Symptoms of PMS versus Symptoms of PMDD

severe pmsPremenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common issue faced by approximately 75 percent of women. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) affects only 3-8 percent, according to Medline Plus. Understanding the symptoms of the two will allow you to determine if you are suffering from severe PMS or PMDD.

Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome vary significantly from woman to woman and even from month to month. Most women experience only a few of the symptoms at a time. The most common symptoms of PMS include:

• Pain or tenderness in the joints or muscles
• Malaise (fatigue)
• Headache or migraine
• Abdominal bloating or weight gain related to water retention
• Sore, tender or swollen breasts
• Acne flare-ups
• Bowel-habit changes such as constipation or diarrhea

• Feeling tense or anxious
• Feelings of depression, from mild to severe
• Crying jags
• Intense mood swings ranging from angry one moment to crying the next.
• Food cravings or changes in appetite
• Sleep disturbances such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
• Withdrawal from social situation, a need to be left alone
• Difficulty concentrating or staying on task.

Symptoms of PMDD, can be similar to PMS, but are usually more pronounced. For a diagnosis of PMDD, at least five of the following symptoms must be present:

• Lack of interest in relationships or day-to-day activities
• Tiredness or lack of energy
• Feeling hopeless, sad or suicidal
• Anxiety and tension
• Feeling like you cannot control your thoughts or actions
• Binge eating
• Extreme mood swings, including periods of crying
• Panic attacks
• Anger or irritability that affects others around you
• Difficulty concentrating
• Bloating, headaches, breast tenderness or pain
• Difficulty sleeping or other sleep disturbances

If you are experiencing severe PMS symptoms, talk to your doctor about PMDD and possible treatments.

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