I've always had nasty periods, since like my first one. Heavy bleeding, cramps that can reach about a 7 on the pain scale, cramps all the way down my leg and into my feet even. I get very bloated, so that my loosest work pants barely fit. When I'm bleeding heavy my sense of taste is dulled to the point that I can't even taste garlic or hot red peppers. I will often fill up my large lunette to the point of overflowing in an hour and a half, for two days per cycle. I have surprising mood swings days before my period actually starts but they seem to go away when I start flowing. I spot like 2 days before the floodgates actually open. My skin gets very oily a couple days before I bleed too, like oily enough that I have to shampoo two times a day, and my face, neck, chest, inner thighs, and back of my knees get noticeably oily. I sweat more than normal too. I get insatiably hungry and only want to eat greasy things or ice cream, which is extremely frustrating because I am already overweight and I'm trying to slim down to be more healthy. I also will get very light headed and dizzy. I was sitting on the couch earlier and reached into the hamper for something to fold and felt like I was going fall over. If I stand up too quick from laying down my eyes will go all fuzzy. I also get very fatigued. But, I think the most annoying symptom of all is this confusion thing. I will be going about my normal day and then get struck with these moments of confusion. Like today I was at my computer at work, doing a routine task that I can normally literally carry on a conversation while doing, and I got this moment of confusion where it was like I zoned out and when I "came to" I was staring at my computer screen like it was some program I had used years and years ago and I was trying to remember the next step. These moments of confusion are worse if I am hungry and after the one I just described, I went and got a huge glass of orange juice which seemed to help, but since these confusion things come and go it might have just been going away anyway. If I don't have these confusion moments, when I'm bleeding heavily I often have extended periods of general brain fuzziness that are a lot like when you first wake up or are in the midst of a nasty cold. I have been on combined hormonal birth control and also progestin-only birth control in the past, several different kinds, which do help these symptoms quite a bit, but also have the nasty side effect of almost completely taking my libido away (in the case of combined hormones) or just dulling my libido (in the case of progestin-only). I've wondered if I have some sort of hormonal imbalance or thyroid issue because of these symptoms. I'm not sure how to seek a diagnosis. I'm just so sick of this ongoing issue. The periods of confusion and brain fuzziness are getting worse lately, it seems. I'm just so sick of it! I've tried to explain the symptoms before to a couple doctors but it's always been as a side note to whatever issue brought me in that particular visit, so they seem to not take it as seriously as I like. One doctor just prescribed me seasonique or whatever that only makes you have a bleed every 3 months, but basically ruined my libido and ability to orgasm... So yeah, that was not a very good fix.
Also about me: 24, cis-female married to a cis-male, who is my first and only sexual partner. started menstruating at age 11 (over half my life now!!). I'm in the united states with crappy health insurance that barely pays for anything. I'm 5'8'', and about 180 lbs. Ummm.. I use a menstrual cup and cloth menstrual pads, if it matters. Not sure if this relates to the period problems, but I also get tired pretty easily all month long and I need a blanket with other people are sweating because I get cold so easily (these lead me to the idea of a thyroid problem based on some rando WebMD.coming). I also eat pretty healthily most of the time (with intense junk food binges on the weekends when we visit our parents because they spoil the shit out of us) and drink a ton of water. Oh, and my cycles are clockwork 28-30 day ordeals. Questions: Are these symptoms "normal"? Should I go to my GP or a gyno? How do you "diagnose" me? I understand no one can really diagnose me over the internet but I'm looking for suggestions routes to explore. Any suggestions for managing these symptoms?
I really appreciate any and all comments and support. I'm just really sick of this. Basically 6-7 days of the month suck for me. thanks in advance.