burnie, Maryland, offers routine gynecological care, including treatment and support for menstruation-related challenges.
Let’s take a closer look at PMS, including factors that may exacerbate your symptoms and ways to find relief.
The basics of PMS
PMS, which stands for premenstrual syndrome, affects 75% of people who menstruate. While the exact cause isn’t known, it’s likely linked to hormonal changes related to your menstrual cycle.
PMS usually occurs after ovulating, when your ovaries release an egg. And once it begins, your symptoms can affect your physical state, moods, energy levels, and ability to work or socialize.
Most people only experience a few PMS symptoms, which may include:
- Anxiety or depression
- Crying spells
- Difficulty concentrating
- Appetite changes
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Libido changes
- Abdominal bloating or cramping
- Joint pain
- Breast tenderness
- Acne flare-ups
- Social withdrawal
Symptoms usually resolve within four days of the start of your period.
What causes “bad” PMS
If you’re prone to severe PMS symptoms, you may be dealing with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). This chronic condition may happen due to a serotonin deficiency or an unusual response to normal hormonal changes. You may hold a higher risk for PMDD if the condition runs in your family or if you have a mood disorder, such as depression.
Other factors that can worsen PMS symptoms include the following:
- Eating a diet rich in fat, sugar, salt, and calories
- Consuming caffeine or alcohol in excess
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Unmanaged stress
- Sexually-transmitted infections (STIs)
Conditions that cause chronic pelvic pain, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis, may also intensify your PMS symptoms.
How to manage severe PMS
If your PMS symptoms are interfering with your daily life or you can’t manage them alone, it’s time to seek professional help. With a comprehensive exam, our team can help pinpoint the underlying causes of your symptoms and recommend lifestyle changes, medical treatments, or a combination.
Depending on your symptoms, your care plan may include medication, relaxation exercises, therapy, dietary supplements, or increased rest. If a pelvic health condition is suspected, we may recommend additional testing to confirm or rule it out.
To learn more about PMS or get on the path to reliable relief, call our office or request an appointment via this website today.