How Do You Know If You Really Have PMS?
If you think you may have PMS, start keeping a symptom diary. List the dates of your period, and which symptoms you have (and their severity) on the 10 days preceding, as well as following, your period. After tracking your symptoms for at least 2 cycles (but ideally 3), bring this diary with you when you consult your physician, along with a list of all medications you are taking (including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbs, vitamins, and supplements). Your doctor will give you a complete history and physical exam to rule out other possibilities (such as hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia or depression). No specific physical findings or tests can confirm the diagnosis of PMS.
If you think you have PMS, take Dr. Donnica's Decisionnaire ™. Check off all the points that apply to you and take this list with you when you consult your physician.
|___ || Do you have a stressful lifestyle?|
|___ || Are you having relationship difficulties with your spouse, family members or coworkers? |
|___ || Would those who live or work with you say you have PMS?|
|___ || Are you getting enough sleep (do you awake feeling refreshed?)?|
|___ || Do you have regular eating habits and a balanced diet?|
|___ || Do you get 20 minutes of aerobic exercise 3-4 times per week?|
|___ || Do you smoke? |
|___ || Do you drink alcoholic beverages? |
|___ || Do you have more than two 8-ounce caffeinated beverages per day?|
|___ || Is your diet high in red meat, salty foods or sugar? |
|___ || Do you have food cravings in the 10-day period before your period?|
|___ || Do you have mood swings or crying jags in the 10 days before your period?|
|___ || Do you feel bloated before your period?|
|___ || Do you actually gain weight the few days before your period (that goes away when you've finished)?|
|___ || Are you on birth control pills?|
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Created: 9/22/2000  - Donnica Moore, M.D.