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Understanding Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

From bloating to headaches, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects most of us in the days prior to our periods. These symptoms are uncomfortable but tolerable for many, but for other women these symptoms are severe. According to PubMed Health, 20% to 40% of women have a number of more severe PMS related issues.It is estimated that 3% to 8% of them suffer from a debilitating version of the psychological symptoms which is referred to as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (1).

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

What caused my PMDD?

The exact cause of PMDD is currently unknown, though researchers believe it could be the body reacting abnormally to normal hormone changes. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, hormonal changes can cause serotonin deficiency (2). What’s serotonin, you ask? It is a naturally occuring chemical in your body that stabilizes your mood.

In short:

Body + normal levels of serotonin= a happier, calmer, more emotionally stable you

Body - normal levels of serotonin= anxiety, issues with sleep, irregular bowel movements, etc.

Symptoms of PMDD

These usually appear during the week before your period and end a couple of days after it starts and some are so disruptive they can affect daily life for women. Below is a sample list (check with a health provider to make sure you are not mistaking it for other health issues such as a thyroid condition, depression, or anxiety disorder.) (2)

How is PMDD treated?

PMDD should be treated because it is a serious, chronic condition. Here are some recommended forms of treatment:

Vitamin Supplements: This is where BINTO comes in to help!

-Vitamins B6, B12, and DHA (for fatigue) may be helpful for some women

-Probiotics can assist with gastrointestinal issues that result from PMDD

Changes in diet: Up your protein and carbohydrate intake while cutting sugar, salt, alcohol, and caffeine out of your diet

Regular exercise: From running to yoga, whatever suits your lifestyle best

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): Antidepressants that help reduce severe psychological problems caused by PMDD (1)

Hormone medications: the birth control pill or hormone patches can adjust an imbalance in hormone levels

*Consult a health care provider for the best form of treatment for you 

Resources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0024721/
  2. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/gynecological_health/premenstrual_dysphoric_disorder_pmdd_85,P00580

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