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Pre Monster Syndrome
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One day after yelling at the kids and snapping at my husband, I lay in the bed wondering what in the world was wrong with me. I mean, on any given day a thousand things happen that are no fun to deal with, but I usually have the grace, love, and understanding needed to take it all in stride.

I began thinking back to the last time I was in such a state of mind and the time before that. Suddenly I realized that my impossibly grumpy mood usually happened about the same time each month. It dawned on me that for whatever reason my hormones were getting the best of me. Ugh, who wants to admit that they have no control over their words and actions?

Pre-menstrual Syndrome affects up to 80% of women with varying degrees of severity. Some medications and some illnesses can cause symptoms to become more pronounced. About 5% of women report symptoms that interfere with their relationships or other aspects of their lives. I happen to be one of the unlucky gals who suffers from a medical condition that can cause my moods to swing far and wide during PMS.

Emotional and physical effects

Emotional/ mental symptoms of PMS can include depression, irritability, anger, tearfulness, changes in sexual desire, anxiety, forgetfulness, and confusion. Physical symptoms can include breast tenderness, bloated feeling, migraine headache, back pain, difficulty sleeping, no energy, nausea, and cramps. What can I and others do to help? First acknowledge the problem. This can help a lot! Then pray about it – daily. If you keep a running prayer list, put yourself on the list. God is able to work wonders with you – even when your hormones are raging and you feel like crying over every silly, little thing that happens to you.

Secondly, talk to your husband about it. Help him to understand what changes are taking place inside your head and body. Then try to chart your cycle so you can pinpoint your “monster” days. If you have an irregular cycle, you can still track it and perhaps detect a pattern or know it will happen within a certain time frame. Let your husband know when it is “your time.”

Third, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. You may find, that by exercising three or more times a week that you have less painful/ heavy periods and that your symptoms decrease remarkably. Eating a healthy diet consisting of lots of fruits and vegetables, avoiding caffeine and excess salt, and drinking plenty of water can lessen the physical symptoms of your PMS as well.

And if none of the above help, you may want to talk to your doctor. He or she can offer more suggestions and discuss medications that can help with very severe PMS also called, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD.

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By Melissa Ringstaff. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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