Sunday, February 22, 2009

About PMDD

I figured I'd post a little bit about PMDD, since it's relatively unheard of to most people. If you have it, I empathize with you, if you don't, get to know what it is before you end up with someone who has it and you don't know what to do when they begin to suffer its symptoms.This is probably the worst thing I have to suffer through practically every month. I've tried not taking anything and I've tried YAZ to counter the effects of the previous BC I was coerced into taking... with not much luck. It's supposed to be the best to treat PMDD, but it doesn't seem to be getting better. My last resort is anti-depresssants... and you know how that goes...

Thanks to those unprescribed pills and a selfish, pressuring sex addict ex, I've got this seemingly permanent hormonal imbalance that nothing seems to correct. If you look at the symptoms below, I can unfortunately state that I suffer from every single one. People don't take this seriously or don't think PMDD is real (I didn't, until I remembered that I learned about it in health a couple years back, and looked it up), but it is a debilitating disorder that rules my life for a period of about 2 weeks each month. It messes up things for me and makes things exceptionally hard for the people I love the most... I've seen a few doctors about it and was informed that I had correctly diagnosed myself with this disorder which has no real cure.

Here's a little 411:

About 75 percent of menstruating women experience mild to moderate premenstrual symptoms. But up to 10 percent of menstruating women have premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) — a severe, sometimes disabling form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is distinguished from PMS by the severity of its symptoms and its impact on relationships and daily activities. Symptoms of PMDD — which occur in the last week of the menstrual cycle and usually improve within a few days after menstruation begins — include:

• Persistent sadness or depression
• Marked anxiety, feelings of being "keyed up"or "on edge"
• Mood swings often marked by periods of teariness
• Persistent or marked anger or irritability• Decreased interest in usual activities
• Fatigue or lethargy
• A feeling of being overwhelmed or out of control
• Flu-like symptoms, including muscle aches, headaches and joint pain
• Breast tenderness
• Changes in sleep patterns — problems falling and staying asleep or sleeping too much
• Changes in appetite — overeating, lack of appetite or specific food cravings

The cause of PMDD isn't clear. Major depression is very common with PMDD. But PMDD can also occur in women who do not have a history of major depression.

Treatment of PMDD is directed at preventing or minimizing symptoms and may include:

• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Taken before or at the onset of your period, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can ease cramping and breast discomfort.
• Antidepressants. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) reduce symptoms such as fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems.
• Oral contraceptives. Oral contraceptives stop ovulation and stabilize hormone fluctuations, which reduces mood swings.
• Nutritional supplements. Consuming 1,000 milligrams of dietary and supplemental calcium daily may reduce the physical and emotional symptoms of PMDD. Vitamin B-6 and magnesium also may help.
• Herbal remedies. Clinical trials suggest that L-tryptophan and chasteberry may reduce irritability, mood swings, anger and headaches associated with PMDD.
• Diet and lifestyle changes. Regular exercise often reduces premenstrual symptoms. Decreasing caffeine intake can alleviate anxiety and irritability. Also, eating more carbohydrates in the week before your period may improve mood and memory.
• It's important that you review your symptoms with your doctor. A thorough medical evaluation can determine if symptoms are due to PMDD or some other condition. If you are diagnosed with PMDD, your doctor can recommend specific treatments to help minimize the impact PMDD has on the days you experience symptoms.

I don't want to continue living with this crap forever, but my hormonoes do not seem to be stabilizing. So I've got no idea how much longer I'll have to deal with this. Yes, it's great I have shorter periods, and less cramps (still have em though), but the bc hasn't accounted for the damaging side-effects that won't go away. I don't even want to go into detail besides the fact that it's just an overwhelming feeling of knowing what's going on but not being in control of it. It's pushed me so far, and not in good directions, and I'm sick of having to go through it.

Hopefully, this will enlighten others about what PMDD is all about and what you can do to help yourself if you have it. Hope you have better luck than I do.
"Sometimes we take chances, and sometimes we take pills."

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