PMDD: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Symptoms and Treatment

What Is PMDD?

Since your period has started, chances are good that you have any type of premenstrual syndrome. Doctors believe that three-fourths of menstrual women have some symptoms of PMS, whether they lack food, cramps, soft breast, mood or fatigue.

But premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is different. This causes emotional and physical symptoms, such as PMS, but women with PMDD weaken their symptoms, and they often interfere with their daily lives, which include work, school, social life and relationships.

Causes

Researchers do not know the exact cause of PMDD. However, most of all, it seems that this may be an abnormal reaction to hormonal changes related to your menstrual cycle.

The study shows a relation between the PMDD and low levels of serotonin, which is a chemical in your brain which helps in transmitting neural signals. Some brain cells that use serotonin also control mood, focus, sleep, and pain. Hormonal changes can be a cause of deficiency in serotonin, which can lead to PMDD symptoms.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PMDD usually appear a week before your period starts and remain a few days after the start. Most of the time, they are severe and weak, and they can keep you away from daily activities.

Symptoms of PMDD include:

  • Mood swings
  • Depression or feelings of hopelessness
  • Intense anger and conflict with other people
  • Tension, anxiety, and irritability
  • Decreased interest in usual activities
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Change in appetite
  • Feeling out of control
  • Sleep problems
  • Cramps and bloating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Hot flashes

Diagnosis

If you have any classic symptoms of PMDD, then you should see your doctor. He will review your medical history with you and will give you a thorough examination, and will do some testing to find out how you are feeling emotionally and mentally.

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Before she diagnoses with you PMDD, she will make sure that emotional problems like depression or panic disorder are not due to your symptoms. Other medical or gynecological conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids, menopause and hormonal problems also have to be ruled out.

Your doctor may diagnose you with PMDD if:

•  You have at least five of the symptoms listed above.
•  They start 7 to 10 days before your period arrives.
•  They go away shortly after the hemorrhage begins.

If, on the other hand, you deal with these issues every day and if they do not improve on the start of menstruation, then it is not possible due to PMDD.

Treatments

Many of the same strategies used to treat PMS may also be helpful in relieving your symptoms of PMDD.

Several common treatments include:

  • Antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
  • Hormone therapy (birth control pills)
  • Changes in diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Stress management
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines

Certain over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) can help in some symptoms such as headache, breast tenderness, back pain and cramping. Diuretic, also called “water tablets”, can help with fluid retention and swelling.

Talking to a doctor can help you deal with strategies to combat. And relaxation therapy, meditation, reflexology and yoga can provide you relief, but they have not been widely studied.

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