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PMDD Treatment

<PMDD treatment is useful in alleviating the pain and discomfort associated with this condition. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, PMDD is a premenstrual syndrome that occurs in a form that is more severe. It affects between 3% and 8% of women during their reproductive years. Unlike PMS, significant premenstrual mood disturbance accompanies PMDD. Most women with this condition experience irritability as a dominant syndrome.

PMDD Treatment

PMDD Treatment

Nonetheless, many women will experience anxiety, mood swings and depression. These symptoms usually appear a week or two prior to the menses and resolve fully at the start of menses. Mood disturbances resulting from this condition result in pronounced occupational and social inconveniences. Interpersonal functioning is significantly impacted by this condition.

PMDD treatment can be an effective remedy against this disorder. The condition is considered as an affective disorder in a class of depressive disorders that are not otherwise specified DSM-IV-TR . The condition is diagnosed by a psychiatric. When moods swing to the extreme during the primary phase, it is referred to as Premenstrual Exacerbation PME.  This occurs when the primary diagnosis is depression, bipolar disorder or another mood disorder.

Typically the onset of PMDD is usually during a woman’s twenties and may progressively become worse with time. In some instances, premenstrual symptoms may become more severe as menopause beacons. In such case it is recommended that women seek PMDD treatment from certified menopause clinicians. 

In less common cases, PMDD may commence during adolescence. Effective  PMDD treatment  offered to adults is also beneficial to adolescents with this condition. Psychiatric history of anxiety or mood disorders, stress, age bracket of 20’s to mid –30’s and a family history of premenstrual mood disorder, all elevate the risk of PMDD.

PMDD Treatment and Causes

PMDD Treatment

PMDD Treatment

The root causes of PMDD and Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) currently remain unknown. At present,  PMDD treatment  researchers believe these disorders signify biological phenomena and not pure psychological occurrences. Recent findings show that women who are susceptible to premenstrual mood changes do not posses abnormal or deregulated hormone levels. Instead, their hormone sensitivity revolves around the normal cyclical hormonal shifts.

When estrogen plus progesterone agents fluctuate, the central neurotransmitter registers significant effects. This occurs particularly in the noradrenergic, serotonergic and dopaminergic pathways. Mounting evidence points towards the serotonergic system as the root cause of PMS and PMDD.

Recent findings on women with premenstrual mood disorders reveal abnormal serotonin neurotransmission. This is believed to be connected to symptoms like irritability, carbohydrate craving and depressed mood episodes.  Gamma amino butyric acid or GABA may also have a role to play. It is considered a dominant inhibitory neurotransmitter in PMS/PMDD pathogenesis. This is still a hypothesis that is yet to be defined. Light also needs to be shade on opioid and adrenergic potential involvement in these cases.

PMDD Diagnosis and Treatment

Making clear distinctions between PMDD and other psychiatric and medical condition is crucial for clinicians. Some medical condition with similar features to PMDD include chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine disorder and fibromyalgia. Other psychiatric conditions like depression and anxiety disorder can become aggravated during the premenstrual cycle, thereby mimicking PMDD.

PMDD Treatment

PMDD Treatment

About 40 percent of the total number of women that seek  PMDD treatment  usually have premenstrual exacerbation. Others have underlying mood disorders rather than PMDD. Basically, it is the cyclical nature of mood disturbance that distinguishes PMDD from other affective disorders.

PMDD mood disturbances occur only during specific periods unlike in other affective disorders. This is mainly during the luteal phase of menstruation. In addition the moods episodes do not appear in the absence of menstrual cycles. Such absence may be during reproductive episodes like pregnancy or menopause.

The most effective way of confirming PMDD diagnosis is through creating a daily chart of symptoms. Women suffering from PMDD will have a symptom-free duration between their menses and ovulation. (COPE) or Calendar of Premenstrual Experience and  (PRISM) or Prospective Record of the Severity of Menstruation are well validated scales that are important for recording PMDD symptoms prior to the menses.

PMDD Symptoms and Treatment

PMDD treatment  is sometimes aimed at symptoms similar to those of major depression. Irritability is usually the most common symptom in such cases. Some physical symptoms that differentiate PMDD from major depression are bloating, breast pain and the specific timing of symptoms. In cases where the patient is symptomatic, PMDD is linked to a higher risk of suicide. Other symptoms associated with PMDD include.

  • Reduced interest in normally interesting activities
  • Altered appetite like cravings or over-consumption of certain foods
  • Hypersomnia and insomnia
  • Angry episodes and an increase in conflict with others
  • Exhaustion and energy sap
  • Frequent Mood swings of high ups and extreme lows, e.g abrupt sadness, heightened sensitivity to rejection and crying or tearfulness
  • Feeling hopeless or thoughts of self deprecation and other depression symptoms
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Feeling “keyed up” anxious, tense or on edge
  • Feeling helpless or powerless to control anything
  • Headaches, weight gain and muscle or joint pain may also accompany these symptoms.

The above symptoms must be diagnosed two weeks before menstruation for a minimum of two cycles or periods.  These symptoms also have to be dire enough to hinder day to day operations such as reduced productivity at work and avoiding friends. To be diagnosed with PMDD, the symptoms must also not be the exacerbation of other illnesses.

Natural PMDD Treatment

PMDD Treatment

PMDD Treatment

Several PMDD treatment options are available. Lifestyle changes and pharmacological options both offer effective premenstrual dysphoric disorder treatments. Minimizing sodium intake, canceling caffeine products and keeping off alcohol are beneficial dietary changes. Natural  PMDD treatment  also involves engaging in regular exercises.

Some non-pharmacological  PMDD treatment  options include:

  • Light therapy – This involves the use of natural, full spectrum light. Clinical observation on the use of light therapy is still inconclusive.
  • Relaxation Therapy. This therapy slows down the heart rate, rate of breathing and brain waves. It also lowers the blood pressure. This kind of therapy may be tailor-made for PMDD treatment or it could have a general approach such as Tai chi and meditation. Studies do not reveal consistent result on it effectiveness.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT – This  PMDD treatment  approach lays emphasis on restructuring thought processes, managing anger and emotions. Though current studies have been ineffective in structure, CBT offers an effective treatment option.
  • Sleep deprivation – Sleep deprivation is an PMDD treatment option that many patients respond to just like those suffering from major depression. After a night of sleep deprivation, depression symptoms  related to PMDD were notably reduced.

Medications  PMDD treatment  are also effective against this affective disorder. Mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety (anxiolytics)  and antidepressants are commonly used. Other pharmacological PMDD treatment  options that have registered positive clinical results include:

  • Beta blockers such as atenolol ( Tenormin) or (Inderal) propranolol
  • (NSAIDs) Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs like naproxen sodium (Naprelan)
  • Vitamins and minerals including magnesium and calcium supplements
  • Diuretics
  • Hormone medications for  PMDD treatment  such as ethinyl estradiol (Yaz), drospirenone, and transdermal patch Danazol
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