Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)- Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder or PMDD is a serious condition in which a woman suffers from various symptoms like depression and irritation. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a more serious form of premenstrual syndrome. Though the symptoms are almost similar to those of premenstrual syndrome, they are bad enough to cause behavioral and physical changes. PMDD occurs in 3% to 10% of menstruating women around the world. It typically starts showing its symptoms a week to ten days before a woman starts her menstrual cycle. Causes of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) Extensive research has been done to understand the causes of PMDD, but nothing much has been attained. However, many researchers believe that PMDD is mainly caused due to the various hormonal changes occurring in the body during the menstrual cycle. Recent studies have found a link between PMDD and serotonin, a chemical found in the brain which is responsible for sending nerve signals. Many researchers believe changes in serotonin levels can cause PMDD. Symptoms of PMDD The symptoms of PMDD may include emotional, behavioral or physical symptoms. General symptoms can include:
Anxiety along with tension
Loss of appetite or food cravings
Physical problems such as muscle pain, severe headaches and bloating
and Panic attacks.
How is PMDD Diagnosed?
A doctor usually reviews your symptoms and medical history. Although no medical exam can diagnose PMDD, a physician can ask for a medical exam. Sometimes psychiatric consultations can also be required to eliminate the possibility that you might be suffering from other conditions. Treatment of PMDD
Just like PMS, a healthy lifestyle is the first step in treating PMDD. A healthy lifestyle can ease the symptoms and give relief to those suffering from PMDD. Some of the best ways in providing relief from PMDD symptoms are: Exercise- General exercises like jogging and swimming are helpful in improving PMDD symptoms. Although they cannot treat PMDD fully, they may reduce the problems faced due to PMDD. Healthy diet- Good nutrition is the main component of a healthy lifestyle. Healthy eating habits may ease the problems caused by PMDD. Health experts and doctors suggest that women who suffer from PMDD should lower their salt, sugar, alcohol and caffeine intake. On the other hand, calcium, magnesium and various vitamins such as vitamin E, B, B6 are effective in providing relief from PMDD. Various medications Birth control pills- For some women birth control pills are effective in reducing PMDD and PMS symptoms. Antidepressants- Various antidepressants like fluoxetine and sertraline are found to be helpful in reducing emotional symptoms, food cravings, and fatigue. They are also useful in fixing sleep-related issues experience during PMDD. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder can be quite severe at times, so it is advisable to make some diet and lifestyle changes to counter it. A healthy diet and lifestyle can lower the amount and strength of symptoms you face during PMDD. Seeking the advice of a licensed counselor can also help.