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What Is PMDD?


PMDD, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder, is the increased sensitivity to the hormone changes that occur between one and two weeks before menstruation. Although many of the symptoms of PMDD are the same as those for PMS, the symptoms of PMDD can be far more severe.


The difference between PMS and PMDD is that the symptoms of PMDD can be so severe that they interfere with a woman’s ability to work, attend school, or engage in healthy interpersonal relationships.

What Are the Symptoms of PMDD?

The symptoms of PMDD are emotional, physical, and behavioral. A woman may experience one set of symptoms more than another, or may experience several types of symptoms each month during the luteal phase of her cycle.

Symptoms will typically diminish a few days after a woman’s period begins, and can include PMDD brain fog and:

  • Sudden and severe mood changes
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Feeling out of control or overwhelmed
  • Increased sensitivity to rejection
  • Headache
  • Sore or swollen breasts
  • Appetite changes, overeating, and cravings

Is PMDD Genetic?

Some research has revealed possible links to genetic variations and PMDD development. Other research has suggested that smoking can also affect hormone sensitivity. There may also be a link between past traumatic and stressful experiences, the development of PMDD and severity of symptoms.

Living With PMDD

The following premenstrual dysphoric disorder self-care strategies are available if your symptoms are negatively affecting your enjoyment of everyday life:

  • Reducing intake of junk foods, alcohol, and caffeine
  • Eating lean proteins that increase tryptophan levels, such as chicken, nuts, and fish
  • Getting help from PMDD specialists
  • Taking birth control pills or GnRH agonists

Are you experiencing severe monthly PMDD and back pain? Check out this infographic from Crystal Run Healthcare premenstrual dysphoric disorder specialists.

What is PMDD Infographic

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