Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, also known as PMDD, is a very serious case of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMDD and PMS have similar symptoms but the ones associated with premenstrual dysphoric disorder are severe and can even interfere with your day to day activities such as work and relationships.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder Drugs
- Naproxen (Aleve)
- Ibuprofen (Motrin)
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder Symptoms
PMDD has eleven symptoms commonly experienced by women. Having at least five of the following is typically considered enough for a diagnosis of PMDD. One of the symptoms of the five must be related to mood and anger. Below you will find the symptoms of PMDD.
- Tension and anxiety
- change in appetite
- Mood swings
- Depression and feelings of hopelessness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling out of control and overwhelmed by life in general
- Feeling irritable
- Anger and interpersonal conflicts
- Headaches, muscle pains and breast tenderness
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder Causes
The main cause of premenstrual dysphoric disorder is not entirely known. A number of researchers have however established that PMDD is a result of hormonal changes which are as a result of the menstrual cycle. There have been studies that have also shown a connection between PMDD and extremely low levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain whose function is to help in the transmitting of nerve signals. The brain cells that use serotonin are also involved in regulating attention, mood, sleep and pain. It is, however, possible that a sudden and unexpected change in the levels of serotonin can lead to a case of PMDD.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder Diagnosis
Diagnosing PMDD can be difficult because of its similarity to PMS. Many individuals may also believe that the extreme pain and disruption is part of their menstrual cycle. If your menstrual cycle is interrupting your regular life, speak to your doctor. They may diagnose you with PMDD.
- To diagnose PMDD, the doctor will first do a psychiatric evaluation to ensure that the patient is not depressed and feeling hopeless due to emotional instability.
- The doctor then rules out other medical conditions such as menopause and fibroids as the cause of these severe symptoms
- The doctor then confirms the it is indeed PMDD if at least five of the eleven associated symptoms are experienced seven days before the menstrual period starts and then disappear when the menstrual period starts.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder Treatment
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is treated using a number of the same methods used to remedy premenstrual syndrome. Some of these methods of treating PMDD include:
- Medications: There are a number of antidepressants that are used to treat PMDD. The ones that have received approval from the FDA include Zoloft, Paxil CR and Sarafem. These drugs have been proven to relieve symptoms of PMDD.
- Exercise: Activities such as aerobics, swimming and walking have been known to improve these symptoms by far. Exercise is therefore recommended to all patients experiencing PMDD symptoms.
- Good nutrition: patients who are struggling with PMDD are advised to reduce their intake of various food substances, including caffeine, salt, refined sugar and alcohol. It is also advisable to add supplements such as vitamin E, vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium to your diet.