Pink note saying: Respect My PMS

You just snapped at your husband for not taking out the garbage and now you’re dissolved in tears over a lost puppy on Facebook. One minute your workload seems reasonable and the next minute all you want to do is take a nap. You even think a box of brownies might help you feel better.

What’s going on? Look at the calendar. If it’s the week before your period, you could be suffering from Premenstrual Syndrome, known to most women as PMS. Nearly all women have at least one symptom of PMS each month. The menu of symptoms includes: bloating, headaches, irritability, fatigue, poor concentration, breast tenderness, food cravings, and skin outbreaks. Most symptoms fade as soon as your monthly bleeding starts.

However, if PMS symptoms are causing problems with work, family, or other personal relationships, it’s time to take action. First, see if diet and exercise help prevent the symptoms. Reduce your intake of fat, salt, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Eat a diet rich in complex carbohydrates and add calcium-rich foods like yogurt to your diet. Try and reduce your stress levels by using relaxation techniques, yoga, or meditation. Make sure you regularly get enough sleep, not just on weekends.

If these tactics don’t work, consider discussing the problems with an OB/GYN. Keep a symptom diary for a couple of months so the doctor can see just when the symptoms occur and in what order. For very serious symptoms, medications such as antidepressants or diuretics (water pills) are sometimes prescribed. Dr. Amy Siegel is a female gynecologist with experience in helping women conquer PMS. At Bergen Women’s Health Care you’ll be able to talk over your most personal issues with a caring physician who uses the latest techniques in medicine. Dr. Siegel has flexible hours and sees patients in Paramus and Emerson.

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