Premenstrual Syndrome, also known as PMS, Premenstrual Tension (PMT) or Premenstrual Disorder (PMD). Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is the term used if it is severe.
Premenstrual syndrome is when a woman gets unpleasant physical or emotional symptoms regularly in the 2 weeks before her period, but not at other times in her cycle. It’s common- about 40% of women are affected by Premenstrual Syndrome. Symptoms often include a bloated tummy, feeling irritable or angry, tender painful breasts and pain in the joints and muscles. Other less common symptoms include headaches, weight gain, swelling of the hands or feet, excessive hunger, cravings, tiredness, tearfulness, disrupted sleep, loss of concentration, anxiety, depression and confusion.
Treatment options for PMS can include increasing exercise levels, the combined oral contraceptive pill, Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine, a type of antidepressant called an SSRI, painkillers, and less commonly diuretics (water tablets) may be used to help with swelling.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) affects about 5% of women during their fertile years. More than half of women with PMDD suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives, and it is a significant cause of sick leave from work. Diagnosing PMDD involves completing a diary of ratings for certain symptoms. Treatment for PMDD is similar to treatment for PMS.