Every woman's body is her own unique sanctuary in which she plants the right seeds to help her grow, mold, and strengthen her character to unlock her full potential.
Knowing this, it should be crystal clear that every woman goes through different things during her cycle.
The thing is, hormones are our greatest support and mind stimulators. And in wobbly times like just before the period, when hormones are literally at war, they become the worst enemy any woman could dream of.
I believe that most people would say that premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a woman's darkest time of the month.
And most of the time, believe me, it is.
Welcome To PMS
You can't miss it when PMS knocks at your door. It comes hand in hand with the most common symptoms, such as mood swings, food cravings, breast tenderness, bloating, anxiety. Most women would start noticing it after the luteal phase of the cycle or just after ovulation.
This is the time of the month before your period.
Imagine this: you end up snuggled in your favorite blanket, with a bucket full of ice-cream and crisps. Watching The Bridget Jones's Diary for the twentieth time and crying on her 'All By Myself' performance without any particular reason for it.
If these emotional symptoms sound familiar, have you ever wondered what are the causes of PMS?
While the real cause of the premenstrual syndrome remains unknown, researchers have found that the answer lies in hormonal oscillations. The estrogen and progesterone levels indeed can vary, depending on which phase of the cycle you are in.
These hormone levels have a major impact on serotonin levels in the brain, explaining mood symptoms.
These transformations happen naturally during the menstrual cycle.
It is a normal thing, but it surely can make things messy and play with your whole being.
Diving Deep Into PMDD
Up to 75% of women happen to experience these emotional changes due to their premenstrual mood. On the other side, PMDD is less common.
Just 3-8% of all women worldwide would be diagnosed with the premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
What are the symptoms of PMDD?
Well, roughly said, PMDD is PMS' evil sister that has some anger management issues.
Let's leave all jokes aside. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is indicated by more severe symptoms than those women usually experience during a regular PMS.
This may sound weird to those who haven't encountered such things, but the premenstrual dysphoric disorder can tie you in bed and ruin your day over nothing in an instant.
To keep your mind and soul at ease, don't try overthinking every symptom, and attempt to avoid self-diagnosing.
Not every rougher symptom leads to PMDD, and this is something that only your doctor could confirm.
What Happens Under The Surface
So, PMDD or PMS? What's the difference?
Although these two look similar, they leave different marks on women's quality of life.
Many kinds of research agreed that PMDD is a biological phenomenon. Women who are naturally more prone to continuous hormone level changes are more likely to develop PMDD.
But since hormones are the foundation of our bodies, you should know that to get the whole picture of PMDD, all hormones matter.
Sex hormones are a must. Then we have the adrenal glands, ovaries, pancreas (insulin is a hormone too) to happiness hormones, and sleep hormones at last.
If tests show that your hormone level is imbalanced, your doctor may suggest oral contraceptives. It's always good to know if there's some weakest link that drags you to the black hole of PMDD.
Yes, maybe it sounds impossible to isolate every single symptom and every organ or hormone. But keep in mind that YOU are the owner of your body, and you know how it can react to certain things.
Make sure to share these important details with your doctor because this is a thing where everything matters. Even the tiniest bits often look trivial at first glance.
Taming Dragons 101
PMDD and PMS shine their light through physical and emotional symptoms. While PMS tends to be subtle, PMDD cuts to the bone and triggers depression and anxiety on a deeper level than usual.
How can you keep yourself calm in such times?
To keep the dragons safe and sound locked in their cages, you would need to pay attention to some of your health and wellness habits.
Nutrition: self-love comes through the tummy. You won't need to practice any rigorous diets. Just keep an eye on your meal portions and healthy eating. Eat more veggies (five portions of vegetables in a day, each one in the size of your hand), lower the sugar and carbs intake. Tend to add more greens and proteins to your meals. You can always include nutritional supplements too. Magnesium and vitamin B6 are a must for every woman.
Sleep: your beauty sleep is essential. Set a sleeping schedule, and try going to bed at the same time every day. A quality sleep would save you a thousand headaches.
Embrace spirituality: you don't need to be religious. Just try to find your channel that will help you stay calm when you need it. Whether it be prayers, meditation, or something else, it's up to you!
Exercise: not only that you'll feel rejuvenated after a good workout, but you'll get rid of the negative energy that you've absorbed throughout your day. Believe it. Your body will be grateful.
You Are NOT Alone
These PMDD episodes often will require some lifestyle changes in your everyday routine.
If you've done everything that's in your power and seems like nothing works, then feel free to ask for help.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy works wonders. Your therapist would suggest a pattern that will suit you, depending on your needs.
This way, you'll learn how to tame not only your darkest demons but also to understand yourself and offer yourself a quick solution when in need.