Wow have things changed over the years for me physically and mentally! It is interesting to look back on the way I was years ago and see the way things used to be. When it comes to PMS, things have definitely changed and not necessarily for the better.
PMS up to age 27
I went through puberty pretty early at age 11. This could be due to my race (African American girls tend to go through puberty earlier) and/or my heftiness. I hated the fact that I was the first of my friends to start my period.
I can only remember my PMS symptoms starting around the eighth grade. From age 14-20, the symptoms were moderate. They included salt cravings,appetite increase, acne breakouts and crying about things that are not that sad.
After my eating disorder phase, it seemed like my PMS got to a severe level until I was 22.5. This time I experienced rage which was particularly bad while I was driving. Yikes! I also had intense sugar cravings, acne breakouts,bloating and quite severe scalp itching.
From age 22.5-27, my PMS symptoms were not all that bad. These included slight emotional sensitivity, acne breakouts and a small increase in appetite. Nothing I could not manage!
PMS after turning 27
This was when things got bad. I started experiencing days of intense nausea and dizziness before I started my period. It was excruciating and debilitating.
It affected my ability to work because I had to call in sick a lot which made me seem unreliable. For a while I thought that there was something wrong with my stomach so I ended up getting a bunch of tests done that all came out negative. It is all hormonal.
My doctor told me that my severe monthly symptoms are stress related. This led me to stop working altogether to see if he was right. He was not right. Again, it is all hormonal.
I found out about taking Unisom and B6 for nausea just like pregnant women do for their morning sickness. This helps take the edge off of it which is great but I just wish I did not have to do that at all. I also take this supplement combination with the generic version of Zofran (an anti-nausea medication) which I get from an online pharmacy.
I really wish that I could go back to having the PMS symptoms I had before. They were annoying but a lot easier to handle.
In February of this year
I ended up downloading a hormone horoscope app (https://www.myhormonology.com/apps/hormone-horoscope-lite/) which was really interesting and helpful. I realized that it was also during my fertile window that I have severe physical symptoms as well. This and the Period Tracker app has given me the ability to predict when I will feel sick so I can schedule appointments around those times if need be.
I would highly recommend this app to any women. It is like an astrology report but actually scientifically accurate! Each day it tells you what your hormones are most likely doing and how it will affect you emotionally, physically and cognitively.
What I am going to do about my bad PMS
I have been trying to get a referral to be seen by an endocrinologist for my hormonal issues. My doctor keeps denying my requests and refers me to gynecologists instead. I tried two different types of birth control recently that I was told would help me but they both caused severe adverse side effects. I will be getting a hormonal allergy test soon and I really hope that it will give me some answers.
There are some supplements that are said to reduce PMS and I think I will be trying them out. The Healthline site (see here: https://www.healthline.com/health/pms-supplements) talks about taking calcium and vitamin D daily along with the vitamin B6 I am already taking. I will start taking those two things but it is too bad that it will take around six months to see any difference. I want some relief now!
I feel for women that have to go through severe physical PMS like I do. I hope that we can all find something that helps us because it really sucks!