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Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

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What is PMDD?

PMDD is a more serious form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMDD causes physical and psychological symptoms before prior to menstruation, usually resolving with the onset of menstruation.

How common is PMDD and who might get PMDD:

According to the Cleveland Clinic, PMDD affects up to 10% of women who have periods. Women with depression, a family history of PMDD, and who have had a history of PMS are more likely to get PMDD.

What are the symptoms of PMDD?

Psychological: Including but not limited to: depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, fatigue, emotional sensitivity, severe mood swings, paranoia
Physical: Including but not limited to: abdominal cramping, body aches, back pain, nausea, vomiting, acne, headaches, dizziness, fluid retention, hot flashes, appetite changes.

How is PMDD diagnosed?

Usually, PMDD is diagnosed by conducting an assessment with complete medical history. Subjective symptoms reported by the patient are key to diagnosis. Because of mental health symptoms associated with PMDD, it is recommended to be evaluated by a mental health professional. Keeping a diary of your symptoms, 7-12 days leading up to menses and during menses, is helpful with diagnosis.

How is PMDD treated?

PMDD can be treated in various steps. Non-pharmacological options can be tried such as changes in diet, regular exercise, stress management, and vitamin supplements. However, some cases of PMDD do not respond to this and needed to be treated with prescription medication.