Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (MDD): symptoms, causes and treatment

While it is true that the hormonal changes typical of menstrual cycles have the ability to influence a woman’s mood, there is a condition in which these changes occur very strongly.

We are talking about premenstrual dysphoric disorder, Which we will talk about throughout this article; along with its symptoms, possible causes, and treatment guidelines.

    What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PDD)?

    Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PDD), also known as severe premenstrual syndrome or severe premenstrual disorder, This is a condition that only affects women and in which the patient may show symptoms of severe depression, severe excitability and irritability, and tension about 7-10 days before onset. of the menstrual period.

    This type of condition is considered to be an extension, with much more intense symptoms, of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Although in both women the woman experiences a range of both emotional and physical symptoms, in PMS these are significantly more intense, to the point that they can interfere with personal, social and professional functioning. .

    It is estimated that this condition occurs in about 3 to 8% of women who have their period monthly and regularly. however, there is great controversy and disagreement around the TDPM. The reason is that there are certain professional sectors which defend the idea that in reality women who suffer from it suffer from another type of disorder which is amplified during these pre-menstrual days.

    Symptoms of PMDD

    As discussed above, PMS and PMS share a number of symptoms that differentiate them from other mood-related disorders.

    however, the main difference between PMS and PMS is that if PMS does not significantly interfere with a person’s daily routine, then PMDD has a much more intense, marked, and debilitating symptomatology.

    Here is a list of symptoms associated with TDPM. However, there is no single, common symptom pattern, but these can vary from woman to woman, both in incidence and severity.

    In this symptomatology, we can distinguish between these symptoms or manifestations of a physical nature and the psychological symptoms of the disease.

    1. Psychological symptoms

    Among these symptoms are the following.

    • Sharp feelings of sadness and hopelessness sometimes accompanied by suicidal thoughts.
    • Voltage.
    • Feeling anxious.
    • Anhedonism or disinterest in activity and social relations.

    • Feeling out of control.
    • Mood fluctuations.
    • Periods of crying.
    • Panic attacks.
    • persistent irritability.
    • Need excessive intake or unhealthy food.
    • Change in concentration.
    • Sleep problems.

    2. Physical symptoms

    These are the most common physical symptoms.

    • breast tenderness.
    • Headache.

    • Abdominal distension and gas.
    • Muscle or joint pain.

    What are the causes?

    At present, there is no satisfactory answer to the question of what causes premenstrual dysphoric disorder. However, the hormonal alterations of these periods are known to play an important role.

    There are a number of factors that facilitate the onset of this disorder. Some of them are:

    • Family history of PMDD.
    • Caffeine consumption in large quantities.
    • Overweight.
    • Alcoholism.

    • Lack of exercise.

    In addition, as mentioned above, there are a large number of cases in which menstrual dysphoric disorder is accompanied by the following psychological conditions:

    • Emotional emotional disorder.
    • Major depression.

    • Anxious images.

    How to diagnose it?

    There are no diagnostic tests, physical or psychological, allowing a direct and rapid assessment of PMS. To make a successful diagnosis, which eliminates the possibility that the person is suffering from another type of psychological disorder, a complete medical history of the patient must be taken. This may be accompanied by a psychiatric assessment and a series of physical exams such as a complete pelvic examination.

    A very useful technique for diagnosing this type of condition is for the patient to perform a self-report using a calendar or symptom diary. A record of the most important symptoms can be kept, also noting when they appear and under what circumstances.

    The idea is to keep this diary for at least two menstrual cycles so that you can determine the possible causes of the disorder and develop a treatment more adapted to the specific needs of the patient.

    In the same way, this notebook will facilitate a record of the evolution of the person throughout the treatment and will be able to see their results and successes reflected.

    TDPM processing

    Once diagnosed with PMDD, the healthcare professional is very likely to start pharmacological treatment to reduce the intensity of symptoms and thus reduce the levels of discomfort and leave room for possible psychological therapy.

    This pharmacological therapy may well include the use of antidepressant drugs such as fluoxetine or sertraline, which facilitate the reduction of emotional symptoms, as well as fatigue and sleep problems; or use the contraceptive pill with the intention of achieve hormonal and therefore emotional balance.

    Additionally, in some cases nutritional supplements such as tryptophan, vitamin B6, or magnesium have also been shown to be effective in treating these same symptoms.

    On the other hand, some studies point out that the use of certain natural remedies such as alloc can help decrease symptoms of irritability, mood swings or breast tenderness.

    However, before starting any type of treatment, including the most natural, it is necessary to consult a healthcare professional to assess which is the best option for the specific symptomatology of the patient.

    Once pharmacological treatment has started, it is strongly recommended to start psychological therapy to address the psychological problems of PMS and the possible complications that it causes in the daily life of the patient.

    Finally, changing daily habits for healthier ones will also have many beneficial effects on a person’s health. These changes include the following guidelines:

    • Balanced diet in which whole foods, fruits and vegetables predominate. As well as a decrease in the consumption of caffeine, energy and alcoholic beverages, sugars and salt.
    • Do aerobic exercises on a recurring basis.
    • Change in sleep patterns.

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