PMS is a group of physical and psychological symptoms in the second half of the menstrual cycle. These symptoms include breast changes, bloating, irritation, anxiety, cramping, frustration, and fatigue, and are common in up to 75% of women. PMDD is a less common but more severe and longer-lasting form of PMS. Both of these diagnoses can negatively impact a woman’s quality of life. The diagnosis is made based on a review of symptoms and sometimes a symptom diary can be helpful. The exact cause of PMS and PMDD is unknown but is thought to be due to the fluctuation of hormones throughout the cycle. Though it is thought to be hormonal the only blood test that can aid in treatment is thyroid testing. Treatment can begin conservatively with exercise, relaxation therapy, and vitamin B supplementation but symptoms can be severe enough to require further treatment with prescription medications. If you or someone you know suffers from PMDD please call our office to make an appointment.