Each month, women in their reproductive years are thrown off track by their menstrual cycle. While few maintain normal activity, at least 75 percent “of women with regular menstrual cycles report unpleasant physical or psychological symptoms premenstrually,” the MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health reports. These symptoms can be both physical (bloating, tender breasts, increased appetite, achy muscles or joints, insomnia) and emotional (mood swings, anxiety, irritability, depression). This is referred to as premenstrual syndrome or PMS. Some may even experience these symptoms, turned all the way up – to the point where it disrupts their day-to-day. This is a condition known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD.
Because symptoms overlap with many other conditions including: chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, depression, and anxiety, it may be difficult to understand exactly what’s going on with your body. So, what’s the difference between PMS and PMDD?
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