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Know If Your Pain Is PMS Related Or You Are Just A Pain
Premenstrual syndrome or PMS, it’s a relevant topic for women and men alike, both needing to be educated on it, especially if your better half uses the acronym as a monthly insult. PMS symptoms will normally appear prior to a woman’s menstrual cycle and disappear after it has ended. Or at least, they should. Otherwise, there’s a great chance it’s not PMS you are experiencing: you are just a pain, plain and simple.
PMS is a consequence of female hormonal imbalance triggered by the menstrual cycle or, as the English call it, a “bloody hell”. Queenie King (not her real name as she didn’t want to be singled out as the queen of PMS) has been affably labeled by Dr. Jack King - her soon-to-be ex-husband - “Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde” due to her scary, monthly transformation from delightful to frightful. And we are just getting started.
In order to escape being nicknamed because of an infamous acronym, any red-blooded woman needs to properly identify all premenstrual syndrome’s symptoms so she can treat them; she needs to get acquainted – not friendly - with them. Here are some of the most common and dreaded PMS symptoms:
• Irritability
• Nervousness 
• Anxiety 
• Moodiness (with feelings of hostility and anger)
• Dysphoria (depression, helplessness, restlessness, insomnia, lack of concentration)
• Headaches and migraines
• Fatigue
• Breast tenderness
• Bloating
• Food cravings
If any of the symptoms described above pay you a monthly visit like an unannounced and unwelcome distant relative, then you are likely to be experiencing PMS. But it gets worse. If you normally feel five or more of these symptoms you may be suffering from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a deranged cousin of PMS. From here it is downhill all the way to the psychiatrist’s office. Your OB/GYN will be seeing red.
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PMDD is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome afflicting between three and eight percent of all women of childbearing age, so if your grandma is giving you grief rest assured she’s just a big ol’ pain. PMDD carries other lovely symptoms associated with it:
• Panic attacks
• Bouts of uncontrollable crying
• Major depressive disorder (MDD)
There has been an approval for the treatment of PMDD by way of SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) or the “ines” as these meds are affectionately known. Many people won’t know what you are talking about when you say SSRI or “ines” but if you tell them in a way that everyone will recognize it, another word for these is antidepressants.  Queenie almost named her baby after Lexapro, an antidepressant because she had such an attachment to it. 
But these types of drugs can deliver threatening side effects. Queenie, an ardent advocate for the Greek libation Ouzo, had to choose between her regular dose of Lexapro and her also regular dose of Ouzo (both SSRI’s). She chose the latter. Now, she had a dilemma. How to control her PMS symptoms and continue to drink and be merry? She opted for a natural relief.
The combination of calcium and vitamin D is also important in reducing the symptoms of PMS. Calcium is useful for fighting cramping, mood swings, tiredness and pain associated with PMS. Research has shown vitamin D to be directly responsible for mood and migraines associated with PMS. 

Despite the acronyms most women have to deal with and the nicknames their beaus insist on placing on them because of the acronym PMS, ladies know you are neither weird nor complicated. It’s just that male sexual hormones are easier to figure out. Male testosterone production starts to steadily and slowly decline once they are in their 20’s 30’s and 40’s, so their PMS is a decades-long process with predictable humor variations amid all that beer slurping and car talking jargon while their female counterpart’s is more of a monthly joyride. Like the Greek say in celebratory, PMS-free mood: “Opa!”

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