• Lets Talk PMS {With Dr. Meika of CarePoint Health}

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    Guys, you might want to sit this one out — it’s about to get real. If you’re a woman, you’ve most likely experienced PMS {premenstrual syndrome} AKA the devil’s work. Mood swings, cramps, and all that jazz usually sneak up on us before our periods, but do we actually know why? Spoiler alert: experts might not even know why. However, Dr. Meika of Carepoint Health definitely knows way more about the medical aspects than we do — so she’s breaking it all down for us. So grab some chocolate, a heating pad, and read on to learn all about PMS:

    pms rachel friends

    Is it real or is it all in my head?

    Yes and no. Scientists still have no idea what causes PMS. It is somehow linked to the hormonal changes that occur right before your period starts. The changes cause mental and emotional symptoms but… the repercussions {or how your mind and body react to these symptoms} are up to you and are often regulated by your mental and emotional state.

    How many women suffer from PMS?

    80% of women feel changes and discomfort before their period, 40% are bothered by these changes, but only 2 to 5% of women have PMS that disrupts their lives.

    What can I do about my PMS?

    Diet and exercise can help PMS, but there’s still no “cure”. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says that if you lead a healthy and well-balanced life your symptoms will not be so bad. Sorry, ACOG I don’t buy into that. It’s also important to note that PMS symptoms are known to respond well to a placebo treatment as well as hormone treatments (like The Pill). No matter what you do, since PMS is mostly linked to your hormone levels, the severity and tolerance will wax and wane over your lifetime.

    READ: 9 Things You Should Never Do to Relieve Pain {According to a Doctor}

    When should I see my doctor?

    Honestly, feeling depressed, anxious and sick every month doesn’t have to be synonymous with having periods. It’s also worth asking the people around you if they notice a drastic change in your mood or character. It may be useful to know the difference between PMS and PMDD, and make sure that you don’t have PMDD.

    Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) AKA PMS’s evil twin is a syndrome of severe, debilitating psychological symptoms that occur before your period starts and causes disruption of your daily life. Sometimes the symptoms don’t occur every cycle, but they are present in the majority of the cycles, and some months may be worse than others. PMDD is so severe and treatment options are so bad that women as young as 23 are choosing hysterectomies for relief.

    PMS vs PMDD

    PMS may be filled with bloating, headaches, irritability, weight gain, food cravings, mood swings, fatigue, breast tenderness, and tearfulness.

    PMDD may include all of the above and depressed mood, hopelessness, anxiety, tension, mood shifts, anger, irritability, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, loss of energy, change in appetite, sleeping difficulty, and decreased interest in usual activities.

    Survival Tips

    The best thing women and their families, partners, and friends can do is understand the most they can about PMS and PMDD. Share your stories like this, talk to your friends, at least 80% of us have something… even if its just a little cramp… or a little teary eyed at the latest University of Pheonix commercial.

    See More: CarePoint Health Opens Womens Center in Hoboken

    Have any PMS-related questions? Ask below!

    Have you joined our Facebook group yet? Request here to gain access to even more local tips, and connect with fellow Hudson County residents.


    Written by:

    Meika {or rather Dr. Meika} is an emergency medicine physician turned administrator. She is currently the chief medical officer at CarePoint Health in Hoboken and she loves her job and the patients. When she's not at CarePoint, she dedicates her time and career to help against rape and human trafficking. Though originally from Boston, Meika lives in Hoboken with her husband and their dog Brooklyn. You may see her around town walking the dog, jogging or cycling through the streets, or just walking to work. If she hadn’t become a doctor she would have become a photojournalist with a camera and a backpack traveling to barely seen areas of the world {like Sean Penn in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty}.


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