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Samantha’s PMS Pain, Body Aches & Moodiness: In Her Words*
by Dr. Daniel J. Heller
This is the story of Samantha’s PMS, and how it has affected her life. Although we’ve changed her name, these are her actual words, taken from a transcript of an interview conducted at the beginning of our PMS study.
Samantha is 31 years old, a mother and wife, and a supervisor at social services agency.
Her Worst Symptom: PMS Pain
Her PMS symptoms: Irritability and Crankiness, Moodiness, Bloating, Social Withdrawal, Food Cravings, Back Pain, Lethargy, and Fatigue
What She Says About How PMS Affects Her Life: "When I'm experiencing PMS moodiness I tend to want to shut the door, not talk to anybody, kick my husband and child out of the house and just kind of curl into a little dark, quiet comfortable place and make everybody leave me alone."
What Are You Like When You Don’t Have PMS? "When I'm not experiencing PMS I'm typically a positive, upbeat, professional woman—and when I am experiencing PMS most of those things go out the window."
In Her Words: Samantha talks about PMS: "The worst part of my PMS is the body aches and cravings. My whole body aches, and my back will hurt too. I’ll feel really lethargic and tired for a week or so before and during my period. The backaches, tiredness, and cravings are pretty consistent every month with the PMS.
"It does affect my relationships, because I am crankier than usual so I don't have the patience I would normally have with my children, or my husband for that matter. It’s not nice, it’s not kind, but I do notice that PMS has affected things in that way.
"I expect my husband to read my mind when I'm cranky and PMS-ing. I expect him to know what I'm thinking, and so I’m a little snappy, probably more than he deserves or what’s called for in the situation. I regret snapping at my children or at my husband, and those things do hurt—you can't take them back. You can’t say, "Mommy wasn’t feeling well" over and over.
"There was one time where I just knew that it had to be PMS because my husband came home from work, the kids were on my nerves all day and I wanted to just sit on the couch and cry, and I couldn't figure out why I was so down, why I was so upset. I just wanted to be left alone. Luckily my husband was very understanding and he took the kids out, so I called a girlfriend who said 'You know, we’re over 30 now, and PMS is one of those things that just gets to us.'
"Some things get neglected or put aside during that time—I don’t pick up around the house as much; maybe sometimes dinner is not as great as I’d like it to be.
"I think a lot of women don't realize what PMS is and how it truly affects your life overall. So I think it really affects our lives and our relationships more than you might realize.
"When I have PMS I am not a nice person to be around. I’m less tolerant, I think, because of the pain.
"I supervise 15 women, and I’m sure there are three or four of them that regularly call in sick once a month because of severe PMS, menstrual cramps, or something else. My PMS symptoms severely impact my quality of life because I miss work, I'm less productive there, and I'm less productive at home. I've probably called out from work an average of three times a year due to increased pain with my PMS.
"The worst part of my PMS is that I'm not able to do what I need to because of the pain or the irritability or the moodiness, the bloating—all the things that accompany it don't allow me to function as I normally would.
"I'm typically a pretty positive person. I look for positive aspects in people. I work with people all day long, but when I'm experiencing the moodiness I tend to want to shut the door, not talk to anybody, kick my husband and child out of the house and just kind of curl into a little dark, quiet place and make everybody leave me alone.
"When I'm not experiencing PMS I'm a positive, upbeat, professional woman—and when I’m experiencing PMS most of those things go out the window. I don’t want to deal with people and I don't have the same level of patience and understanding to cope with other people’s issues."
Probably every woman who has experienced PMS or PMDD can relate to some aspect of Samantha’s story. Despite the best of intentions, her PMS pain and moodiness get the best of her, and it’s like she’s a different person during that time of the month.
As you can see, Samantha has a number of different PMS symptoms, both physical and emotional. We’re often asked what we recommend for any one of these symptoms, such as PMS pain, or menstrual cramps, or moodiness, or PMS fatigue.
You may be surprised to learn that we don’t recommend something to treat each individual PMS symptom separately. PMS symptoms and PMDD symptoms, whether physical, mental, or emotional, all result from what we can call one cause: an imbalance in the way your hormones, and the mood centers in your brain, are working. The solution is not to treat each individual PMS symptom with a separate herb or vitamin or drug, but rather to balance your whole system, including your hormones.
We recommend a natural, holistic approach to hormone balance and PMS symptom relief, that includes diet and exercise, stress management, and often the use of our doctor-formulated PMS Comfort herbal supplement. Whether your symptoms are like Samantha’s, or include other symptoms like breast pain or out of control anger, or they are of PMDD intensity, a natural approach is often the most gentle, safe, and effective solution.
*"In Her Words" come from interview transcripts of those participating at the beginning of the PMS study. They are individual experiences, reflecting real life experiences of those who report PMS symptoms. Some In Her Words have been shortened. In other words, not the whole message received is displayed, when it seemed lengthy or not the whole In Her Words seemed relevant for site viewers. PMS Comfort changed the names and any personally identifiable information to ensure confidentiality of the participant.
PMS Comfort is not responsible for any of the opinions or comments posted to our site. PMS Comfort is not a forum for In Her Words; however, it provides In Her Words as a means for online users to learn the experiences of those participating at the beginning of the PMS study. To prevent against abuse, all In Her Words appear after they have been reviewed by PMS Comfort.
Additionally, these In Her Words are not intended to make claims that PMS Comfort products can be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information and the contents contained on this Web site has not been evaluated by the FDA.