Women face many challenges in their lives. Being a woman requires overcoming social, economic, and biological difficulties. One of the most challenging problems women face is premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It can cause mood swings, discomfort, bloating and countless other annoyances.
Between 3 to 6 percent of women suffer from a more severe form of PMS known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). This condition can be disabling enough to interfere with normal activities such as work, home activities and socializing.
What is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder?
PMDD shares many of the symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome. This tends to be because PMDD is often thought of as a more severe form of PMS.
These symptoms may include:
- Mood swings
- Anger, anxiety and increased interpersonal conflict
- Breast tenderness
- Changes in appetite
- Decreased energy
- Difficulty concentrating, focusing or thinking
- Join pain, tenderness or swelling
- Lack of interest
- Muscle pain
- Problems sleeping
There are two notable differences in PMDD:
- Sufferers will tend to exhibit five or more of the above symptoms.
- Symptoms tend to arise a week before menstruation occurs. They subside a few days after.
This means PMDD sufferers tend to spend around half of their lives dealing with this condition. This may leave them unable to work, socialize, or function at home.
What Causes PMDD?
The exact cause of PMDD remains a mystery, but there are a few causes that tend to be associated with PMS and PMDD.
The primary cause of PMDD is thought of as a change in hormones. Some experts theorize that the greater the change in hormones, the greater the prevalence and severity of those symptoms are in patients.
There could also be numerous secondary causes of PMDD. These can include:
- Emotional problems such as anxiety, depression or loneliness.
- Gynecological conditions, which include endometriosis and menopause.
What Can Be Done to Treat PMDD?
Treating PMDD is a difficult task due to the relatively uncertain nature of this condition, but it can be done by focusing on the causes of this condition.
We focus on treatment that uses one or more of the following strategies:
- Excellent Nutrition – Our patients tend to minimize their symptoms when things like caffeine and refined sugars are reduced in their diet. Adding vitamins like magnesium and vitamin E can also help.
- Exercise – This reduces stress while promoting the body’s function. Our patients tend to reduce their symptoms when they perform the right exercises.
- Medications – These can include everything from antidepressants to hormone treatments. Our approach is to look for a more stable, long-term medication rather than a quick fix.
Are You Suffering from PMDD?
PMDD can be a troubling condition to treat, but it’s important to remember that you aren’t alone. We’re here to help you work through PMDD in healthy ways.
Contact South Lake Obstetrics & Gynecology today to schedule a consultation appointment. We will use innovative and tried techniques to help you manage the symptoms and causes of PMDD.