Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

(PMDD)

Definition

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) occurs just prior to menstruation and is characterized by significant:
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Tension
PMDD is much more severe and less common than premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Causes

The exact cause is not known.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of PMDD include:
  • Hormonal changes
  • Family history of PMDD
  • Extra stress or a traumatic life event
  • Depression or another mental health condition
Microscopic View of Hormone Receptor
molecule and receptor
Menstruation causes many hormonal changes, which may play a role in PMDD.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Symptoms

PMDD may cause:
  • Extreme sadness
  • Frequent crying
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Unusually strong cravings for certain foods
  • Difficulty concentrating or paying attention
  • Insomnia
  • Panic attacks
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Physical symptoms, such as sore breasts, headaches, joint or muscle pain, swelling, or bloating
Symptoms typically begin 10-14 days prior to the start of menstruation.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will diagnose PMDD based on your symptoms. You may be asked to keep a record of when your symptoms occur and how severe they are.Your doctor may also order:
  • Blood tests
  • Tests to check hormone levels

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