Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) can be an incredibly challenging and painful condition to deal with. PMDD can show up in the form of severe mood swings, physical discomfort or emotional distress and all of these symptoms can show up a week or a few days before your menstrual cycle begins – it can really feel like a daunting constant battle creating anxiety during the lead up. While medical intervention may be necessary in some cases (please speak to a medical professional if you need to) there are also a few lifestyle changes you can consider to help manage PMDD and improve your overall well-being.
Maintain a Healthy Diet is key when it comes to managing PMDD.
A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can help regulate blood sugar levels, potentially reducing mood swings. We’re a sucker for a pumpkin spiced latte this year but reducing your intake of caffeine and sugary foods can help stabilise your energy levels and alleviate anxiety. Because we don’t want you to be absolutely miserable, try cutting these things out the week before you usually suffer with PMDD symptoms and see how you fare.
Physical activity is a powerful mood booster and regular exercise can help to release endorphins, which can counteract some of the emotional symptoms of PMDD. Tip – Don’t push your body too hard! We don’t want to be counterproductive. Try low impact exercises like walking, yoga or Pilates and slowly build up you tolerance.
Learn how to manage your Stress
As a cosmopolitan Hun, stress seems to come with the territory, but it’s a slow killer and it’s something we really need to get a gip on. Stress can really affect your quality of life and really does to PMDD symptoms up a notch. To help ,manage your PMDD symptoms, why not try calming practices such as meditation or deep breathing to find a sense of calm and create some balance.
A good night’s sleep is essential for mental and emotional well-being. Create a sleep-friendly environment and establish a regular sleep schedule to help manage mood swings and irritability. Introduce things like lavender pillow spray or an electric blanket to get yourself cosy and help you wind down for the night. If you experience extreme pain, a hot water bottle and a pregnancy pillow (even if you’re not pregnant) may be helpful to get you to settle through the night.
Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
Both alcohol and caffeine can disrupt your sleep and contribute to mood swings. Reducing your intake of these substances, especially in the days leading up to your period, can be beneficial.
Keep a Symptom Journal
Track your symptoms to identify patterns and triggers. This can help you and your healthcare provider develop a more effective treatment plan.
You don’t have to go through PMDD alone – people are more understanding than you think. Reach out to friends, family, or online forums/support groups for help and most importantly empathy. Sharing your experiences can be therapeutic and make you feel lighter.
If the above lifestyle changes aren’t providing sufficient relief, don’t hesitate to seek medical or therapeutic intervention. Your healthcare provider can offer various treatment options, including medication or counselling. Get well soon, Hun!