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Health & Fitness

PMS and Body Dysmorphia – Is There a Connection?

Most women are well aware of the annoyances, aches and pains, bloating, cramps, and emotional ups and downs that accompany their period each month. However, along with typical PMS symptoms, it is possible for women to experience an equally frustrating but less known issue, body dysmorphia.

Read on to learn more about the possible connection between PMS symptoms and an increase in body dysmorphia.

What is Body Dysmorphia?
Body dysmorphic disorder involves obsessive feelings over perceived flaws and defects in appearance. These incessant feelings lead to anxiety, stress in social situations, and even depression.

Potential Connection
Studies show that many women experience a noticeable increase in negative feelings, poor self-esteem, and even body dysmorphia before the occurrence of a period. Although scientific evidence is limited, countless women agree that there is a significant elevation of negative self-perception around the time of their period.

Possible Cause of Body Dysmorphia Due to PMS
This rise in body image issues along with PMS symptoms is linked to changes in hormones during that time. Before the beginning of your period, your progesterone and estrogen levels drop. This decrease in hormones affects serotonin levels and can lead to decreased resiliency when dealing with stress, mood swings, and emotional sensitivity.

Each of these changes can leave a woman feeling more critical of herself during this time. Between increased emotional ups and down, bloating, and feelings of anxiety, a woman can easily experience an increase body dysmorphia symptoms.

How to Deal with Body Dysmorphia Symptoms
If you experience consistent symptoms of body dysmorphia, it is important to talk with your doctor or mental health professional. Possible coping techniques and treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy and possibly medication.

It is also essential to exercise regularly and consume a diet high in fruits, vegetables, high-quality protein, and antioxidants. Taking proper care of yourself will assist you in fighting off negative emotions.

All in all, by being aware of the possibility of experiencing body dysmorphia as an additional PMS symptom, women can be better prepared to cope with it.