premenstural syndrome

What is PMDD?

Just about everyone has a good understanding of what premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is. Either you have dealt with it yourself, or have women in your life who have gone through it. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is similar, but actually much more severe, even though it is frequently misdiagnosed.

Common Signs of PMDD

The main difference between PMS and PMDD is in the severity of your symptoms. With PMS, you might get moodiness and depression, but with PMDD, these are far more severe. Here is a list of some common symptoms in people with premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Chronic fatigue – To start with, you might notice that you are tired constantly when you are going through PMDD. It happens around the same time as PMS, but you can’t seem to find energy in anything you do. The fatigue might be so bad that it is affecting your quality of life, you miss work, and you have no interest in doing anything.

Anxiety and mood changes – Some of the most obvious changes are in your mood and mental health. If you have anxiety, you may notice it gets much worse around this time, leading to panic attacks and severe anxiety. You might notice signs of depression, like lack of interest in activities, sadness, ad hopelessness. It can also cause unpredictable mood swings, agitation, and irritability.

Increased appetite and food binges – Your appetite might also change, where you suddenly are ravenous and never feel full. If you have a history of eating disorders, those feelings might crop up, especially with binge eating.

Isolation – Similar to changes in your mood, you may notice that you want to isolate yourself from people and activities that usually interest you.

Insomnia or poor sleep – A lot of women with PMDD also find that they struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep.


Who Might Get it

Unfortunately, there is no known single cause of PMDD, and doctors won’t be able to tell you if you’re going to get it. Many researchers believe it is related to hormonal changes and the serotonin levels in your brain. But if you have more serious PMS symptoms, you are likely at a greater risk for PMDD.

How to Treat PMDD

PMDD is a condition that should not be overlooked. Far too many people assume they just have regular PMS, but rarely consider seeing a doctor with this condition. It is important that you see a doctor if you think you might have PMDD, or you are concerned about weird symptoms when you typically have PMS.

Treatments might include managing your stress, getting regular exercise, changing your diet, taking certain medications, and controlling inflammation in the body.

Another proven technique to minimize the symptoms of PMDD is regular acupuncture treatments. Your acupuncturist will develop a custom, personalized plan that directly addresses your specific symptoms. Typically, 3 months of treatment is necessary to get long lasting benefits. Learn more about our clinic and women’s health here.

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