Premenstrual dysphoric disorder or simply known as PMDD affects 3 to 8 percent of women. It is considered as a severe form of PMS or premenstrual syndrome. Though PMS and PMDD may be both characterized as uncomfortable physical, emotional and psychological symptoms associated with menstrual cycle, PMDD is considered more serious becauseÂ it affects the day to day functions of a woman before her menstrual cycle.
Initially, the premenstrual syndrome are associated with uncomfortable body changes like bloating, fatigue and emotional irritability but with premenstrual dysphoric syndrome, a woman after ovulation may feel significantly depressed up to the point of having suicidal tendencies. When suicidal tendencies occur during the PMS, it is inappropriate to blame the PMS alone. The condition may be associated with PMDD, which needs serious medical attention.
Clinically, premenstrual dysphoric disorder is also known as luteal phase dysphoric disorder.
What are Symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)?
The symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder may be observed just after ovulation during the middle of monthly cycle and the symptoms may get worse days before the menses. The symptoms may vary from one woman to another, likewise, the severity of the symptoms may change each month.
Some of the known symptoms of PMDD may include the following. At least five symptoms should be present in order to classify the condition as PMDD.
- Severe depression and feeling of hopelessness
- Tension and anxiety symptoms
- Sudden mood changes like crying and extreme sensitivity from others
- Severe irritability and persistent anger
- Loss of interest to daily activities like school and office works
- Lack of focus
- Extreme fatigue
- Severe food cravings
- Difficulty in sleeping
Other physical symptoms of PMDD may include:
- Tenderness of the breast
- Acne breakouts
- Hot flashes
- Increased palpitation of the heart
- Abdominal bloating
- Upset stomach
The symptoms of PMDD will disappear during or after the last day of the monthly period. The symptoms will likely to return the following month after the ovulation. If these symptoms stay even after the menses, other medical condition may be the culprit. Visit your health care provider to rule out other underlying health conditions.
What are the Causes of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)?
The exact cause of premenstrual dysphoric disorder is not really known. However, there are varied theories that may be associated with PMDD. Some of the theories are:
- The main theory is that PMDD is the result from the interactions of hormones that are secreted by the ovaries during the various stages of the menstrual cycle along with the neurotransmitter of the brain. The estrogen as well as the progesterone that are secreted by the ovaries may be considerably normal for those who have PMDD but the response of the brain to the hormones may not be normal thus resulting to PMDD
- Another theory is that PMDD is the result of traits and personality types but this theory is clinically unfounded.
- Another common theory associated with PMDD is stress. Others believed that stress may be the culprit of PMDD, however, stress is not really the cause of PMDD. Clinical studies show that stress is one of the symptoms of PMDD.
In the end, more studies are needed to know the exact cause of PMDD.
What is the PMDD Treatment?
Severe symptoms of PMDD need medical attention especially if the daily activities and relationships are affected due to the PMDD. The main aim of premenstrual dysphoric disorder treatments is to minimize the symptoms thus allowing the woman to continue her daily activities before and during and her menstrual period.
Some of the PMDD treatments may include:
Since the number symptom of PMDD is depression and anxiety, part of the treatment is anti-depressant medications. Anti depressants, lessen the feelings of hopelessness and severe depression. This type of medication may also help in normalizing sleep and control food cravings. Anti depressant medications are taken between the ovulation and during the start of monthly period.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2. Nutritional supplements
Nutritional supplements may not really treat PMDD but they are effective in lessening the symptoms related to PMDD. Nutritional supplements that are rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamin B-6 are effective in reducing the emotional symptoms.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 3. Herbal
4. Regular exercise
5. Make a journal every month
PMDD treatment may vary from each person. You may consult with your physician the most effective treatment for your condition.