Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

What is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) stands for a condition triggered by acute depression symptoms, tension before menstruation and irritability. These symptoms are more acute compared to those manifested with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a condition generally termed as premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual tension. It is a recurring condition in the menstrual cycle, diverse degree of intensity, spanning from slight irritability lasting for 5-7 days and diminishing after the start of menstruation, to acute and intolerable rage and irrational demeanour.

Causes of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Hormone changes, which is manifested during a woman's menstrual cycle is responsible for this disorder.

PMDD affects almost 3-8% of women during their menstrual periods in their lifetime. The condition is generally worse in young ladies.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which manifests severe depression, anxiety, and almost identical disorders are also witnessed in several women suffering with this condition.

Other factors may include:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Intaking huge quantity of caffeine
  • Medical history of this disorder inherited from the mother
  • Dearth of exercise

Symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

The signs of PMDD are same as that of PMS, but they are basically more severe and exhausting. Symptoms occur a week before menstrual bleeding and generally improve in a few days after the period starts.

Five or more of the under mentioned symptoms must be present:

  • Disinterest in daily work and relationships
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling of hopelessness, despair, and possible suicidal thoughts
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Fluctuating mood
  • Food cravings
  • Panic attack
  • Continuous irritability or anger affecting other people
  • Trouble on concentrating
  • Bloating, breast tenderness, joint or muscle pain, and headaches
  • Sleep disorder

Exams and Tests

There are no physical test findings or lab tests particular to the diagnosis of PMDD. A complete history, physical check up, in addition to a pelvic exam, and psychiatric analysis should be undertaken to ward off other potential conditions.

Keeping a diary of signs can allow women to determine the most troublesome symptoms and the time of its occurrence. This data maintenance may assist the health care professional to identify PMDD and determine the appropriate treatment.

Treatment of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Women with PMDD may seek help by the following:

  • A balanced diet (with greater supplement of whole grains, fruit, vegetables and elimination no sugar, salt, caffeine and alcohol)
  • Sufficient rest
  • Regular exercise at least on alternate day of the week

In addition, it is imperative to keep a diary to record the type, severity, and duration of the symptoms.

Medications Recommended

Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are antidepressant medications which are widely used in treating PMDD. SSRIs encompass sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), and escitalopram (Lexapro).

Pain killers like aspirin or ibuprofen may be recommended to curb headache, menstrual cramping, backache, and breast tenderness. Diuretics can also be useful for women who have prominent weight gain as a result of fluid retention.

Natural Treatment

Sustained benefit in the treatment of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is unlikely with too restricted an approach. Homeopathies on its own way may be beneficial in reducing some of the symptoms of primary premenstrual dysphoric disorder, but may prove to be complemented by one or more supplements like Phytoestrogens, Magnesium, Calcium, evening primrose oil, B-Vitamins, along with Vitamin B6, Black Cohosh, and Chateberry etc.

As a thumb rule, the herbal and nutritional supplements are basically better tolerated and more influential, that too without leaving any side effects than antidepressants in the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. There is albeit, no substitute for knowledge and evaluation of your own condition, and taking more firm decision should be your objective in the management of your premenstrual dysphoric disorder. 

Possible Complications

PMDD symptoms may turn to be severe enough that it may disturb the woman's daily life. Women suffering from depression may have deteriorated signs in the later half of their menstrual cycle and may need medication change.

As many as 10% of women who observed PMS symptoms, specifically those having with PMDD, have had suicidal tendencies. The reports of suicide in women with depression are predominantly higher during the latter half of the menstrual cycle.

PMDD may be triggered by eating disorders and smoking.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Fix up an appointment with your physician if:

  • Symptoms do not alleviate with self-treatment
  • Symptoms disturb your daily life

Outlook (Prognosis)

After right diagnosis and treatment, women with PMDD realize that their symptoms vanish or drop to tolerable levels.