Ask The Doctor
Severe PMS Symptoms
Question: My PMS symptoms begin about a week and a half to two weeks before my menstrual cycle. They usually start with tenderness in my breasts—I get extremely tender breasts, particularly on the left side, and then it goes into feeling almost like I'm pregnant because I get a lot of cravings for food. I feel hungry, and then I don't feel satisfied with what I eat, and I'm still hungry. And then after that, beginning about two days prior to my actual period, I'll start cramping really bad, and that continues right on through my menstrual cycle until the last day. I get headaches. And then the emotional part usually kicks in, maybe like the day before and the first and second day of my cycle, so that little simple things annoy me that normally don't bother me. Physically, I feel extremely tired. I'm not sure if that's normal to feel that way. I recall feeling tired like that when I was pregnant but I just feel exhausted, I want to go to sleep; I'm really tired and worn out. I'm afraid to tell my doctor or anyone else I feel this way, because I'm afraid they'll think I'm making this up.
Answer: Mary, I believe you! It's unfortunate that so many women feel that no one will believe how bad their premenstrual syndrome suffering really is. My first recommendation would be to at least try discussing this with your gynecologist, because PMS is not imaginary. It is real, and it can have a large negative impact on your life. I also suspect that if you took a chance and shared what you feel with some of your girlfriends, you might be surprised to learn that some of them have really terrible PMS symptoms also ... they might even have felt afraid to talk about it, and for similar reasons to you. Please take a look around our website. I think it will help you to realize how common, and how debilitating, PMS symptoms can be, and that there is hope—natural hope—for PMS relief.
Yours in Health and Wellness,
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Last Modified: October 5, 2011