It’s easy to complain when PMS symptoms have got you down. Thanks to your period each month you seem to transform into another person, and not one you necessarily like. One moment you are quite content, going about your usual business, and then suddenly your mood swings kick in, and your sunny day turns to storm clouds. You may feel agitated, short-tempered, and hyper-sensitive. It’s awful.
Often it is your family members and close friends who are privy to these mood swings and get an earful about the frustrating symptoms you’re battling. Of course, it’s fine to share what you are experiencing with those closest to you, but you may be overlooking a critical source of help — your doctor.
Women with PMS symptoms should share what and how they are feeling with their doctor, who can offer advice that can make a difference. Still, many women feel uncomfortable broaching the topic of PMS symptoms because they fear they will be perceived as a complainer or drama queen.
Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Use a Period-Tracking App or Keep a Log of PMS Symptoms
It happens all the time. Before you visit your physician, you consider what issues you want to discuss. But when you are actually sitting on the examination table, those issues pop right out of your head.
Thanks to technology, there are now period-tracking apps that can help identify when you’re ovulating, likely to experience PMS symptoms and get your period. These easy-to-use apps, such as “Clue,” “Eve” and “Glow,” can help you stop guessing about the activity of your menstrual cycle. If technology is not your thing, keep a written journal to keep track. Jot down the date and time you are experiencing the symptoms and what you are feeling. Consider factors that may be impacting you, such as particular family or workplace stressors, foods you have been eating, and whether or not you have been getting enough rest. Whether you choose to use an app or keep a written log of your menstrual cycle, this information may provide your doctors with additional insights. It will also help you to get a handle on what you are experiencing.
Select the Right Physician; Ask the Right Questions
You may love your general physician, but other types of doctors may be better qualified to deal with your PMS symptoms. Instead, consider speaking with a gynecologist or psychiatrist, since you want to feel comfortable about what you’re sharing. It is important that you consult with a doctor who will listen to you and be supportive.
It is also key to express what you expect from your meeting with your doctor. According to gynecologist Dr. Carol Cooper, there is no one quick fix for PMS sufferers. Patients should share what solutions they have already tried, even if these solutions may seem unconventional. The goal is to find remedies that help, and your doctor can provide excellent insights and information.
Consider All the Solutions for PMS Symptoms
Physicians agree that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to PMS symptoms, so it’s important to speak to your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing and when. The Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests various treatments for PMS symptoms, including:
- Lifestyle changes – regular exercise; a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean protein and reduced sodium and sugar; reduced caffeine and alcohol consumption; no smoking; eight hours of sleep; and stress reduction.
- Medications – aspirin; Ibuprofen, etc.
- Alternative therapies – vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid, magnesium and vitamin B-6.
Another option is Serenol™ , a non-prescription, non-hormonal supplement developed specifically to relieve the emotional symptoms of PMS.* Serenol doesn’t contain any hormones, nor does it act like a hormone. In a clinical study, the ingredients in Serenol were shown to relieve PMS emotional symptoms such as irritability and mood swings.* Clinical trials have also shown that these ingredients are as safe as a sugar pill.
Women seeking premenstrual syndrome relief do not have to suffer alone or in silence. Your doctor is available to help, but you need to be proactive. Discussing PMS symptoms and possible remedies with your physician is a step that may bring desired relief.