| Risk Factors
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) occurs just prior to menstruation and is characterized by significant:
PMDD is much more severe and less common than
premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
The exact cause is not known.
Factors that may increase your chance of PMDD include:
- Hormonal changes
- Family history of PMDD
- Extra stress or a traumatic life event
or another mental health condition
Microscopic View of Hormone Receptor
Menstruation causes many hormonal changes, which may play a role in PMDD.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
PMDD may cause:
- Extreme sadness
- Frequent crying
- Unusually strong cravings for certain foods
- Difficulty concentrating or paying attention
- 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.
PMDD will be diagnosed 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
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
These steps can help manage symptoms of PMDD:
- Exercise throughout the week.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine.
- Learn stress management techniques.
- Improve your sleep habits.
PMDD may be treated with:
- Oral contraceptives
- Nutritional supplements
To help reduce your chance of PMDD, take these steps:
- Get plenty of exercise and rest
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Manage stress
PMS and PMDD. MGH Center for Women's Health website. Available at:
http://womensmentalhealth.org/specialty-clinics/pms-and-pmdd. Accessed October 8, 2015.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website.
http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder.html. Updated April 2014. Accessed October 8, 2015.
Premenstrual syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113966/Premenstrual-syndrome. Updated October 5, 2016. Accessed November 28, 2016.
Last reviewed September 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
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