Many women handle their monthly bill differently. Some handle it like nothing is wrong and they go about their daily lives as normal. There is also another end of the spectrum where this time of the month is the absolute worst five to seven days. The 2% – 10% of women that suffer from PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) have a number of symptoms including depression, irritability, and tension before menstruation.
Some people think the time where a woman is irritable is just PMS. Nevertheless, PMS is very different from PMDD. The main difference is that PMDD has symptoms severe enough they interfere with work, social activities and relationships. The exact cause of PMS, as well as PMDD, are not known. There are researchers that believe it is caused by the fluctuation of hormones during the menstrual cycle. Recent studies have shown there is a connection between PMDD and low levels of serotonin in the brain. This is the section controlling mood, attention, sleep, and pain – therefore leading to the onset of PMDD symptoms.
There are no physical exams or tests to diagnose PMDD; however, tests on a thyroid, pelvic exam and psychiatric evaluations can rule out other conditions. We recommend keeping a diary of symptoms on a calendar and bringing them to your next doctor’s appointment to share with your healthcare provider. It may help diagnose PMDD for you and begin managing the symptoms as best as you can.
Treatment plans include diet and exercise. It is often said living a healthier lifestyle by cutting out sweets and caffeinated beverages will help reduce symptoms of many illnesses. Try to eat healthy foods with whole grains, vegetables, and fruits and cut out sugar, salt and alcohol. Other treatment plans include taking antidepressants, using birth control pills and over the counter pain relievers.
If you believe that you are suffering from PMDD, it is best to contact your healthcare provider for diagnosis and put together a treatment plan together.