Premenstrual dysphoric syndrome is a more serious form of premenstrual syndrome. PMS causes bloating, headaches and breast tenderness one or two weeks before your period.
With PMDD, you may have symptoms of PMS with extreme irritability, anxiety or depression. These symptoms improve within a few days of the onset of your period, but they can be so severe that they can interfere with your life.
How common is PMDD?
PMDD affects 10% of women who have menstruation.
Who can get PMD?
You may be more prone to PMDD if you have:
- Anxiety or depression.
- Family history of PMS or PMDD or mood disorder
Symptoms and causes:
What causes PMDD?
Experts do not know why some women get PMDD. Decreased levels of the hormones, estrogen and progesterone after ovulation and before menstruation can trigger symptoms. Serotonin, a brain chemical that controls mood, appetite and sleep, may also play a role. Serotonin levels, and other hormone levels, change during your period.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of PMDD appear one or two weeks before menstruation and end within a few days of the onset of your period. In addition to the symptoms of PMS, you may have:
- Anger or irritability.
- Attacks of anxiety and panic.
- Depression and suicidal thoughts.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Fatigue and low energy.
- Desire or overeating.
- Mood swings
How is PMD diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will take a medical history and assess your symptoms. You may need to keep track of your symptoms for one or two months. To diagnose PMDD, your provider doctor will look for five or more symptoms of PMDD, including mood-related symptoms.
Your provider’s doctor will rule out other conditions such as anxiety, depression or reproductive disorders.
How is PMDD managed or treated?
Your healthcare provider may prescribe one or more of these treatments to help manage it:
- Antidepressants to help regulate serotonin levels in your brain
- Dietary changes, such as reducing salty, fatty or sugary foods and caffeine
- Hormonal birth control
- Painkillers that reduce pain
- Physical activity
- Exercise regularly to improve your mood
- Stress management tools, such as deep breathing exercises and meditation.
What are the complications of PMDD?
This untreated disorder can lead to depression and, in severe cases, suicide. This condition can cause severe emotional distress and can negatively affect relationships and careers.
How can I prevent PMDD?
Treating existing depression or anxiety may reduce the chances of PMS and PMDD. But if it is related to the way your hormones work, you may not be able to stop it. In this case, treatment alone can bring relief.
With treatment, most people get rid of their symptoms and are able to enjoy life to the fullest. Talking to a mental health professional or joining a support group can also help.
When should I call my healthcare provider?
- Attacks of extreme anxiety and panic.
- Feeling you have ‘Run out of gas’ emotionally.
- Severe depression or suicidal thoughts.
- Thoughts of harming yourself or others.
- Uncontrollable anger
MDD is a serious condition that can adversely affect your life, relationships and career. Affected women can harm themselves or others. If you experience persistent severe depression and anxiety or other symptoms in the weeks leading up to your period, seek help from your healthcare provider.
Medications can check hormone or serotonin levels to make you feel better. This is not a common problem you have to deal with. Don’t delay in getting the medical and mental health care you need.
Book an appointment now, to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with the top gynecologists in Pakistan through Marham by calling at Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.
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