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Let’s Admit It:  Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is an Issue that Warrants Attention

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD is a mood disorder that targets women only. The reason behind its occurrence in the case of women only is that as its name indicates that it’s a premenstrual depressive disorder.

Hence, it happens to women who are just getting close to their menstrual cycle every month. Yes, it is true that this type of depressive episode targets a woman in the weeks leading up to her period. Women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder also called PMDD, experience symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) which includes severe headaches, bloating, tenderness in the breast etcetera.

PMDD causes severe mood swings in women, which further results in a severe state of anxiety, depressive disorder, and a tense state of mind. Eventually, at some point in time, it triggers the woman into the worst state that she may end up with suicidal thoughts.

When asked how to ease its symptoms, the following options are more likely to be suggested:

  • A hormonal birth control pill
  • Antidepressants medicines

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD): what is it?

PMDD strikes women just before they are about to get their monthly cycle. It is normal for a woman to experience the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome while falling under the category of PMDD. But the only difference here comes is that the latter one is a more chronic form of depressive disorder as the symptoms get worse.

In other words, the term premenstrual dysphoric disorder is the more severe form of premenstrual syndrome. It is referred to so because opposite unlike PMS, the symptoms get more chronic in the case of PMDD.

When does the woman get hit by PMDD?

Generally, it is observed by researchers that women are targeted by this depressive disorder, a week or two weeks prior to their menstrual cycle. There is no certain period for the commencement of this type of depression in females.

But the signs which make the confirmation correct that a woman is being troubled by PMDD are:

  • If she is experiencing bloating,
  • If she is troubled by continuous severe headaches,
  • If she is enduring difficult periods, such as breast pain and swelling.

The aforementioned symptoms may vary in the case of different women.

The Difference in Women’s Life When It Comes to Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

If one is experiencing an extreme level of irritation, getting anxious, or getting severe mood disorder along with premenstrual syndrome, it is an indication that she is suffering from PMDD.

Due to this mood disorder, the life of a woman shifts upside down. It sometimes is not possible for her to explain what pain she is going through.

The symptoms of this mood disorder (cravings, moodiness, tenderness in the breast, and tiredness) usually subside within the initial days of the commencement of the menstrual cycle.

Despite the fact that there are chances of these symptoms will be at ease, they can be severe enough to interfere with the activities of one’s daily routine.

Health professionals have analyzed that approximately 80 percent of the women who get periods suffer from PMS symptoms. These symptoms normally include the craving for different foods, cramps in different body parts, feeling irritated, headaches, tender breasts, and getting fatigued.

On the contrary, these symptoms take a severe state in the case of PMDD, for instance,

  • Constant headaches and stress convert into depression,
  • Feeling of irritation converts into frustration and aggression.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, however, is a fairly uncommon condition in women. Even though the number is lower, the health of women is still severely impacted. Since PMDD is a chronic disorder, it must be treated when it emerges.

However, it is seen as a health ailment that can be treated with

  • Change in lifestyle
  • Occasionally with medicine.

This article focuses on the risk factors, signs, and diagnosis of this severe ailment, as well as the potential treatments for those who suffer from it.

Symptoms: Is it certain you suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder?

PMDD Symptoms
PMDD Symptoms

Most of us might have noticed the various symptoms prior to the beginning of the menstrual cycle or some may experience it within a few days when the cycle starts.

Psychological signs of PMDD are as follows:

1. Enduring irritation or aggression

When you are triggered by long-term irritation due to any reason and hold aggression inside you alongside many other mental issues, then you must keep a check on your health.

2. Tensing up or getting nervous

Patients of premenstrual dysphoric disorder usually get tensed or nervous very easily. Inside their brain, they view every situation as a manageable one. It is recommendable to consume foods that aid you with relieving stress.

3. Sadness, hopelessness, or even suicidal thoughts

It is normal with PMDD or PMS that due to so much going on with them during the monthly periods they feel sorrowful, and hopeless because of abdominal pains and cramps. Moreover, sometimes these conditions target one’s brain, eventually leading them to get suicidal thoughts.

4. Insomnia

It gets hard during this time for a woman to relax. Most women suffer from sleep deprivation during their periods. This happens because the pains in different body parts don’t let them sleep.

But getting some sleep can recover you and enhances your strength to fight these disorders. There are some natural ways that can improve your sleep.

Check out the post:

5. Panic disorder or Anxiety

In the case of PMDD, women deal with panic attacks or anxiety most of the time. Taking deep breaths may be helpful or drinking chilled water. Whenever you feel anxious it’s better to start with going to a spot at your place which you find the most relaxing one.

The best thing you can do is lie down there and take some deep breaths for a while. As a bonus recalling the good memories will keep your mind calm.

6. Mood changes or frequent cries

A sudden shift in mood usually happens during these health issues. One wants to cry desperately sometimes. Crying frequently can cause irritation and then redness in the eyes.

During these hard times, one must try distracting herself to the things, which provide them happiness.

7. A disinterest in relationships and everyday routines

An individual cannot maintain healthy relationships when they are suffering from extreme illness, lack of sleep, shifts in mood, and frustration. Even their normal routine activities that they enjoy do not interest them anymore.

8. Difficulty with concentration or thinking

Those suffering from premenstrual disorder find it difficult to concentrate on their tasks. The pain and suffering they endure all day simply break them physically and mentally. As a result, their thinking abilities aren’t as good as they could be.

9. Inadequate energy or lethargy

Patients with PMDD experience sickness during this time. Their mental and physical states are not in good shape because they cannot eat well or sleep well. It seems as though they lack energy in their bodies and appear very lazy all the time.

10. Uncontrollable food cravings

The cravings for unhealthy food items are common in women with PMDD. During their cycle, they experience these cravings for most of the days. We shouldn’t ignore, however, the necessity of healthy food items to combat these diseases.

Physical signs of PMDD are as follows:

1. Migraines & Headaches,

Migraines of course are not easy to tackle with. Unfortunately, around the time of commencement of the period, a woman may suffer from this. It is known as menstrual migraine.

Aside from the extreme pain along with nausea feel, it can also cause many other unpleasant feelings. One feels so low and irksome most of the time. Acute attacks like these are very easy to deal with and far more difficult to treat.

Medications that are specially made for migraine pain do not work at all on the migraines which are caused by menstruation. Hence, it is best to prevent them even before getting started.

One can also try these home remedies in order to prevent migraines during menstruation:

  • Let yourself relax. 
  • Maintain a regular exercise schedule.
  • Ensure that you sleep between 7 and 8 hours per night.
  • Eat healthfully. Take frequent breaks to eat. In case, if the reason for the headaches is that you are starving. Then, make a small change to your meal routine. Make your meals small and eat the meals several times a day.
2. Breast Tenderness

It is not uncommon for women to feel sore breasts during or before a few days of their menstrual cycle. Sometimes, we opt to neglect it. But this tenderness or pain in the breast can be caused by hormonal fluctuations before a period.

The reason for this pain is still not discovered, but it is considered to be the result of specific hormones.

Here are the natural ways to tackle this problem:

  • Putting on a supportive bra 
  • A variety of cold and hot therapies are available, including ice packs and heating pads
  • Avoiding caffeine-containing beverages in the diet such as coffee, energy drinks, tea etcetera
3. Bloating

The plethora of physical symptoms that a person experiences while or before their menstrual cycle may not be caused solely by hormones.

It is possible that your symptoms are caused by the genes one inherits, vitamin and mineral intake, the food consumption by them (especially if it contains a lot of salt), and whether you consume caffeine or alcohol in your diet.

  • To get prevent yourself from bloating naturally during the time of your cycle:
  • Eat the food items such as leafy greens and fresh fruits, in addition to this whole grains, nuts & seeds are highly helpful. And avoid too many salty food items.
  • Avoid the consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Instead drink more water.
  • Daily exercises or workouts can aid you a lot.
4. Joint or Muscle Discomfort

While suffering from Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder one can experience joint and muscle pain too. This pain targets the muscles and joints in the hips and thighs, lower back, shoulders, and neck.

One can prevent joint and muscle pain by doing the following lifestyle changes:

  • Exercising daily but gently.
  • Gentle massage on the joints.
  • Adding magnesium-rich food to your diet.

Skin problems caused by PMDD:

A person suffering from premenstrual dysphoric disorder also deals with a lot of skin-related issues, which include:

  • Acne
  • Skin inflammation along with itching


The actual cause behind premenstrual dysphoric disorder is still unknown to experts. But the studies have mentioned that fluctuation of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone may result in causing PMDD.

Moreover, it may be caused due to the decreased rate of the aforementioned hormones after the ovulation phase and before menstruation.

Apart from this, research has also suggested that 5 percent of the estimated women (childbearing age group) suffer from the premenstrual dysphoric disorder. In addition to this being suffered from PMDD they usually go through a lot of depressing phases.

Thus, PMDD is often accompanied by anxiety and depression in most women. The reason behind this is that there is a brain chemical named serotonin that transmits nerve signals.

Additionally, the level of serotonin keeps changing while your monthly cycle. It may be responsible for regulating one’s mood or other functions of the body. In this way, it is linked to PMDD.

In brief,

  • Progesterone and estrogen fluctuation
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Unhealthy eating habits

These can be the reasons for causing premenstrual dysphoric disorder in women.

Treatment of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Explained

Due to its seriousness, premenstrual dysphoric disorder should be treated as soon as possible. Otherwise, along with time, there are chances that its symptoms may get worse. Then, it gives you a very hard time as it becomes very tough to deal with them.

Symptoms can be alleviated to some extent with the following natural ways of treatment:

1. Healthy diet pattern

Having a healthy diet pattern is one of the best ways to avoid most of the ailments people experience on a regular basis. What you eat reveals your personality, according to a common saying.

Now the question arises “What is a healthy diet?”

A diet full of nutrients is rich in protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins (such as vitamin B6, calcium, and magnesium). Here is the list of food items that are good to deal with Premenstrual syndrome:

  • Low-fat yogurt is highly rich in calcium.
  • Dark chocolate is known to deal with depression as it has a high amount of cocoa (an extremely good source of magnesium).
  • Chickpeas are rich in vitamin B6, which assists in decreasing breast tenderness, irritability, and mood disorders.
  • Leafy green vegetables provide you with enough amount of calcium and iron required by your body to fight many ailments incredibly.
  • Pineapple, peanuts, brown rice etcetera all are good sources of manganese. When consumed along with calcium has shown positive results in order to deal with depression and mood swings.
  • Pumpkin seeds, sesame, flax seeds, milk products, and whole grains all contain a high amount of zinc,
  • Foods like bananas, oranges, sweet potatoes, and lemons are rich in potassium and Vitamin B6. Thus, assists you in fighting against cramps in muscles and joints.
2. Decrease the consumption of salt, caffeine, and alcohol

During your menstrual cycle or a few days before it starts, one must reduce the consumption of more salty foods, and caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks, and many others.)

As these foods will just worsen your symptoms with time eventually. Avoiding these will be a smart step toward your health.

3. Engaging in regular physical activity or doing exercise on a daily basis

One should engage in physical activities on daily basis, and try to make it a part of a daily routine. It actually maintains the health of your muscles and joints and is a great way towards opting for a healthy lifestyle.

4. Try to manage stress

Too much stress always troubles one’s health. Similar is the case in premenstrual dysphoric disorder, as it starts making your situation more complex along with physical issues.

One must consume diets that should be natural and work as a stress reliever on an everyday basis.

Other treatments which may also help relieve PMDD symptoms or decrease their severity:

1. Contraceptive pills
2. SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)

Nevertheless, the symptoms of the premenstrual dysphoric disorder may become more severe over time. It is possible that they may last until menopause for some women.

It is recommended for a woman having PMDD, to receive treatment for a long period of time. There are times when a treatment does not work as quickly for some people as others, but for others, it takes a long time for them to get out of a disease. Moreover, there is a possibility that the dosage of medicines may change during treatment.

What do healthierfolks want to say?

The presence of any symptom should not be viewed with optimism. Getting treatment or medical help as soon as possible is better than waiting until the condition becomes worse.

It is rightly said that “prevention is better than cure,” so instead of waiting, always be wise and get treatment as soon as possible.

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  1. Let’s Admit It:  Premenstrual Dyspho...

    […] Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a mood disorder that strikes women just before they are about to get their monthly cycle.  […]

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