Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) may appear to be similar, but PMDD can be extremely distressing and can mimic mood disorders. Since PMDD is hard to diagnose and dangerous to have, it is essential to visit a doctor if your PMS seems severe.
Many women have relatively smooth menstrual cycles, while some experience varying levels of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). PMS is usually deemed as an ominous sign of your upcoming monthly bleeding. According to different studies, around 20 to 40% of women complain of moderate to severe PMS, while 5% of menstruating women suffer from Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). PMDD is a severe and disabling extension of PMS. While the symptoms of both conditions are similar, PMDD is far more distressing for the woman suffering from it.
What causes PMDD?
Although the exact cause of PMDD is difficult to pinpoint, scientists believe that changes in various hormonal levels and serotonin may play a role. Serotonin is known to control pain, mood, sleep, and attention. As the levels of different hormones change, there is a decrease in serotonin levels, leading to PMDD. PMDD is experienced only by women who are more sensitive to these variations.
What does PMDD look like?
Similar to PMS, PMDD symptoms start around one week before the expected period, due to a decrease in hormone levels after ovulation, and usually last a few days after your period begins. PMDD causes symptoms like severe depression, hopelessness, anxiety, irritability, anger, sadness, mood swings, tension, and in some cases, even thoughts of suicide.
These symptoms are similar to PMS, but women with PMDD complain of being drained and exhausted quite often, which can disrupt day-to-day life, including work, socializing, and relationships. Additionally, the increased risk of high hormonal changes can worsen symptoms of depression and mood disorders, thereby raising the chances of suicide during the affected time period.
Knowing what PMDD can do to the mind, it is vital to get a proper diagnosis early, which often is easier said than done. Since the symptoms overlap various other conditions, such as PMS, depression, and mood disorders, it can be difficult to diagnose. A thorough examination by an expert is needed to conclude the diagnosis of PMDD. A symptom chart, medical history, physical examination, and some laboratory tests would be required to rule out other conditions to diagnose PMDD accurately.
Once the PMDD diagnosis is established, managing it is essential because of its debilitating physical and mental effects. Additionally, the negativity caused by PMDD and its symptoms would need expert guidance.
However, the good news is that PMDD is manageable. Some medications, counseling, and dietary and lifestyle changes can help women manage the condition. Though some modern medications claim to prevent or minimize PMDD symptoms, some medicines that are prescribed include antidepressants or birth control pills. However, there is a possibility that they could cause side effects that may affect women in other ways.
The good news is that there are alternative therapies available that can help alleviate the systems of PMDD without the fear of long-term side effects. For instance, Ayurveda and its associated techniques can help naturally heal the body without tampering with other physiology. Ayurvedic medications, along with practices like yoga and meditation, have proven results for treating various conditions, including PMS and PMDD.
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms that could potentially be PMDD, head to the Hempstreet website to book an appointment with an expert consultant for the right diagnosis and treatment today.
Published by Hempstreet