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Women who have Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD ) or severe premenstrual stress, display symptoms of PMS, only symptoms that are more severe and worrisome than regular PMS symptoms.

As with PMS, the symptoms of PMDD manifest about 5 to 11 days before a woman’s menstrual period. Between 3 and 8% women may have PMDD.

Premenstrual Dysphoric DisorderAs with PMS, it is thought to be hormones that are responsible for this condition that is characterized by regular PMS symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, feelings of disinterest, food cravings, tearfulness, panic attacks, problems sleeping and concentrating etc.

However with PMDD, these symptoms are more severe.

To effectively diagnose and manage PMDD, it is important to note and record symptoms, and their duration and severity and to narrate them to the health care provider.

Sometimes these symptoms may be severe enough to negatively impact quality of life and cause interference in daily functioning.

Women with PMDD often show signs of other problems such as Seasonal Affective Disorder, major depression and so on.

PMDD can result in women developing eating disorders, or in substance abuse. Self esteem issues can crop up and depression can set in. Some women may even have suicidal thoughts.

Using self treatment may not work and in such cases, it is necessary to seek medical diagnosis of PMDD and start appropriate treatment.

Some common ways to manage PMDD are:

  • Prescription of anti-depressants
  • Diuretics to help reduce fluid retention and hence control weight gain
  • Birth control pill can also help control symptoms of PMDD; however in some cases they could exacerbate those symptoms and should be used with care
  • Certain medications of depress ovulation and the ovaries are also known to help control PMDD
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements such as B6, calcium, magnesium and so on may also help
  • Pain relievers to help manage pain