Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) shares many characteristics with regular PMS. Both have physical and emotional symptoms that usually begin seven to ten days before a woman’s period starts and continue into the first few days of her cycle. Both PMS and PMDD may cause breast tenderness, bloating, fatigue, cramping, and changes in sleep and eating habits. However, PMDD is a severe, sometimes debilitating extension of PMS with at least one behavioral or emotional symptom that is much more significant. It is important to speak with a doctor when any of these symptoms arises.

*  Sadness or hopelessness

*  Anxiety or tension

*  Extreme moodiness

*  Marked irritability or anger

One or more of these emotional or behavioral symptoms can indicate that a woman has Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and should seek PMDD treatment from her doctor. Some women have found that their extreme symptoms can cause tension and damage in their relationships. Taking antidepressants may reduce emotional symptoms as well as fatigue, food cravings, and sleep problems associated with PMDD. Birth control pills is also a common choice of treatment to treat PMDD. Birth control pills stops ovulation and stabilizes hormone levels. Because many women suffer from PMDD’s hormonal imbalance, their symptoms are often escalated by hormonal ups and downs throughout the month. Nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, and diet and lifestyle changes can also help to reduce premenstrual symptoms. By cutting back on caffeine and eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, many women are able to reduce their mood swings.

If any of the symptoms sound like something you are going through month after month, it is time to see your doctor. If symptoms are due to Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, your doctor can help find a specific treatment plan to minimize your symptoms.

Posted on behalf of Carlos Alarcon, M.D., Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.

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