How I Treat My PMDD Symptoms: A Survival Guide
Because I was in the trenches, I could not elaborate on what I do to help treat my PMDD symptom. In this post. I want to give you a little feedback on some of the things I incorporate into my life to help me survive PMDD. My go-to PMDD symptom fighter
My go-to PMDD symptom fighters are a combination of medicine, supplements, nutrition, yoga, and God.
In case you missed my post last week, let’s define PMDD again.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)- according to UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders is a severe form of PMS (OMG! Not the best definition) it affects approximately 5-10% of women in their reproductive years. It is characterized by more significant premenstrual mood disturbances that can have a harmful impact on their life, relationships, and work.
PMDD was finally recognized as a disorder in the DSM-5(Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders- 5thEdition) on May 18, 2013. Wait, What?! it was not till 2013 that a severe condition that affects 10% of women worldwide was recognized, (yes you read that correctly). Before that women, like me, were wrongfully diagnosed and suffered slence, in the Editorial Severe PMS/PMDD-is it time for a new approach? The authors note that before the acknowledgment it was “confusion with bipolar disorder ”(Panay and Fenton 331). A misdiagnosis that led to many under-treated or over treated women and women who might have been hospitalized for psychosis.
What are the Symptoms ofPMDD?
They can start anywhere from two days to two weeks before menstruation, and for some, it can be experienced a few days after menstruation begins; additionally, some women can have symptoms during ovulation (ME).
• Irritability (ME)
• Depressed Mood and feeling of hopelessness (ME)
• Anxiety, tension, and/or irritability (ME)
• Mood Swings
• Intense anger and/or conflicts with others (ME)
• Lost of interest (ME)
• Fatigue and/ or insomnia (Me)
• Intense Food Cravings and/or Binge eating (ME)
• Cramps and/or bloating (ME)
• Breast tenderness, headaches, joint & muscle pain, Hot Flashes
Man, what a list, and as you can see I have enough to share lol!
Here is the disclaimer: because I don’t want any trouble…I am not a doctor, medical professional, nutritionist or any other professional in the medical field The provided information is not for exact duplication.This is me sharing my experience, and I am not responsible for what you chose to do with it once I post it. Please contact your healthcare provider to assit you with your own personal healthcare plan. But I still love you and want to share with you.
Currently, PMDD does not have an exact treatment plan, but the most common medical care is prescribing SSRIs(Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor). Once you convince yourself and your doctor you are not bipolar or crazy then you can see a psychiatrist to assist with your specialized treatment plan.
My Psychiatrist, initially treated me with Fluoxetine 30mg every day. The first three months went well, but then I slowly started to go back to feeling crummy. Eventually, he increased it to 60mg, my body was not happy with that, and it reacted by giving me severe tremors. For the last six months, I have been taking Cymbalta, and it has been working well for me.
Also, I no longer take any birth control of any form. When I took birth control, it made me crazy angry like I was possessed, I scared my self. The solution, I made my husband get a vasectomy!
Treating PMDD with medication is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay. Personally, I want to live my best life and if medication is what I need not lose myself and possibly my family, then medication it is.
The Holistic Support
I don’t know about you, but when I found out that I had PMDD, I went looking for a cure. Unfortunately, there is none unless I am willing to get a hysterectomy and I am not ready to remove body parts. Thanks to the internet, I looked up a more holistic approach and combined it with my medical treatment.
The first thing I did was detox from sugar! Um, yes I eat sweets! But I no longer eat as much sugar, I am not sugar-free, I am sugar sprinkled! But I do the detox twice a year at the first of the year and six months later usually June.[ctt template=”8″ link=”acxb8″ via=”yes” nofollow=”yes”] I am not sugar-free, I am sugar sprinkled![/ctt]
I recommend Diane Sanfilippo, 21 Day Sugar Detox!
It is a whole food-based detox that lasts twenty-one day; you won’t be hungry because you can eat all the approved food you want. There is no calorie counting, and she has a support team online at balancedbites.com. Also, she has many coaches around the web that have an individual support team. My one recommendation is to get a Sugar Detox Buddy!
Let me tell you It changed the way I see food and sugar. It also cleared my skin, and I swear I was don’t bloated at all. It also makes my period more comfortable in the physical symptoms including less fatigued, less cramping, and I do not crave as much junk food making my life a little more straightforward and healthier.
Once I detoxed from sugar, I did the Keto Diet, following Leanne Vogel, The Keto Diet Plan. I chose her because she speaks extensively about women’s hormone issues and her journey with her menstrual cycle. On this diet I felt the best, cravings subsided substantially, and my PMDD symptoms that disrupted my day-to-day life, occurred one day before. My husband even mentioned that he noticed a considerable difference in me. Unfortunately, I went on vacation to Puerto Rico and fell off the Keto Diet plan. As of today, I am slowly incorporating it back in, it has been the best diet so far, and I plan to make it more permanent change.
The supplement list is a bit longer, and it’s very general, do your research, I am just telling you what I do
- D-3 5000 IU –take at night- Low amounts of Vitamin-D can cause a host of issues, from headaches, muscle pain, fatigue and joint pain. As for PMDD, vitamin d is essential to brain function and development, which is what controls all the symptoms of the wacky hormones that attack it.
- B-6 100mg – take in the morning everyone should take it! It increases energy, helps with memory, supports brain function, enhances mood and can help with anemia!
- Omega3 950mg– Take at night- Another one everyone should be taking it every night. Our brains love Omega 3; it is the fuel that it needs. It is so amazing that I would have to write another post just about Omega three many benefits. But lucky for me, My Fav Dr. Axe has done that already click here
- Magnesium Citrate 250mg– according to Dr. Axe ( also love) it can aid in increasing energy, calming nerves & anxiety, helps treat insomnia (not for me I still don’t sleep) regulates digestion and muscle aches.
- Vitamin C 1000mg– take in the morning- According to WebMD-is necessary for the growth, development, and repair of all body tissues. It’s involved in many body functions, including the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.
- Evening Primrose oil- 500 mg– Take in the morning- it is great to help balance hormones. You know the those, the ones that make us want to stuff dive face first into a chocolate cake.
- Dandelion Root Extract– I add this to my coffee or tea in the am, it is excellent for liver detox and bloating, but it can make you a little dehydrated.
- Vitex Fruit 400mg– As soon as I wake up w/ full glass of water. It works on your estrogen; it is another hormone balancer. Here is a link to Dr. Axe article on it. ….love,love,love!
- Taurine 1000mg– take at night- WebMD reports that it “is an amino sulfonic acid, but it is often referred to as an amino acid, a chemical that is a required building block of protein. Taurine is found in large amounts in the brain, retina, heart, and blood cells called platelets”.We need the amino acid they are the essential part of cell production.
- Folic Acid 800mg– Take in the morning- All women at all times should take Folic Acid, it is also vital to the reproduction of new red blood cells.
- Maca–In the morning, before I eat with full glass of water.- Oh, Dr. Axe how I love thee! Helps with balancing estrogen and boost sexual health, aids with depression, anxiety and mood regulation.
In combination with the medication, nutrition, and supplement I have reduced my PMDD symptoms drastically. At most I have gone from 10 days of symptoms to about 4-2 days. The last two days are the most difficult for me, and even they are substantially more manageable. It has improved my PMDD symptom and in turn my life!
Let’s Get Physical
My bestie Alicia loves Yoga! She has always been very flexible. When we were roommates, we would dance in front of our full-length mirror, and she would bend all the way down to her feet. As for me, I was more like a tree branch I was afraid I was going to split in half. Till I tried yoga at home, I went on myyogaworks.com and purchased one of the deals they had at the time, (I was not going to a studio) I started with the beginner’s yoga classes. I was hooked instantly, yoga made me not only flexible, but it strengthened my core, arms, and legs. It also taught me how to breathe in a way that instantly calms your whole body.With practice, I learned to discipline my breath to a specific part of my body. Now I can relax anywhere with simple breathing techniques!
Yoga also has helped me to become more aware of my body and the signal it gives me. That self-awareness had helped me identify when my symptoms are starting and when they are at its peak. Since I can recognize the initial symptom when they first appear, which is usually irritability, I check my Period tracker and confirm the timeline. I can then immediately tell my family that I am entering the Danger Zone, to prepares. The realization aids in making my PMDD day manageable for both myself and my family. To say yoga has changed my life is an understatement.
The ultimate PMDD survival Guide!
I have said it before, and I will repeat it, my ultimate PMDD symptom survival guide is the BIBLE! Everything else I mentioned above is things that I can do to aid in my symptoms. If I am not rooted in The Word (GOD), then I might as well not even try to reduce my PMDD symptoms. In my post, Where is God during my PMDD? I speak about how I seek refuge in My Lord during that time, he is my life, and without Him, I could not actively participate in my life. The Bible is the living Word of God and in John 1:1 It says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” I make it a priority to write my prayer in my journal and seek his guidance in the Bible!
None of the above matters without God, period end of story! Also thanks to yoga, I learned to meditate, but I meditate on the word of God and my prayers. During savasana, I rest my body and Pray to My Lord.
In the End:
Finally, I have accepted myself in all aspects! I have decided that if on my PMDD days, I don’t eat right, take my supplements or do yoga; it is ok. If I am too exhausted and fatigued from insomnia, I stay home watching TV is great! If I have chocolate ice cream and chips blowing my Keto Diet and Low Sugar plan, okay tomorrow is another day. Life is not perfect, and neither am I. Thankfully Jesus is and that allows me just to breathe!
The goal is to make your life easier during PMDD, be honest with yourself and apply a routine that can aid you. But most of all accept and forgive yourself it is not you, it is your condition! Love will be the way to recognize who you are and God is Love! Stop looking for a cure and start letting God heal you.
Get A Free PMDD Action Plan & My PMDD Tracker
Receive an instant download of My PMDD Symptom Tracker or the My PMDD Action Plan. It is a few question to be filled out by women with PMDD. It is an aid to help us women have something that will remind us of who we are when we are not on PMDD days (Hell Week). Just Click on the Images!
It is because of God’s sacrifice that I can and have accepted my life as he has given it to me. Thank you, Abba Lord for my Everything including my PMDD!
How about you:
- What PMDD symptoms you struggle with the most?
- Do you have any unique routines when PMDD sets in?
- How Can I Pray For You?
Hantsoo, Liisa, and C. N. Epperson. “Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: Epidemiology and Treatment.” Current Psychiatry Reports, vol. 17, no. 11, 2015.
Panay, Nick, and Anna Fenton. “Severe PMS/PMDD – is it time for a new approach?” Climacteric, vol. 18, no. 3, 2015, pp. 331-332.
“Top 5 Maca Root Benefits and Nutrition (No. 4 is Best).” Dr. Axe, draxe.com/top-5-maca-root-benefits-and-nutrition/.
“Vitamin C Benefits, Sources, Supplements, & More.” WebMD, www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c#1.