Premenstrual Syndrome - PMS
Common symptoms of PMS include headache; abdominal cramps, bloating, or pain; fluid retention; breast tenderness; acne; cold sores; appetite changes or food cravings; constipation, gas, or diarrhea; irritability, anger, tension, or anxiety; depressed mood or crying spells; sleep difficulty; feeling tired; poor coordination; and joint, back, or muscle pain.
You may also experience problems with thinking skills, such as poor concentration, forgetfulness, confusion, and poor judgment. You may feel very depressed, panic, fearful, paranoid, or have irrational thoughts. You may feel very irritable, hostile, or aggressive. You may experience decreased self-image, self-esteem, or sex-drive.
DiagnosisYou should talk to your doctor if you suspect that you experience symptoms of PMS. Your doctor may ask you to record your symptoms for a few menstrual cycles. There is no specific test to diagnose PMS, but your doctor can make a diagnosis after examining you and reviewing your symptoms and medical history. In some cases, a psychiatric evaluation may be conducted to rule out other conditions that have symptoms similar to PMS.
Am I at RiskPMS is very common. About 75% of women experience symptoms of PMS. It occurs more frequently in women during their late 20s to early 40s. It appears that a personal or family history of major depression, postpartum depression, or affective mood disorder may increase the risk of experiencing PMS.
ComplicationsPMS symptoms can be severe enough to prevent women from participating in their regular activities. Some women may experience premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a severe form of PMS. Additionally, the suicide rate is higher for women during the days before their menstrual cycle. PMS is a real medical condition and it is important to receive appropriate treatment for all of your symptoms.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.